June Baker – 2 February 2019
For any runners who enjoy coastal running, South Devon – wherein 2014 the Coastal Trail Series was born – has to be a ‘ must run’. A sloping – often muddy – field, with a view to Beesands Bay, greets some 600 runners, as they peel off buses driven from Torcross car parks – a mile ( warm up ? ) walk over the cliff is an alternative way to arrive.
The event distances -10k, half, full and ultra marathon take on the blend of jagged rocks interspersed with sandy coves and enjoy the magnificent, inspiring and stunning views that this coastline offers and then head in land to tackle a few of the ‘ little’ Devon hills.
I have run this race four of its six years, in varying weather conditions and this year, having driven ahead of the forecast snowfall on Thursday to beat a threatened A38 closure ; it was a sheer joy that Saturday, Feb 2nd, dawned to a perfect blue sky, crisp air and more importantly, frosty ground, providing firmer mud underfoot .
As expected on such a beautiful day, the views across the sea were truly inspiring, the rocky paths were as proprioceptively challenging as always, but pleasingly, on the inland return route, the anticipated muddy parts seemed less heavy than last year.
I completed the Half Marathon in 2 hrs 40 mins, was 164th out of 275 finishers (a few with dogs in tow) and 2nd FV 55 which awarded me with an endurance life voucher. 2019 wasn’t a course PB for me – 2015 with a time of 2hrs 30 stands, but I was really pleased to be 10 minutes faster than last year and to have enjoyed a brilliant day in an area of such outstanding beauty taking part in one of the activities that I love.
I also learnt a valuable lesson on how to use a Camelbak – when filling with 500 ml of fluid ensure that the fluid pouch is inserted the correct way up !!!
For more details on the Coastal Trail Series visit their website here.