As we wrote a few weeks ago we’ve been training to go and run around the Gower Peninsula: Teresa, Wol and Latheesan were entered in the Half Marathon distance and I was doing the full Marathon.
We set off and immediately we were faced with a climb up to the highest point on the Gower. I looked at my tracker and we had done 1km, hmmm slightly more tired than I would have hoped! The run continued over a mixture of grass and tracks before descending sharply down to the beach, a few km’s across some hard packed sand allowed us to develop a bit more of a rhythm – this isn’t too bad we all thought. That was the last time those voices would be heard inside our heads again, off the beach and up again over a hill, down a hill, through a stream, sand dunes and across fields… and so it continued.
Up into the fog:
Torrential rain in the lead up to the event ensured that the ground was waterlogged, that alone would have been a challenge given some of the coarse went across fields and bog-like ground. Add to that hills so steep you could only slide and slip your way up and down them (so steep in parts there were steps) and then the sand dunes – it was a remarkably tough course. We have all blocked from our memory each agonising mile but there were a few highlights and photos below.
Teresa and Wol completed the Half, unfortunately Latheesan was forced to pull out with the most remarkable muscle cramp you have ever seen:
The course was beautiful but we all agreed that it would have been easier to enjoy it during a gentle post-lunch stroll and not trying to run so many miles.
I finished the marathon in 6hrs and 11mins, to give you an idea of how tough the course was I ran Kiev (road) marathon in 3:59 about a month ago – 50% slower and 100% harder! Wol took 3:28, a great time for his first half marathon across hills and sand dunes. Teresa came in at 3:50 after helping Latheesan get to the checkpoint for some medical help. Latheesan managed just over half the course before pulling out, he went through the first checkpoint at 1:39 – his longest run in his life.
Well done to everyone, an amazing achievement.
Onwards…. We have just put in our entry for a similar event along the white cliffs of Dover, this time Wol has stepped up to the challenge of taking on the Marathon distance and Latheesan is determined to complete the course. Better get training!
The event was part of my training program for the Marathon Des Sables next year and everyone was raising money for charity along the way, if you feel like you would like to donate then please follow this link. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/1moremile