Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Spine Blog 10 - Whats with all the promotional stuff? I mean, really?

Why on earth are you promoting this race so heavily? 

I was asked this the other day. You are a fell runner - you blog about them all the time, normally after the event. There are loads of other people who are also running it and aren't shouting about it.
Whats going on with this one? Whats got into you?

It's not the distance. It's not the race itself. The reason is because I so rarely do things for sponsorship and for the publicity of a charity, but this is that time.
Mountain rescue provide a free service to all hillgoers in the UK. Not only that, but their remit has recently started including flood rescue- as seen on news programmes all around the country at the end of last year.
We are all volunteers, every single one of us. The training we get and the equipment we use is paid for through charity donations or out of our own pockets.
Generally you may see justgiving sites for big things that teams would love to have, Landrovers, boats, crag rescue kits, that kind of thing, but in the background there is the constant grind of small
things going out of date that have to be replaced, month on month, sometimes even if they aren't actually used.

Our medications go out of date. The radios and waterproofs that we use get trashed on callouts. The drysuits last for a good number of shouts, but eventually degrade and need to be replaced. Single use oxygen masks obviously have to be replaced, as does every single carabiner and rope and stretcher after it is past its life expectancy.
The reason I and 2 other Glossop Mountain Rescue team members are running up the Pennine way in January as part of the Spine Race is because we are raising money for the replacement of all the little things in our team - the inglorious stuff that actually makes a rescue team work - all the bits that enable us to do our work as volunteers.

As such, please take a moment to click on the justgiving page and drop us a couple of quid.
and if you are so inclined, you could do worse than to head over to our twitter profile and follow us.
Thanks muchly.

If you're interested in tracking us along the route, there is a live tracker  on which you should be able to see everyone (or just who you want) over the course of the race.

....... At the moment there is no snow on the ground, though there *might* be some on the way. There are no massively high winds forecast for the weekend. The going underfoot, though, is looking like it is going to be heavy.

As you'll know, its been raining for the last few weeks, if not solidly, then at least, for the most part. The bits of the Pennine way that were soggy are now pretty much waterlogged and the dry bits are more than soggy. We are at a time of the month when there is a new moon - so no hope of a decent amount of moonlight to help us along even if there is a clear night (though if there is a clear night, it should provide us with an amazing starry backdrop), but generally speaking, it looks like being a generally decent few days out on the hill.

Having said that, the weather is one of those lovely fickle things that likes to throw curve balls along the way, so nothing is set in stone.

Final preparations are being made, the food list is made and is ready to be shopped for tomorrow- and then cooked/ prepared, the drop bag has been prepped, I've reccied as much as I can do (including a cheeky visit to Hebden Bridge yesterday). Shoe and sock combinations have been made, checked, revisited, changed and checked again, and in general, I'm probably about as ready as I'm going to get.

There is always the niggling suspicion that there is something that I haven't thought about, and there is the worry that there is something more that I could have done.
Right now, to be honest, I just want to start.

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