Start as you mean to go on

Summer has officially started – I am off work for 6 glorious weeks! Ok now I’ve rubbed that in I shall continue.  Got home from work and immediately into gear for a early afternoon longish run. As I intended on being out for longer and although the weather was …. weird it was still humid so I needed hydration.

Luckily I had already bought a hydration bladder and hose online and tested it out in my racepak. Fits like an Altra! (slightly roomy and weird at first but when you’re used to it you don’t notice)

I also went left again. Look at me getting all adventurous. In fact I was heading fro uncharted territory! Loosen the mainbrace and splice the cat we’re setting sail!

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First port of call – Sand – Lots of sand, enjoy it as it’s the last sand for miles in this direction!
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Rockfall! Looking pretty fresh. I now get to tag my post :p

For the first couple of miles or so it was plain sailing. The rocks were easy and plenty of sand, I knew that there were rocks lurking past Marcross so I was ready.

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It takes a lot more effort to run on this, all dainty foot placement (ish) and having to really concentrate on not tripping.
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Atlantic College sighted! Whereupon it was rocks 1 dainty footwork 0 as I sprawled in a heap. Luckily I got away with a few bruised toes which insisted on throbbing for the next few hours. Of course they were on my injured foot but another advantage of Altras is the wider toebox – At least they weren’t squeezed in.
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The slipway at Atlantic College is the furthest I’ve run left so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. What I found was tricky to run on without breakages. A chance to slow up and recover. Experience is teaching this old dog new tricks.
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Whats that? More tagging? Caves! Like they were put there for a strange community of semi-aquatic villagers (You never know around here)
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Now the beach changed to IBB’s or Individual Big Bastards (TM) which require exquisite skill to traverse at any pace. Despite not having this I managed to get across without a single limb snapped in twain.
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Cave – And it’s a big bugger. Like the village hall for the semi-aquatic locals.

At this point I’d modestly like to step forward for a bravery award. I went inside. Basically I’m petrified of being in caves and underground. My mother took me to Big Pit once and I was terrified (to be fair we didn’t know I have this issue until we were down there)

But it was worth it – Take a look at the ceiling!

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Nature is the greatest craftsman of all.  I was awestruck by its beauty … at least I would have been had I not been shitting myself at the thought of about 2 bajillion tonnes of rock above me. Intriguingly there are little birds that live in there which cheeped at my intrusion. I figured birds are infinitely more attuned to nature than me and as long as they were in there I was safe.
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You know what I did? Just for my loyal readers I went to the back and this was the view out. Either that or I just got crushed by 2 bajillion tonnes of rock and am walking into the light.
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On I went over the rocks past the awesome house that lives right in a small bay by the beach. I would love to live there but I bet its rough in winter!
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Final destination, Llantwit Beach – Note lifeguard hut – Note how far tide is out – Note tiny weeny dots that are people. If they are drowning he A doesn’t know this and B will take so long to get there the poor buggers are fishfood anyway

My route back was different in that I shifted myself a hundred yards inland and used the coastal path. I was actually glad to get off the rocks and so I could run with proper form and stuff – mainly uphill or so it felt

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I did find what I think is an old WWII pill box – tastefully repointed it seems
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The house I mentioned earlier? Oh it’s more like a mansion by the way. Look how close to the beach though! Bet it costs a few quid

I was starting to tire now, I think the legs had taken rather a hammering on the rocks earlier and I was into a CBH (Complete Bastard Headwind)(TM). My hydration pack was working fantastically though. the only drawback being the sloshing noise behind me (Like being chased by a particulary aquatic Dr Who bad guy) but after a while I was used to that too. No biggie.

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It’s always nice to see the beach you’ve just run over from above. Lends a kind of perspective.
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Marcross lighthouse. Looked like there was a wedding going on judging by the VW Beetle with flowers on outside. I ensured I blew a particulary long stream of snot out as I went past hoping to get in the photos.
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From the lighthouse it’s a not so bad 2 miles on a steady incline. That seemed to be about my limit today. I was tiring more and the foot was starting to hurt. All that was left was for me to put a spurt on for my adoring fans on the other side of the stream and head home.

Altogether it was 11 miles in two and a half hours which seems slow but over that terrain (I wonder what its “worth” on road and with cave stops ‘m very happy with it =)

Author: Gareth

Running coastal trails in South Wales and working on a healthier body and mind

13 thoughts on “Start as you mean to go on”

  1. Great run, great pics😊 I’m so envious of your million tag points and your 6 WEEKS HOLIDAY!!!!? However you can keep it all for going into that cave. I totally get your point about the bejillions of tons of rock. If I had to use the channel tunnel I would have to close my eyes and take slow deep breaths all the way through. Either that or have a talk to myself at the beginning about fate destiny and when a bullet has your name on it etc. Love the picture from the back of the cave😊

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      1. 😱 which toe? How did you do it? I chopped off lots of dead diabetic toes as a trainee so I can do that if you want! I think I even pinned some, but as part of a bunion op. These days I only do boobies😊😊 seriously what have you done? I hope it isn’t too sore😔

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  2. OH WOW! how is THAT cave….

    hang ON! SIX WEEKS HOLIDAY? yeah!!! whats THAT all about… not jealous or anything yunno!!!! seriously? do you need an assistant? i get 22 days a year and OMG are they precious to me!!! (ok kill me, I’m dangerous with envy!)

    The caves… just WOW! yeah… we need more info sil vous plait 🙂

    *mutters…. 6 weeks holiday – jell mood*

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    1. Working in education does that for you 😉 Six weeks is just the summer, throughout the year I get 13 ….. I’ll stop now. Yeah the caves are better than I remembered having walked the dog around here before. I’ll see what I can find out. I think its just natural erosion though

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