During Janathon last year I ran this mostly off-road 11 miles ish run, you can read about it here, I ran it then as a training run for The Grizzly. After completion I said I wanted to do it again but with more effort!
Unfortunately I pitched up in Dawlish yesterday not feeling at all like running, let alone running with ‘effort’. My mind on the continuing drama involving the bathroom renovation, just when I thought we were almost there, it appears not so! I almost backed out, but no point staying at home brooding, a long run needed to be done so decided I may as well go.
The morning was lovely, the rain that has been us for ever had stopped, the sky was blue. I was almost glad I turned up!
The run itself was tougher than I remembered, (like childbirth you forget!) almost 5 miles continual up hill, before looping back, and just when you think it will be down hill to the finish, it’s not, with a couple of tough hills to conquer before the end. Conditions underfoot were horrendous, mud, mud and more mud, some times sinking over my ankles, huge puddles to splash through and fallen branches to negotiate in the forest. This year they changed the route slightly, kindly adding an extra half a mile! It really is a beautiful run with simply stunning views, the challenge comes when trying to take your eyes off your feet and to admire your surroundings.
I met a lovely girl en route who was running, on advice from a friend, in road shoes, how she stayed upright, is beyond me.
I ran all the hills except the biggy which in my mind is unrunnable, but even walking it I managed to pass several others!
Towards the end I was getting tired and my breathing getting worse with every step, which caused another runner (who by the way walked the hills!) to point out a waiting ambulance! ***** cheek!
My aim was to come in under the 2 hour mark. I missed that by two minutes-I can live with that. Despite the conditions under foot and the extra half a mile I managed to knock 15 minutes off last years time and obtained a new running shirt, so not a bad morning. Those two minutes will wait till 2017!