So the call came: Wanted one team of selfless individuals, to make a difference, to challenge them in whatever way they see fit with a chance to raise the profile and some much needed funds for a small charity and to do it in RED for one of their own. Well team Real Buzz (thanks so much for the donation from HQ) you were simply awesome. Here’s my account.
I didn’t sleep very well on the Friday night I had that nervous/excited feeling you get before a race. Up early a quick check up as I had breakfast, and the team was already out smashing through the challenges they’d set themselves. So after helping my son on his paper round I was out the door for 08:30 just as the rain stopped.
The plan was to go further than I’ve been for a long time the target 20 miles and they needed to be tough miles so I decided to head for the South West Coast path.
The first couple of miles were easier free miles and took me from home to the river Plym and the path itself. It’s a bit industrialised to start off plenty of small boat yards and chandlers before heading towards the Marina’s I swear the majority of the boats and yachts never move from year to year. By now the clouds that brought the early morning rain had made way for clear blue skies it had certainly warmed up. Down through the old RAF base at MountBatten (it used to be a base for sea planes) and along the pier and back. Five miles in and now it was time for it to get tough. First set of steps for the day, all ran and definitely a one off. Then the first tough climb of the day up to Jennycliff I had to admit defeat on the last little bit and walk for the first time. But as always the climbs are always rewarded with stunning views this time across Plymouth Sound to Cornwall. A bit further along the path and there’s a viewing point that allows to look along the Breakwater which apparently is a mile long. Then it’s down to the fort at Bovisand. Then it was decision time a big loop away from the costal path involving a tough up hill followed by a steep decent back down towards the beach or a short cut straight across to the beach and make the missing miles up at the end. To be honest it was an easy decision I couldn’t come on here and say I took the easier option so the loop was done. Then it was back to costal path, by now I was just past the 12 mile point and time for a strategic break at probably my favourite point of the run at a place when the sea is at its closest and when on a good day you can get a nice sea spray. I didn’t dwell for too long as the legs were starting to complain and I knew it was going to difficult to get going again. The next section is run right on the cliff edges which keep the senses alive for sure and whilst there are flat sections the majority of it is undulating, on through the village of Heybrook Bay and on towards the beach at Wembury. By now it was getting really quite warm and to be honest I was beginning to flag and it was time to leave the cast path and head for home. By now I had 15 miles under my belt and as I got to the end of the footpath to the beach I decide to take a knee and literally draped myself over the gate. With in a minute or so 3 elderly ladies interrupted my recovery to come through the gate. They were walking the coast path in the opposite to direction to me and had kept seeing my red shirt as it weaved and bobbed along the path. A quick explanation to what I was up to which they couldn’t quite believe and then I was off. As I left I heard one of them say to the others ‘Do you think he’ll be alright because he already looks knackered’. Simply brilliant and to be honest she wasn’t far wrong. I always seem to struggle from mile 15 to 18 during any long run you’re over half way but there is still a hell of a way to go. Today wasn’t going to be any different and it didn’t help that the majority of it was up hill. I quickly settled into a walk, shuffle, and run approach. I’ve said it before but his is where this group comes into its own Mr and Mrs G were obviously to the forefront of my mind through out the run but the thought of these wonderful people and the support you amazing bunch were showing them just drives you on. So time to stop feeling a bit pathetic and open a fresh can of whoop ass and get this thing done. The last 2 miles took me back to Elburton via a few lanes again the odd walk break this time done with purpose and by the time I threw in the old twizzle I was home.
Very fractionally just over the 20 miles in 3 hours and 6 minutes. I was completely and utterly spent and as soon as I stopped moving I felt pretty rough to be honest, sick, dizzy and a thumping head. Fortunately it’s something I’ve experienced before its not nice but at least I what to do. So a couple of pints of milk, a couple of kit kat chunky’s (the chocolate of choice at the moment) and a family bag of salt and vinegar crisp and I was well on the road to recovery. The legs however may disagree with that. The rest of the day was spent either hobbling around like a very very old man or keeping in touch with all the other wonderful things people were absolutely smashing. And then this thread carried on right through on Sunday as well, what a weekend, what a special group of people, what an achievement what a team.
So a big thank you from me for letting be a small part of what was simply a fantastic weekend that I was so very proud to be a part of. Take care out there and enjoy the recovery. Shoulder to shoulder
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