Last Day… And He’s Done it!

Saturday 5 October, Day Eight, Nr Inverness to John O’Groats, 137 miles (Longest Day)

06:30 Off in 5.  Brisk and dark (So, he did make an early start.  It would be great if he could be in by 20:00.)

Beauly Firth from A9 bridge, just north of Inverness

08:06 Sign for surgery free church.  Is that one where they can convert you without a labotomy? Then realised must be 2 separate things. (Now, you really do need to be awake to work that one out.)

09:20 34 miles now. 3 hrs so a little ahead. Mainly because I started at 300 m, now at about sea level.

Cromarty Firth

11:34 About 60 miles.  Just over 5 hours.  660 m of climbing. DORNOCH FIRTH.  First JOG signpost – 85 miles to go.

Dornoch Firth

12:19 (Phone call) Just about half way.  Done 67 miles, 70 to go with two hills. (Roy sounded really upbeat. He seems to be enjoying this so much more than last time.  Does this mean there will be a next time? Oh no….)

14:03 In Helms Deep.  A sea of orcs crashing against the walls.  Oh no.  Hang on, Helmsdale! And just the sea crashing against the wall. (I seem to remember him making the same analogy last time…  Some people can be so boring.)  Major climb after this.

15:18 Big hills done.  Much closer together than I remembered.  96 miles.  Just under 9 hrs.  Hooray!!  (He’s shattered his 10 mph record! Well done that man!)

15:43 100 miles.  Celebratory sausage roll and crisps with Aberdeen Angus.

16:24 I’m in a shop.  In Lybaster.  Turn off A9 soon so last chance for water.  OD’d on caffeine and feel a little sick.  32 miles to go.

Cruising with tailwind in the sun about 18 miles to go

17:50 At a standstill.  Oh no, sorry in Stanstill (Did that panic anyone else?  Thought something had gone horribly wrong.)  15 to go but just hit off road section!

18:53 TA DA!!!

JOG signpost.  Pic taken the next morning.

19:19 In B&B v bad signal.  Will try and call.

Sunday, 07:34 Have tried calling several times but it just keeps cutting me off.  Bugger! Got to finish just before 7.  As good as dark.  Tummy not good.  Too much caffeine. Last 30 miles fantastic. Very straight single track, tarmacced roads which wavered up and down 1 – 2 %.  Very fast although legs were tired.

07:40 I’ve only just managed to send a text from last night.  No signal as I type this but will send once I get one.  Tummy still fairly liquid.  Glad I’m not riding today!  Knee quite painful but can walk on it ok.  Breakfast at 8 then try and pack everything into bag.  Might need some careful thinking!  I’ll then head back to the signpost to see if I can get a better picture. 

It was a very bad signal – I didn’t get to talk to Roy for a celebratory “Hooray”! Very frustrating!  But he’s done it.  And made good time today, despite the miles in his legs. Arrived well before 20:00.  How’s that for a flourishing finish?  Hoorah!  Hoorah!  Hoorah!

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