St. Michael’s Way, Cornwall.

30 08 2016

One of the many walks we do in Cornwall is a short and very pretty coastal path from Carbis Bay to Lelant. When the tide is low, you can walk back on the huge expanse of sand at Porth Kidney. This year was memorable for watching Gannets diving into the sea in huge numbers.

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Looking across PorthKidney beach to Carbis Bay and St Ives.

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Looking down over Porth Kidney near Lelant. Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance.

It feels such a familiar area that I rarely look at a map but after one such walk, I noticed a QR code on a footpath sign. I pointed my mobile at it which then linked to  http://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/  It listed 3 walks, one of which I hadn’t tried before with some interesting info about the area, including a reference to St. Michael’s Way. This is a 12 mile, coast to coast pilgrim path that is believed to have been used by pilgrims travelling from Ireland on their way to the Cathedral of St James in Santiago de Compostela, North West Spain.

Well I’d been looking for a challenging and scenic run but this was right our doorstep! I travelled to Penzance and along to St Michael’s Mount where the trail begins. The path splits at the start and rejoins, then  follows a single path to Lelant. I have to say it was such a fabulous run. In terms of a challenge it is more than your average half marathon and I think all but the most hardy fell runner will need to walk at some point but I was able to run most of it and take in the views. I would strongly advise taking an OS map because the route’s scallop symbol isn’t always visible and you’re left guessing the route – as I did on occasion. There was a comic moment when, having passed a couple of walkers, I passed them again a few miles later, going in the same direction. They had got lost and taken a more direct route but it didn’t take long to pass them for the 3rd time! One of the high points on the route, literally, is the Knill Monument. You get a superb view of St. Ives, Carbis Bay, Hayle and Godrevy Lighthouse to the North, with equally great views to the South coast.

I didn’t take many photos as I wanted to enjoy the run rather than keep starting and stopping but I allowed myself a breather after an hour or so. Here’s St Michael’s Mount in the distance. It’s possible to tale an alternative route from Marazion so next year it would be fun to try an out-and-back run – almost a full marathon at 25 miles.

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Three Forts Challenge – 1st May 2016

9 05 2016

Most of my training for this year’s Brighton marathon was off-road, up on the South Downs. It’s my favourite place to run now – far more relaxing than the roads and it has really helped my endurance. After the marathon, hoping to make the most of my training, I entered the The Three Forts Challenge, also known as  The Tough One. It’s a 27 mile route on the South Downs, starting in Worthing. It takes in the ancient hill forts of Cissbury Ring, Chanctonbury Ring and Devil’s Dyke. 3450 ft of climbing and nearly 6 hours to complete. What was I thinking of?!

Tough it certainly is but to take your mind off the aches and pains, the route is set in stunning countryside and brilliantly marshalled by some wonderful volunteers.

 

3Forts Challenge May 2016 by SussexSportPhotography.com 15:22:09

‘Running’ up the final slope to Cissbury Ring with Paul.

 

I ran the whole distance with my friend Paul who I’ve been running with for years now – we started running 5km parkruns at Hove park, 7 years ago and now look at us!

Coming up to the finish after nearly 6 hours felt like a real achievement and it has really changed my focus on what I’ll enter this year. The Moyleman in Lewes and Beachy Head marathon are definitely on my list of things to do and I’ll certainly be back for The Tough One next year.

3Forts Challenge May 2016 by SussexSportPhotography.com 14:48:20

Finishing never felt such a relief !

Three Forts Challenge

Cissbury Ring

Chanctonbury Ring

Devil’s Dyke

 





The planets are lining up!

20 01 2016

I heard on the radio this morning that a rare astronomical event is about to happen. When I say rare, I mean about once every 10 years. Early morning runners who are out before sunrise, should be able to see four and maybe five planets all lined up as if lying on an imaginary diagonal line in the sky – something called the ecliptic plane of their orbits. Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will be easy to spot but Mercury will also be there, just visible on the horizon just before dawn. The image below is a screenshot from Stellarium, a program that lets you ‘see’ the night sky from any location on Earth, at any time in the past or future. I love it. This is the view I should get looking from Brighton.  My run along the seafront lets me look South out to sea so the planets should all be visible on a clear morning. Although I don’t really need an incentive to go running, especially with marathon training well underway, a little bit of astronomy helps takes the edge of those cold, dark mornings.

4inarow

The night sky looking from Brighton on 25/1/16





Run-cake-run

17 01 2016

It’s not my usual habit to break up a training run to stop for tea and cake but Saturday was a day for changing plans. You’ve got to make the most of the weather when snow is forecast  so the long Sunday run was shifted a day earlier. The aim was to jog a gentle 6 miles to Rottingdean via Ovingdean – a new route for me but I’ve convinced myself that my most enjoyable time running is when I don’t really know where I’m going!

windmill rottingdean

Beacon Mill, Rottingdean

By the time I reached Rottingdean, passing by the Windmill that I normally only see from the bus, I still felt like running a bit further. A quick refuel at Molly’s cafe, down on  the undercliff walk (recommend the chocolate coated seedy flapjack!) and I was good to go back to Brighton via Balsdean and Castle Hill. In all, 23km with a 20 min tea break. Despite the lack of continuity, the run was tough in both directions owing to the gradient (12% on Bear Rd) and mud everywhere so I wont be too hard on myself. In fact I might even do it again! Training for Brighton half marathon feels like its going in the right direction – soon I’ll have to up my distances for the marathon itself in April. Yummy.

Legs a bit weary today but spirit lifted by a lovely walk-pub lunch-walk along the coast at West Itchenor. The Ship Inn is worth a visit – nice food.

Got home to see this funny  video posted about the Tring parkrun. Enjoy!

 





5k every day…in August!

3 08 2015

Decided to get my Brighton marathon 2016 off to an early start with a little challenge to run a 5k every day throughout August.

1st Aug Visiting parents in Horsham so squeezed in the Horsham parkrun. I did the inaugural run there a year ago – very slowly – and so my second run turned out to be a PB. Woohoo!

2nd Aug  Went out around 6pm and got down to the seafront to find the tide right out and a rare sandy beach.  It was so warm I had to go in for my first swim! Did 6km in all, admittedly in two parts. Evening capped off seeing the ISS fly overhead – never tire of seeing it.

 

 

 

which turned out to be a PB as it was only my second run there.





Low alcohol week.

12 04 2012
Beck's Blue alcohol free lager

Beck's Blue alcohol free lager

I was reminded yesterday that my self imposed ‘alcohol free week’ could be replaced by an alcohol free beer instead. With just one training session left before the Brighton marathon on Sunday, @paulzara got out a couple of bottles of Beck’s Blue alcohol free lager.  Quite refreshing and since it tastes so good, I reckon the marathon organisers should investigate having a couple of Beck’s refreshment points about the 20 mile mark. That should lift spirits no end 🙂

Friday morning is the last training run. Yey!  It will be a  ‘check out you running gear’ 5km and with any luck I will be injury free at the end and raring to go on Sunday. The forecast for Sunday is looking cooler, windier and wetter than either of the last two years. I think that should be good news. Wish me luck!





Worthing 20

18 03 2012

Just before the start of the Worthing 20. I don't think I looked quite as cheerful at the finish 🙂

Feeling a bit low on energy right now after completing  the Worthing 20 this morning.

Well I made it but only just.  As I crossed the finishing line, it felt as though every muscle in my legs was going into cramp.  No way could I have done another 6 miles. Hopefully it has set me up for the Brighton marathon next month. Now I wondering if I should do another long run next week.  Dear God, I hope not.

Thought the event was really well organised and the marshals were great.

This video sums up how I’m feeling right now and by the look of it, things can only get worse tomorrow 😦








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