Sunday, 8 January 2012

Endurance Run 4 - Thrunton Woods in Northumberland

Thrunton Woods - Northumberland

·         Date - 31st December, 2011

·         Location - Thrunton Woods
·         Total Distance - 15:09 Miles
·         Total Running Time, including Stoppages for Photographs - 04:52:01
·         Total Ascent - 865 Metres
·         Total Decent - 924 Metres
·         Total Calories Burned - 1,906
The above information was taken from my Nike Runmeter and Garmin Vista GPS.
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any unfortunate errors made during writing this post.  This run has been completed by myself, with my best of knowledge and ability in recalling the entire route.

Recommendations: -In advance of undertaking this running route, I would recommend that the runner undertakes the following; Research the Route, Run with a Partner, Take an Ordnance Survey Map, Compass, Whistle, Waterproof Clothing, Nutrition, Survival Bag, Mobile Phone and completes a Route Card.
About this running route: This route starts at the Car Park opposite to the Brick Works.  
The route follows a series of well defined forest tracks with short sections of rough terrain, passing through moorland and scrub land. The ascent to Long Crag starts by passing through a wooden gate near the end of Callaly Crags, at the edge of the forest line. The track passes through bog and rough scrub land heading towards the Bothy. Please note that at times, this track can be treacherous under footing posing problems such as; "Twisted, Sprained or, even worse Broken Ankles". 

View the route map in Google Earth

The Starting Line - Car Park - Height  146 Metres.
Grid Reference: NU083098 
The following photographs showing the Car Park and the road leading up to it. These were taken from an earlier run that I did, during the summer months. The reason why I chose to use these photographs, is because at the start of the run. It was a very dark morning and it would prove to be very difficult in taking any good photographs of the starting line at the  Car Park.

Turn left out of the Car Park and follow the road for approximately 400 meters. Just before the bend in the road, take the track on your left through the wooden gate. The steep ascending track heads south west on a compass bearing of "238* degrees", through the woods passing "Thrunton Crags" on your right.
The below  landscape photographs shows Northumberland, with the "Cheviot Hills" in the distance. These were taken from an earlier run that I did during the summer months. As on the actual day of this run. It was a very dark morning and it would prove to be very difficult in taking any good photographs of such beautiful landscapes.
The Wooden Gate
Grid Reference: NU062090

The wooden gate, where the ascent begins to Long & Coe Crags. This picture was taken when  it was still dark, note I am wearing my head torch !!!.
Passing through the gate and following the track through bog and rough scrub land. Hence my running buddy, John Shemmings lost his training shoe in the bog.
Anybody found my shoe !!!

This track can be treacherous under footing, care must be taking during this stage of the route. The following photographs were taking that morning and earlier in the year.

The track passes through "Hard Nab" heading towards the Bothy, where the track turns left and descends towards the wooden gate at the forest line.
The following photographs were taking that morning and earlier in the year.
The Bothy - Height 271 Metres.
Grid Reference: NU054085

The Wooden Gate
Grid Reference:NU056080

After passing through a wooden gate the track descends a short section of rough terrain, heading towards the base of the ascent to "Long Crags".

The Wooden Gate
Grid Reference: NU059072

Upon reaching the wooden gate, turn right and follow the ascending track to the summit of "Long Crag"

It's that way !!!!

The track becomes fairly steep in small sections, where a short scramble near the top takes you to the guide post on the ridge line.

Guide Post - Height 300 Metres
Grid Reference: NU058067

Turn left at the Guide Post and follow the track passing the Cairn, before reaching the "Summit Trig Point" of Long Crag.

The Summit Trig Point - Height 319 Metres
Grid Reference: NU062069

After passing the "Summit Trig Point" the track widens, but care must be taken as the under footing still  proves to be treacherous in most places.

Follow the track for approximately 700 metres until reaching the "Folk", this where the tracks beaks off in to two sections.

The Folk - Height 300 Metres
Grid Reference: NU068068

Take the track on your right and follow this in to the woods. Please note that as the track ascends in to the forest, it becomes very slippy due to "Excessive Mud & Bog". This can prove to be very challenging, when moving at a fast pace.

Shem's Cheviot trainers, but not as dirty as mine !!! So do it all again!!

Follow the track through the forest for approximately 1.5 miles passing under electricity pylons, reaching the wooden gate that leads on to the narrow tarmac road. As the track ascends towards the wooden gate, it gets more defined with firm under footing enabling the runner to pick up pace.

The Wooden Gate - Height 100 Metres
Grid Reference: NU091072

Pass through the gate and turn left on to the tarmac road. Follow the road down hill for approximately 500 metres, until reaching the "Drop Bag" location under a small weir.

Drop Bag Location
Grid Reference: NU090075

Hmmm Shem, a tough decision to be made. What should I eat first  "Jam & Peanut Butter Sandwich" or, "Tuna and Pasta Snack"!!!

After leaving the drop bag location, follow the descending road until reaching the gate opposite the Caravan Park, near "Coe Burn".  I call this  "Junction Point". As though it was a name taken out of either "Sir Earnest Shackleton's or Scott's Diary's".

Junction Point
Grid Reference: NU087087

Follow the track, keeping to your left and avoiding the track on your right. Follow this for approximately 1 mile, until reaching the Foot Bridge on the left. Cross over the foot bridge and follow the ascending track in to the Forrest. I call this section "The Black Hole of NO Return".

The Foot Bridge & The Black Hole of NO Return
Grid Reference: NU079075

Follow the track through the dense Forrest until reaching an opening. Turn left and follow the ascending track as it bends around to the right and contours "Coe Crags". Keep following the track until reaching "The Fork". I call this "The Summit Circle Loop". Upon reaching "The Fork" turn left and follow the track back down to the wooden gate that leads on to the tarmac road.

The Folk
Grid Reference: NU068068

Upon reaching the road turn left and follow this for approximately 1.5 miles. Passing the "Drop Bag" location and "Junction Point". Follow the road up the bank until reaching the the starting line at the "Car Park", which is on your left. Turn back around and run down the bank to the end of the road, where this meets with the major road "A697". 

This is where the run finishes.

Congratulations !!! you have just completed "Endurance Run 4"

N.B - When I did this run the weather was cold, windy with the odd occasional heavy shower. During  Spring and  Summer seasons, there is an abundance of wild life that can be seen, including lots of wild deer.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my long term Hiking, Mountaineering and Running buddy John Shemmings,  for his assistance in helping me to create Endurance Run Number 4.

Thank you John,

“Keep on Running”

  Darren Barnes
  Follow my running activities on Twitter @enduranceruner