Run of the Month – Dartmoor
Dartmoor National Park covers some 954 square kilometres of moorland, stretching across southern Devon. From…
I’d been out for a long run on the moors. It was an autumn evening; the light was drawing in and I was looking forward to getting back to warmth and company. I was tired and running on my own, wearing a wind proof and shorts, confident that I’d be back before it got cold enough to need more clothing or a torch. But then I’d got a bit lost, taking much longer than I’d expected, and the darkness was approaching faster than I could run. I upped the pace as I hit the final miles; crashing down a stony track that wound its long way off the moor. Suddenly my foot twisted as it hit a rock, and I stumbled, a shooting pain causing me to falter and hop to a halt. Pain and concern flooded through me – I was still a long way from home, with no mobile reception and I wasn’t sure I could walk. I stood on one leg, angry with myself, wondering what I was going to do. Eventually, hours later, I limped into the house. I was cold and shaken but, fortunately ok and nothing was broken.
The above was my most recent “near miss”. I was lucky; if it had been worse or I’d been further from home it might have been much more serious. I would have needed help and the help would have come from the local, voluntary Mountain Rescue team.
Over the years I’ve had to call them a few times, never for myself, but for people I’ve been climbing with and for people who I didn’t know but discovered out on the hill or at a crag in trouble. The emergency services are often also called but they can’t carry a stretcher very far and they don’t have the rope and mountain skills sometimes required to get a casualty to the road where they can take over (brilliantly).
Wild Running is all about leaving the roads and pavements and having fun running across some amazing terrain. We obviously hope that no one ever hurts themselves while out, but if anyone does then it’s likely that the Mountain Rescue will be involved.
This year we’ll be donating £1 to Mountain Rescue for every book sold directly by us on www.wildrunning.net.
The Mountain Rescue service is a charity and relies on its volunteers and donations to continue to offer the service that it does; this is what they say…
“Mountain Rescue team members are on call, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Over the last few years, we’ve recovered climbers from precipitous crags, reunited lost walkers with their pals and ensured injured and sick casualties have been treated and transported to vital hospital care.
We’ve searched for and found missing children and vulnerable adults, on and off the hills, whilst administering sympathetic support to their families. We’ve searched river banks and swift water, aiding swimmers and kayakers – and a few who clearly never intended to get wet.
And we’ve rescued a frankly stunning number of dogs, cows, sheep and any number of other animals, from all manner of inaccessible places.
All this whilst continuing to practise and hone our skills in first aid and casualty care, technical ropework, water rescue, search management, maintaining our bases, equipment and vehicles – not to mention taking time to maintain our own fitness.
Oh, and did we mention we’re all volunteers?
But here’s the thing, we’re reliant on donations from you, the public, to enable us to carry on providing this service.
You can find out more about how you can help us raise those much needed funds here.
Mountain Rescue. So much more than mountains.”