Gulliver's travels!

Posted on: 04 Oct 2018

Well, I’m here.  Nervous and excited.  The butterflies are circling; as Vicki has sent me a text to remind me, it’s making them fly in formation that’s the key as ever.

The trip down was fine; a coffee stop at the fab Hog in the Hedge, and then I was in Kernow before I knew it.  I’d resolved to drop into Newquay on the way; because I had the time, but more because I wanted to try and recce my way through it – the blogs that I have read all say that it can be a tad tricky to navigate, and when you are running 27 miles already you really don’t want to make it 28!

The diversion was useful and scary.  Useful, as I did indeed discover that the streets are warren-like; that gave me a chance to use the Garmin route that I had saved on my phone.  Scary as it proved the streets were warren-like!  I did some of the route, walked a couple of short cuts to bypass headlands that I have to run around tomorrow, and generally thought in turn “I should run this” and “don’t be silly, you’re doing marathons starting tomorrow.”  Even Newquay was hilly, and so Lord knows what I am going to find elsewhere.

One thing I do know that I will find is splendour.  The scenery is fab, and made even better by the autumnal sun that has been bathing everything with its rays today (oh, but that would stay for the three days, but alas, it seems as if tomorrow is the last of it.  Ah well; control the controllables and all that!).  As I drove, there were pleasing glimpses of the sea, and of place names that are so known and evocative.  Weird that it feels so like coming home, but in a way it does.

Accommodation is good – I have a 2 bed chalet to myself.  No bath, unfortunately, but the sea is close by…!  No wifi in the chalet and so the blogs that I hope to upload will have to be done from the common areas; I’ll be the anti-social one hunched over his computer then!

Dinner was a caarb-loader’s delight, especially if he was one who loved good old fashioned tucker.  I have just dined on sausages, mash and onion gravy.  Oh, and beef stew.  OK, go on then, if you push me, then chickpea stew too.  And summer fruit crumble and custard.  It’s a long time until my Pammy Special full English tomorrow morning after all!  One thing I have managed to avoid is the free Skinners Ale – it’s tempting, but not half as tempting as it will be if I abstain until Sunday.


And so why Gulliver?  Well, I have travelled to the land of Lilliput as far as runners are concerned.  Everyone I have seen so far has been uber-fit looking.  It’s funny that we seem to have gone past wearing T shirts advertising what runs have been completed before; everyone is in plain tech kit, and that is even more intimidating in a way.  I am not racing anyone else, I am just here to have fun and to do myself justice (and that is all in my hands, no-one else’s); maybe it’s the old rugby player in me who can’t help sizing up the “oppo” and thinking how good they look.  So far, then, I feel a tad out of place, like Gulliver indeed.

Ah, but I have written of feeling like Gulliver before; I commented on it to Dave as we stood in Chipping Campden one sunny Saturday in 2015 surrounded by extremely fit looking lycra-clad ultra runners. 30 hours, and 102 miles later, Gulliver emerged a centurion in Bath.  So may it be again!

One final thing; I have said I am here to enjoy myself, and I fully intend to in that warped way of distance runners.  It’s always nice to go deep inside yourself, draw out the hidden reserves and run on.  So, it’ll be enjoyed.  But there’s also Victor to please of course.  So, let him tell you what he thinks would be good;

Bronze medal – finish!

Silver medal – sub 24 hours.

Gold medal – sub 20 hours.

Whether these targets are attainably optimistic or stupidly pessimistic, I don’t know.  That’s the beauty and the beast, the excitement and the scariness, of doing something for the first time.

May my first time be everything I want it to be!  On a yard I go.

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