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101 miles

1000milesby 1000milesJun 26th 2014
Gosh, what a beautiful 4 days. The scenery here is the dessert equivalent of having an oozy, warm chocolate fudge cake but getting cream, custard and ice cream and second portions. It's perfect. It's huge, it's green and the skies are endlessly blue. It feels so wild, yet so homely. I can't get enough if it - I just want to roll around in it like a happy dog (but I refrain because I'm petrified of ticks). When it comes to finding a camping spot in the evening I'm forever thinking 'this is definitely the spot, surely it can't get prettier than this?' and then I'll wake in the morning, I'll turn the corner and I'll think 'shit, it definitely did'.

Even though the terrain has got quite hilly and at times the pram feels like it weighs a metric ton I feel no sense of hardship whatsoever because I have all day to dilly dally and enjoy. I have finally got my head around 'the running', it's all about enjoying the day as a whole NOT pursuing the end goal. I stop and I chat, I admire the view, I take dips in the river, I take my time.
The people I have met along the way have been so full of kindness and generosity it would bring you to tears. Since starting, I've probably raised £150 for the cause just from people passing by. I think mental health is something that really resonates with people, it touches most families in one way or another. Plus, being somewhere as beautiful as this - I think people can really associate with how healing nature can be.

Passers by also really want to feed me, something which I am happy to oblige
101 miles
I would say my main nemesis on the run thus far has been the Range Rover/ Mitsubishi driving fishermen of Scotland (I only know that they are 'men who fish' because of their proudly mounted rods on the front of their car (this is not a euphemism)). The rate and tenacity at which these 'men who fish' drive would only be commendable if the fish were their only source of food and all fish were simultaneously performing a coordinated mass exodus. Well, news flash 'men who fish', fish comes in cans - so slow the f**k down. (**I would like to not include the kind 'man who fishes and drives a range rover' who gave me £3 - you're a nice/ competent driver, thanks.**).

I have surreptitiously captured said culprits below, I imagine the drivers are too busy committing fish atrocities to notice.
101 miles
I have also made chums on the way round. To mention but a few I had an extensive 'waving' relationship with both the postman AND the stagecoach bus driver who do the north coast route. Gosh how we waved. Ah the sheer euphoria and hilarity of a good wave. 'Ahh it's youu again, haaa, *and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaave*'
101 miles
Day 3 started fairly disastrously. After quickly legging it to the toilet fearing for my life on account of the midgie population (which, with the agility of a 95 year old woman, is not quickly enough). I went back for a snooze in the tent. As I lay my head down on the mat my ear went wild ... I immediately thought some sort of bog creature had got in and I began furiously pumping my ear to get it out ... 'Is this an ear wig? ... Are ear wigs a thing? ... If they are a thing, then there is definitely one in my ear ... ' ... I then realised it might just be air furiously escaping from my ear ... Had I ruptured my ear drum? ... I have been blowing my nose a lot ... What was this? Whatever it was, it really hurt and it was scary because I was in the middle of nowhere, on my own, with a. an earwig/ several earwigs (things had got heated by this point) b. a ruptured eardrum. So I did what any self respecting 25 year old would do in this situation - I rang my mum.

The ear condition progressed and I thought that I was going to pass out/ be sick. I managed to put some pants on (no amount of pain was going to leave me that undignified) and I hobbled up towards the road .. I thought if I was going to pass out it was better to be up there than in a bog (the creatures would have eaten me up by lunch). After 10 minutes of some pretty extreme whooshing out of my ear and having my head in between my legs, it subsided and my mum reassured me it was probably just my weird sinuses combined with the fact I had a cold. Either way, that was my 'first big scare' and in hindsight it was about as pathetic as it reads. Thank god I had some pants on.
101 miles
Here is a reflection on the lessons I have learnt in the first 100 miles. It was always going to be a steep learning curve so I sense these are invaluable.

1. Don't put your tent near a bog - the bog is an ever expanding concept
2. If you have a slidey sleeping bag, don't put your tent on a slope. Or, if you do, make sure you have a sleeping bag that has hooks so you can attach yourself to the top of the mat. Failure to do so will result in you sleeping in the porch.
3. Don't knock over the jetboil (I'm not even going to tell you about that one, let's just say I nearly burnt down Scotland)
4. Research earwigs
5. Accept the hospitality of all caravaners, they make real good sugary tea
6. Wind burn is a thing, your face will be testament to this if you subject yourself to it
7. Don't let the pram free wheel down the hill - the ditch you end up having to drag it out of is far more hassle than just holding on would have been
8. Coordinate your toilet needs around midge-free time zones. During is not an option
9. Don't think that prams have magical self-inflating wheels, bring a bicycle pump
10. Never assume that just because you're on a camping trip you will all of a sudden find a passion for canned fish, you won't, you'll just have nothing edible to eat.
sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, Jun 26th 2014 15:46
Scenery looks amazing! Am sick with jealously...well done for keeping going through the ear/pants situation!
by guest: Ange, Jun 26th 2014 20:09
How do you run everyday pushing a pram and still find time to be funny. You're amazing :)
by guest: Ali, Jun 26th 2014 23:07
Brilliant blog!
Did you ask the mitsubishi fishing man to take that photo of you taking down the tent?
by guest: Nina, Jun 30th 2014 22:02
Hey Claire!!!
Love all of it, but your #9 especially! How could you know anything about wheels after only 12,000 km of biking last year. Plus it was in Africa anyway..
Big hugs from all of us and Be Good Weather with you!
by guest: Kirsty, Jun 30th 2014 22:38
Hey Claire,
You are doing so well. What a star performance. The photos and the blog are very entertaining too. Hope your legs - and perhaps even more importantly your feet - are holding out, that the midges are keeping a respectful distance and that the wind is mostly at your back.

When will you reach the vicinity of Bristol do you think?
Big hugs
p.s. We were discussing you in the field on Saturday and saying awesome you are and b. how very much we miss you
ChallengerWSMby member: ChallengerWSM, Jul 1st 2014 10:21
Loving your updates and great to see you're having fun while clocking up those miles, you must be enjoying it as you've not even mentioned the physical ailments if there are any yet? Hopefully not! I will keep the Somerset runners upto date with your progress and on Twitter too, I also look forward to running by your side in return of your wonderful help during my 7 Marathons in 7 days Challenge. Keep going Super Lady and well done on the awareness and fundraising for such a great cause and charity. I hope to try and run a stretch in Birmingham and definitely Bristol and Somerset. Keep going, you're almost there ;-) x
by guest: Pauline, Jul 4th 2014 13:03
Hello! We saw you yesterday by the A9 at a hydro dam, we are not 'girls who fish' - we are with the environment agency. Had to see what you were doing - it is amazing, inspiring - glad we saw you! Good luck! x
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