2017-07-29 05.52.08
And off I go….

I’ve never ran this far before on my own.

 

Nicky and I have completed four 50km events whilst running together, and she has, of course, topped all of that with her South Downs Way 50 miles.

So, with the East Farm Frolic looming and the small matter of Snowdonia Trail Marathon still heavy in my legs, I set off at the crack of dawn….

Knowing I intended to run on some very challenging terrain, and that I hoped to be out for 6 hours, I set out tentatively.

I always feel so lucky that Paignton faces East. These early morning runs are so often blessed with such dramatic lighting and colours, today was no exception.

It’s also great when the tide is out. Running along the

2017-07-29 06.01.32
Mile 1 – a deserted Paignton beach

beach, reigning myself in, drinking in the fabulous, flickering, coloured reflections of the

 

sun and clouds on the wet sand.

Determined to keep to as many trails as possible, I ran the grass next to hard footpaths wherever possible

2017-07-29 06.10.36
Mile 2, the tide has left plenty of seaweed on Goodrington sands

to protect my aging bones!

 

Again, I also feel lucky that I simply enjoy the very basic pleasure of running….

I’m not really a ‘group’ runner, but love running with Nicky & Charlie (the border terrier). I’m also quite happy, and motivated to run and train alone.

I was expecting this epic to test the meditative state running can give me to it’s limits.

 

2017-07-29 06.20.20
Mile 3 – not the most inspiring section!

Before Nicky and I were together I was less adventurous with my running, mainly sticking to roads, and entering events with ‘PB potential’.

 

But, I was always motivated to train hard and rack up the miles on my own. I did speed train in a group from time to time. It was focussed,  eye balls out, intervals and time trials and I could always dig deep for them.

 

2017-07-29 06.29.08
Mile 4, the sun appearing over the fields above Clennon Valley
2017-07-29 06.40.30
Mile, er, 5

Now, I feel I have taken that rather single minded focus and have added a layer of adventure, a layer of exploration and of finding new challenges in endurance and terrain.

 

I’ve found, since writing this blog, that I read more and more excellent blogs from other runners. It always astonishes me how much detail people remember.

I know I enjoy waxing lyrical about this life of adventure and running with my wonderful wife, soul mate and fellow adventurer, Nicky, but I can never remember the points of a run in any sort of chronological order.

Hence this blog. I set out to take a photograph at every mile or so, then upload them in order.

 

2017-07-29 06.48.21
Mile 6, Stoke Gabriel, I wasn’t going that badly….yet!

The idea being, for those that are interested, the ‘journey’ of this mammoth training run can be charted by way of photograph.

 

 

2017-07-29 07.00.08
Mile 7, the dramatic skies above Galmpton
2017-07-29 07.09.31
Mile 8, The last time I climbed this stile, a herd of frisky bullocks increased my pace and heart rate rather!

By my Garmin watch I covered 50 kilometres , but the Strava app on my phone gave me 32.5 miles or so. Check out the route here.

 

There was definitely a ‘Snowdon Shuffle’ feel to this run, particularly in the latter stages, after that brutal coast path from Kingswear to Brixham.

On a couple of the tougher stairs sections, I actually had a word with myself to ‘Man the F*** up’! as my good lady wife would say.

‘Tis tough though, as anyone who has run or walked it will know.

I wonder how many people actually talk out loud to themselves whilst running in deserted, wind and rain swept. It feels bloody lovely.

Until you round the next corner and bump into an intrepid family hiking in the rain! I’m sure they were smiles of pity as they quickly scurried past me!

 

2017-07-29 07.17.15
mile 9, Galmpton creek (and a sweaty thumb)
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Mile 10, the fabulous view towards Dartmouth from above Greenway
2017-07-29 07.42.46
Mile 11, still smiling was trying to digest a Mars Bar

Well, this year I’ve run (at the time of writing) 1,450 miles, climbing 125,000 ft of elevation at an average of 45 miles a week. I run about 8 hours a week on average.

 

The event is 12 hours on a loop of about 4 or 5 miles, off road and hilly.

Not as hilly as this though!

Whilst I was battered after 6 hours and 31 miles, I did do 5900ft of climbing, only 6 days after doing 5800ft of climbing in The Snowdonia Trail Marathon, so I am pretty pleased.

Another 6 hours is a bloody long time though!

 

2017-07-29 07.53.48
Mile 12

I think I shall (*stolen from Steve Skedgell) be the tortoise not the hare!

 

I even practised eating!

Actual food.

I had a mars bar, two packets of honey and oat bars and a bag of mini cheddars.

I also drank my full bladder, 2 litres of zero sports drink.

I’m ignoring the question….

12 hours running round and round a farm in Dorset. How hard can it be.

I’m off again Saturday, maybe a slightly less brutal route and maybe slightly further than last week. hopefully a bit quicker. Although it’s the time on my feet I need, rather than any particular pace.

Anyway, enough of this rambling, time has beaten me this week, so hopefully you’ll enjoy the rest of the pictures from this run.

Please keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Strava, by commenting on here, or by email, kbonfield@live.com

Keep on keeping on……

 

2017-07-29 07.58.14
Mile 13, as you do….

 

2017-07-29 08.10.05
Mile 14, down to Kingswear

 

2017-07-29 08.28.04
Mile 15, if you go down to the wood today….

 

2017-07-29 08.42.54
Mile 16, I chose the longer option….

 

2017-07-29 08.57.11
Mile 17, even in the lashing rain the coast path is stunning

 

2017-07-29 09.06.14
Mile 18, I don’t remember…..

 

2017-07-29 09.28.11
Mile 19, LOOK! eating AND running….

 

2017-07-29 09.45.58
Mile 20, I do believe that’s Mansands ahead

 

2017-07-29 09.56.50
Mile 21, does this look like a man who shouts at himself?!

 

2017-07-29 10.12.04
Mile 22, Berry Head appears in the gloom

 

2017-07-29 10.22.16
Mile 23, amazing how challenging these start to look!

 

2017-07-29 10.30.19
Mile 24, leaving the solitude of the coast path for the bustle of Brixham

 

2017-07-29 10.35.54
Mile 25, Shoalstone Pool, tempting…

 

20170729_105008
Mile 26, Battery Gardens

 

20170729_110334
Mile 26.2, pretty pleased with that!

 

20170729_111417
Mile 28, Kayakers enjoying the empty seas in the foul weather

 

20170729_113007
Mile 29, surely the last set of these!

 

20170729_114903
I’d hoped to do 30 miles in 6 hours, so extremely happy with this

 

20170729_115414
Mile 31, this man needs an ice cold coke (and a shower!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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