Monday, 2 November 2009

Half term rocks!

We took the Night Riviera train to St Ives on the Friday after school. By Saturday morning we had the tent pitched on the clifftop overlooking The Island and Porthmeor beach and left it to head into town for coffee, pasties, then sitting about with beverages outside The Sloop watching people, waves, the harbour... a chilled existence that set the tone for the week. We took a stroll inland one day to reach a high point where we could see the sea to both the North and the South. Pretty cool. I navigated us there with my recently well honed map reading skills (there is an extra advantage to ultra running) and only got lost once through lack of a compass. [Note to self - must get the hang of the 'reading the sun' thing.]

We both spent the week grinning like idiots. We napped a lot and generally just relaxed. We watched the RNLI launch drill one evening, always good to see. I didn't even run much as I wanted to rest my legs for a change (only 3 short runs all week - couldn't resist a bit of running along that beautiful coast).
It was over too quickly and we arrived home late Friday night. That didn't give me much time to sort out my kit for a weekend of running.

I was up before 6 on Saturday morning to head out to the Blackwater Marathon. This was a charming LDWA event near Colchester. I ran with Heather, a Fetchie I've done a few marathons with now: excellent company. I say 'ran' but we both had plans for the following day so we took it really gently. The route was flat but exceptionally muddy in parts (crossing fields where it seems that your shoes are replaced by bricks by the time you get to the other side). There were many bridges and stiles, cute llamas, petrified trees, a pretty sea wall and I got stung by an electric fence (ouch! - apparently I jumped backwards and glowed like the Ready Brek kid. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration...) We didn't get lost, which was good as the "marathon" was actually 28 miles long. There was of course good food after.Then it was a lift up to Norwich with Allan, another great Fetchie. I stayed in a nice little B&B, just a short walk from the start of the Marriott's Way Ultra. This was a 39 mile trail run on an out-and-back course along an old rail track. That meant it was pleasantly flat and there was some protection from the heavy rain and howling gales that hit the country on Sunday. I ran with more Fetchies from the start (Audrey and Carina) and one (Paul) was kind enough to stay with me (at the back of the small field) for the whole route. It was a lovely run, completed in 6 hours 48 minutes and didn't cost a penny to enter so more than a bargain. Definitely one to do next year. I felt most refreshed for the start of the new half term today. Quite a bounce in my step. ;-)

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