Posted: 12/11/2015 at 11:40
I had a lovely weekend away in north Norfolk. Drove up on Friday and so busy listening to the radio that I was almost at Cambridge before remembering I didn't want to go there . A quick nip down the M11 and I rejoined my planned route and arrived about 5.30. A lovely b&b, beautifully new and clean and looked like it had been done by an interior designer.
Saturday arrived with lots of rain and gale force winds which nearly knocked me over a couple of times later when running. We started by going down a shortish, steep hill then a run through Sheringham Park on muddy paths before heading to the coast and a mile or two of undulating grassy tracks. I don't mind the cliffs here at all as you are never too close and they are not very high anyway (break a leg rather than be smashed to smithereens). Then we came to the shingle hills - as one runner remarked it was rather novel and enjoyable for about 5 minutes! You could stick to the shingle or keep close to the fence and a mix of shingle and grassy bog. After 2 miles there was a checkpoint and then another 2 miles of shingle. At this point almost everyone dropped down to the beach where there was a thin strip of sand. There were still lots of stones and a slight camber but it made the 'running' a little easier. Then we followed the coast path slightly inland along a muddy, slippy raised bank (with occasional respites of hard packed earth) which twisted and turned through Cley and Blakeney before reaching the 2nd checkpoint at half way. We then turned round and ran back along the same route ensuring we left the beach at the right time to call in at the first checkpoint again. (One runner didn't and he ran along the beach until he got to Sheringham - a couple of miles past where he should have turned off the coast path!!). It was good to be able to check off the landmarks going back. A stagger up the short, steep hill and an extra bit to the finish. I was rather muddy, wet, tired and felt like the soles of my feet had been pummelled by a meat tenderiser. Rather tough but strangely enjoyable . After some coke (drink), biscuits and coffee I had a short drive back to the b&b and a good night's sleep.
On Sunday I returned and did it all over again . The rain had eased although the winds were still as strong and the mud was even slippier. Finished in 5:45 on Saturday. I was trying to take it a bit easier on Sunday but ended up doing 5:48. One runner said it was the toughest run he'd done and the RD replied 'Well, that's why we're called Challenge Events, not Easy Events.' Very low key, well organised event, lovely countryside and 'interesting' course. Couple of the usual suspects there (including MG) but few women!
Stayed overnight and had a slow drive home on Monday. Hardly through the door and the dog demanded to be taken for a walk .