Four of us Crofters made the trip down to south Devon to do one of the stages of the coastal series, run by Endurance Life. Excellent turnout for the event, with over 400 runners alone doing the half marathon. A 10K race was also on offer, as well as the marathon, and ultra-marathon.
A late change in the course as a result of a recent landslide did two things to our race, it became longer, and of course, hillier. The half marathon now 14.1 miles, and the marathon 29 miles. Dave G and Jordan set off early to start the marathon, Jon Smith and myself setting off some time later to begin the half. One thing that everyone present did not expect was the degree of mud involved in this one. Although the weather on the day was fine, running conditions were far from ideal and the footing really difficult. Sadly, Dave G found this out early on in his race as he turned over his ankle and had to pull out. A real shame as he has shown fine form of late, particularly in endurance events. I am pleased to say he has recovered well and will be back soon.
Jon and I pressed on with our race which wound round the coastal trails with fine views of the sea and surrounding countryside. The atmosphere was nice with groups of people cheering us on. Managed to save a little towards the end to overtake a few of the more weary (2hrs 41mins). Jon Smith ran well (considering the interrupted preparation) to come in 2hrs 47mins.
Star of the day, Jordan. Great run to complete an exceptionally hard marathon, (5hrs 35mins) has come on in leaps and bounds over the last year. Demonstrated terrific stamina to overtake a number of good runners over the last few miles of his race.
A small side note to finish things off: As we drove home from the race, we caught sight of an ultra runner hopping into a mates car to get a lift along the course. He jumped out after a couple of miles to finish off his race. I’d heard about this sort of thing happening but never seen it for real. You wouldn’t see a Croft runner doing that now would you?