Archive for October, 2013

The Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path- Preparation

Peddars WaySo the decision was made… in July 2012 I was going to walk the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path long distance trails– a total distance of 96 miles.

The Peddars Way follows the line of an ancient Roman road and runs from Knettishall Heath through the flat agricultural landscape of Norfolk, ending at the coast at Holme-next-the-Sea. By contrast, the Norfolk Coast Path (Henceforth to be known as NCP to save me valuable minutes of typing time… I am not an endurance typist!) is a newly created path and runs from Hunstanton to Cromer, hugging the sandy beaches, jagged cliffs and salt marshes of the Norfolk Coast. As the two paths meet at Holme-next-the-sea, they are usually walked together. Read about the Peddars Way and NCP in a little more detail in this post.

Why I Chose to Walk the Peddars Way and NCP

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The Spires and Steeples Challenge- Event Report

Spires and SteeplesIt was not the most promising of starts for a 26 mile cross country plod. As I drove along the A52 in complete darkness, the rain kept an unrelenting splatter against the windscreen and I desperately tried to coax some warmth out of the ancient heating system. The thought of walking for hours against driving rain was rapidly losing its appeal and I started to question why I hadn’t just rolled over after being woken by the strident call of the alarm clock and drifted back into sleep.

But I am a bit of a purist at heart, and I had entered this event so I was bloody well going to walk it. That and the fact that I’m also a bit of a tight wad and couldn’t bear the thought of my entry fee going to waste. It was mainly this that kept my car on the road towards Sleaford and the pick up point for the Spires and Steeples challenge.

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On The Wishlist (Maybe!)- Spartathlon

spartathlonWhat is it?

Now I really don’t want to get obsessed with this race… I really mustn’t. As a slow plodder it doesn’t really have any business being on the Wish List at all… but, oh, there’s something about this challenge, the toughness and the history of it that intrigues me…

Spartathlon is a historic ultra race which takes place in Greece every September. It retraces the journey of the Athenian Pheidippedes, who could well have been the first ever ultra runner. In 490 BC, on the eve of the Battle of Marathon, he ran from Athens to Sparta to seek aid from the legendary Spartan warriors against the invading Persian army.

Pheidippedes apparently arrived in Sparta the day after he left Athens, after meeting the god Pan on Mount Parthenio (the first ever case of ultra-induced hallucination?). At first thought to be a myth, in 1982 five British Royal Air Force officers who were keen ultra runners and who were intrigued by this story decided to see if such a journey between Athens and Sparta was possible in just two days.

Well, they made it and found it was not only possible but would make a cracking race so that many others could experience the torture too… and so Spartathlon was born!

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The Ponton Plod

Ponton Plod On Sunday 15th September I experienced something that had never before been experienced… the first ever wet and windy Ponton Plod!

In the 7 years the event has been run, it has always basked in warm Autumnal sunshine- indeed the very name of Ponton Plod has been synonymous with warm sunshine and gorgeous blue skies.

But not today. I drove to the start at the village of Great Ponton, just off the A1 south of Grantham, with the radio giving dire warnings of the most wild wet and windy weather. As I registered, sipped coffee and said hello to the event organiser Stuart, I couldn’t stop myself from peering out of the windows at the unpromising steely grey sky. As we set off under the lowering clouds, I heard one runner say that the rain was supposed to start at 3pm so figured I at least had a few hours before getting wet.

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