Endurance Life – South Devon 10k and Half Marathon
Angie Ayling and Lorna Adamson have written their thoughts on this event.
10k report by Angie Ayling
It was with some trepidation I looked out of the window on the morning of May 8th as the weather forecast had been consistently saying that there was a 80-90% chance of heavy rain with 47mph winds. In Taunton, where I was staying, it was overcast but not raining. Google Maps suggested the route to the start at Beesands and this was ok (but rather wet) for the first 50 miles on the M5 and A38 but then painfully slow for the next 20, along tiny, single-car-width Devon lanes, with the result that I was a little late arriving.
However, because of the Covid rules being implemented, this was no problem whatsoever as each runner set off alone at approx 30 second intervals with chip timing. The route went uphill from the start and then went steeply down and up, following the south-west coast path. The wind coming from the south-south-west was pretty much head on and was tremendously strong near Start Point, where the path crossed the brow of a hill; I nearly got blown over! We turned towards the west here and then eventually northwards to reach the water stop. I had my camelbak so took the opportunity here to inch away from 3 younger ladies who were right on my tail, as they stopped for water; I was pleased to keep them behind me for the rest of the race (not that they knew I had set myself a target to finish ahead of them!)
From now on, the wind was mostly behind us, thank goodness, as were the worst hills. Soon after this, the 10k route separated from the half, marathon and ultra and we did not meet them again until about 2.5 miles from the end. It was rather nice to thereafter be in amongst a range of runners and I was comforted to find many of the others (nearly all male) walking up the hills like me! The last half mile or so was gloriously downhill, with the finish in sight.
I met up with Devonian friends for lunch in a pub which coincidentally was on the ultra route; it was quite painful watching runners pass who had probably been underway for the last 6 or 7 hours! I did not envy them at all. When we drove later towards Dartmouth, via Torcross, there were these same runners, staggering along southwards, at last heading for the finish which was still some miles away! As ever, this Endurance Life event was really efficiently organised, well waymarked and I can highly recommend it. The coastline was covered with bluebells and primroses and, without the rain, the views were spectacular!
Half Marathon report by Lorna Adamson
It was just the best feeling being able to take part in an actual real-life event – the music was blaring, flags flying and everyone looked ecstatic to be there.
I wasn’t looking quite so ecstatic after climbing up the first very steep hill, but was rewarded at the top by a stunning view of the south Devon coast, wild and windy but magnificent.
Truly awful weather conditions were predicted, but by the morning the rain had cleared up and the conditions were pretty good.
The route carries on along the coast until mile 7 when we turned inland. I was flagging a bit by this stage I must admit so it was great to chat to other Cotswold Allrunners along the way – thanks Jon Batterham and Jamie Osborne.
I made it back in 2:57 which I was happy with – and lovely to have Jon, Mike and Jamie cheering me in. Super well marked route and really well organised. So big thanks to the organisers for persevering.
These really are my favourite races – I’ve done Exmoor and The Gower and all are stunning. Pembrokeshire next year?