I’ve done it. I managed to run/walk/crawl my way between Hythe in Kent to Bournemouth in Dorset. We are raising money for the Lifeboats (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) by running the whole of the UK coast (and we have now completed almost 400 miles of the 5,000 or so miles!).
The route section this time was Hythe – Eastbourne – Southampton – Bournemouth over 4 days – basically a double marathon a day. The distance was just short of 200 miles and involved 47 hours 59 minutes 53 seconds (from the time we set off each morning to when we finished forward motion each evening). Check this short video to see who won the competition to predict the time – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3s6DojF0Zk
- Running with friends – it was great to run with some good friends, and to get to know some random strangers who tracked us down using the GPS tracker so that they could run with us.
- My wife is now an “Ultrarunner” I managed to rope my wife Susie into doing 34 miles with us, along with other friends who joined us for sections of the run.
- Cake – people who heard about what we were doing wanted to get involved and we would often have cars pulling up alongside us and giving us sweets and cakes through the window. They were able to do that because we used a GPS tracker http://www.racedrone.net which allowed everyone to track our progress.
- Running trail routes around the Seven Sisters and Fire hills. Amazing fun. Loved it up there in the hills and being off road which I prefer.
- RNLI volunteers – we met some of them and they were brilliant – gave us cups of tea, biscuits and showed interest in what we were doing. We even got to stand on a few of their boats!
- Our mobile aid station – my wife and one of the girlfriends drove around the route and met us at various points having stocked up with food, drinks and junk for us to eat. We met up between ever 5-10 miles. They were amazing – and without them this would have been really hard to complete. They responded to our every request and whim – including cheese pasties and donuts and cups of tea.
- Our fundraising total between all of our justgiving pages stands at just over £1,400 including giftaid – which is pretty amazing! We met people along the way who literally shoved cash into our hands to add to our fundraising efforts.
- Eating – Everything in sight! We ate curry, pizza, burgers, fried chicken – the lot! And plenty of beer (it’s a recovery drink you know!).
- The distance – I have run 177 miles before over 4 days, and 100 miles in “one go” and plenty of 50 milers. But never close to 200 miles…. I love doing things that are seemingly hard to do.
- A friend Paul getting his running shoe stuck in a bog and Keith having to go “Bog Diving” to retrieve it for him. That was pretty funny for everyone else – but not those two. Though they took it in good spirits and we managed to find a big puddle to help then clean up.
- Finishing – at the end of day 4 as we ran along the beach in Bournemouth we actually managed to put in a bit of aturn of pace and overtook a lady out running (ok…. She was actually more power walking – but we did feel quite good as we inched past her to finish at the pier).
- I did a radio interview with a station in Kent – and I got the opportunity to bore people to death several times a day on Friday!!!
- My mate Paul managed to dislocate his toe BEFORE he even started running on day 1. Poor him – he suffered – but he did it in silence and didn’t moan at all. What a trooper!
- We (mostly) all threw hissy-fits from time to time…… Me when I realised that I didn’t have any salt for my McDonalds fries (am not at all proud about that)…… Keith when he couldn’t get a cab to pick him up to take him to where we were having a meal in the centre of Eastbourne (long story!), Michael when his knee hurt, he felt sick and had a bit of a strop about it on day 2, Paul when Marek tried to fix his foot, and Marek – I don’t recall throwing one!
- We got separated at one point – around the Fire Hills in Hastings. I dropped back from the front guys while I was checking the route, the others were behind me but out of sight, and I stepped up the pace and managed to end up 3 miles ahead of the guys in front – because the others had gone to the wrong location for a break.
- Littlehampton to Southampton was a tough slog – some of it was along the side of the road, in a thunderstorm and in torrential rain. Not especially good fun at all.
- Water retention – the body’s way of helping to repair bust muscles. As a result my legs and feet are very swollen – and that will last a few days. And is super painful.
(Michael (L) and Phil (R) just before the final 3 miles to Bournemouth – the slowest 5k known to man or woman!)
Recovery takes the form of three stages….. I am still on stage 1. So there is a little while to go.
- Reading about ultrarunning
- Entering a race or planning another event
- Buying more kit.
Next up is a weekend to run around the Isle of Wight, and then carrying on around the rest of the UK coast with a 3-4 day run down towards Cornwall. Can’t wait – might have to wait until next year for that.
Thanks everyone who supported us, and who donated to RNLI through our justgiving pages. If you want to donate and haven’t had a chance to (or wanted to see if we would break ourselves before finishing the challenge!) then click here www.justgiving.com/hythetoIOW