I’ve been on some picturesque routes while I’ve been training for the 13.1 mile Camelot Challenge. But I think it’s fair to say that my runs around Sherborne, Swanmore and the Meon Valley Trail are no match for my final training run on a stunning day on our holiday here in north Cornwall.
I started out from Trevella – the holiday park we’re staying at for the week. I ran across some fields down to Penpol Creek on the Gannel estuary. Running along the sandy bed of the river was out of the question as the tide was in. Instead, I climbed the hill up to the path that ran alongside the river until I reached the beach at Crantock, which was teeming with barking dogs of all shapes and sizes out for their Saturday walks.
From there it was over the dunes at “The Rushy Green” to pick up the South West Coast Path onto the headland at West Pentire. The going was tough here with lots of small climbs where the path dipped in and out of the various small coves formed by the cliff falls that had occurred over the years. The lure of the Bowgie pub, which I passed close by, proved distracting, even at 9.30 in the morning. The amazing view over Crantock beach, with the foamy waves crashing at the base of the cliffs, was attention grabbing too.
Once I’d negotiated the tip of the National Trust-owned headland, I dropped down onto Polly Joke beach and then onto another headland, Kelsey Head. I passed “The Chick” – a small rocky island a few hundred yards from the cliff-edge – and headed down past some sheep through “The Kelseys” to the tall sand dunes at Holywell Bay.
After a boring and hard climb up the road out of Holywell, I turned back north-west over Cubert Common and through Treago Farm back onto the West Pentire-Crantock road. There were other more interesting routes back to the holiday park from here but by now I was spent – I ran directly back along the road, dodging impatient holiday traffic as I went.