The Wellington Boot Challenge 2017
The Wellington Boot is organised by the Long Distance Walking Association and can be either walked or run. The event is to complete a circular route of 100 kilometres with 7,200 feet of climb on foot within 26 hours starting and finishing in Wellington. Sidmouth Running club member Carine Silver thrives on these events and arrived in plenty of time to sign in, collect her tally card and have a cup of tea ready to start at 9am.
As you would expect with these sorts of elevations it is a picturesque route with a view of the sea (unless the weather is very overcast) and with half decent visibility even a view of Wales. The route reaches heights of over 1000 feet. It follows the Tone Valley, ascends the Quantocks, drops down to Holford, re-crosses the Quantocks, goes through the Brendon Hills and part of the Exmoor National Park to reach Clatworthy Reservoir then travels south through West Somerset and part of Devon, following the Clum Valley, ascends the Blackdown Hills to reach the Wellington Monument and then returns to the finish in Wellington.
Along the route there are 7 manned check points each having opening and closing times and each proving food and drink and 7 unmanned clipper points.
At the finish a cooked breakfast is available from 4am with hot drinks and toast if you finish earlier. You can of course have a sleep first and then have your cooked breakfast. And your reward at the end is the complete satisfaction that you have completed this Ultra, a certificate and event badge.
However in Carine’s case it got even better because at 3am she completed the run in 17hours 59minutes knocking an incredible 4 hours, yes 4 hours off her previous time and established a club record for this distance. She did say that it was much harder than she expected with vest weather during the day and winter woolly weather at night and at the end her legs were just liquid pain.
Huge congratulations to her.