Classic Property Owner, Paula, is running around the West Country getting herself fit for the ultimate run - the London Marathon. Here, she charts her progress and gives some hints and tips for where you should run in Cornwall.
Boxing Day 2013
A brisk walk along a sunny, windswept Praa Sands, I love the winter time in Cornwall, empty beaches, sunny skies (and when they are, they feel so special) and crashing waves. Followed by drinks at my friends house in Tresowes.
‘Shall we enter the Eden half-Marathon’ Louise pipes up. ‘No, no, no, never again’ is my firm response…not after 13.1 miles of hell followed by two hours of sickness whilst running The Silverstone half-Marathon back in 2010. ‘But it will be fun, I’ve already entered’ she continues. I am NOT convinced, although having ran more consistently of late in the run up to Christmas to help me cope with the sudden and unexpected loss of my beloved Dad in July of that year, I am still not tempted.
‘Give it a go’, she insists. ‘Okay, if I can manage five miles by February without a twinge or two I will think about it’, I relent.
Off we set, we start running once, twice, three times a week slowly increasing our mileage, like all the ‘good’ running guides tell us we should, until we are past the 10k mark and feeling invincible. No longer is it about running the distance, suddenly the elevation and a respectable time matter too.
As you may have gathered I had already submitted my entry to the Eden half-Marathon and with military precision Louise and I began planning our training strategy. Having recruited two novice running friends in the playground we began pounding the hills of Godolphin and Tregonning and regularly ran to Praa Sands…what a view! The motivation felt each time we ran down the picturesque lanes of Millpool, Trescowe and Germoe to be rewarded with the most fabulous views of Praa’s golden sands and white tipped waves is hard to describe but must certainly be up there as one of the best runs in the country, or so I thought but that was before discovering many more delightful runs in West Cornwall.
Other pretty places to run around: Mousehole, Newlyn, Gwithian, Copperhouse, Pool
Watching all the determined runners set off on the London Marathon really inspired me this year so on registration day I submitted my application form. Given that the odds of being selected via the ballot are reportedly one in seven I began looking at charity places - this took all of five minutes. As soon as I saw The Miscarriage Association the words flew from my laptop at me. My husband and I spent seven heartbreaking years before managing to have our first child, to include numerous miscarriages and failed attempts of IVF along the way. The Miscarriage Association is an amazing charity that offer hope, belief and advice on coming to terms with your loss and the way forward, for both women and their partners and without them there is very little support on offer. Take a look at their ‘Forget-me-not’ garden on their website and I dare you not to sob! I was 100% certain that the memory of my dad and on behalf of this charity, I wanted to run the 26.2 miles - what more motivation could I need?
After contacting the delightful folk at The MA I was told to apply via Crunch for a marathon place to run on their behalf, I guess with my past history I fulfilled their criteria.
‘Oh goodness me, they’ve actually offered me a place to run’. Sheer panic overtook me, as well as elation and a complex range of emotions when I sat and thought how I would feel running for a charity that means so much to me and in memory of my dad. My only question on 26th April 2015 is not will I cry, but how soon?
Which brings me to the point of this blog, I have pledged to raise over £1500 for The Miscarriage Association and am happy to say I am well on my way to achieving this, a major portion being offered in sponsorship by Classic Cottages who we advertise our holiday let with...such a huge heartfelt thank you from me for supporting this understated charity. I approached them detailing my reasons for running but also saying that I think they and their clients are missing a huge opportunity of trying some of the beautiful runs there are in Cornwall - not just the leisurely jogs but the organised events that are outstanding and so scenic you almost forget about the running. I really believe these need to be better publicised outside of the Duchy and for the running enthusiast from novice to athlete what better way to spend a long weekend than a picturesque challenge through the Cornish countryside or coastline followed by the traditional pasty and pint reward that does seem to be on offer at most of these events. So let me begin with the tried and tested…
Sunday 19th October 2014
Eden half-Marathon (and Marathon, not tried and tested) - Prior to this event my friends and I tried desperately to determine exactly how hilly, hilly is…we looked at elevation levels, compared them to our local runs and photographs of previous events, but none of this quite prepared us for the hills on the day. But don’t let this put you off. Compared to running mile after mile on the flat tarmac of Silverstone, the route through the Luxylan Valley and out via other surrounding villages, the Eden Project half-Marathon would win everytime. After eight miles of rollercoaster hills and longer climbs, the course does flatten out…for a while! The locals were out with water stations, sponges to cool us down (the middle of October and it was a balmy 17 degrees) and lots of jelly babies and shouts of encouragement. The last three miles were such fun, on the old clay mining path weaving in and out of the woodland before a terrific descent, winding down to the Biomes and the finishing line…and pasty!
by Paula Brocklesby
More recommended running events
St Michael's Mount Remembrance Run - the Mounts Bay Harriers run to raise money for the Royal Legion on Remembrance Sunday. It's over four miles of beach running so only for those strong of calf muscle...
Stormforce - held in mid-January, you get to run 10k around the inland area of Camborne as part of the Cornwall Grand Prix.
Falmouth half-Marathon - 'a beautiful but challenging road race around the coast and countryside of Falmouth'.
Truro half-Marathon - start and finish in the centre of the county's capital.