I think, actually, I know that day 3 of testing out the endurance training camp - Trail Ferret - is going to be another awesome day out on the North Devon Coastal Path.
I've already had 2 glorious days so far and today's trail will take us from Watersmeet, back along the coast to Hunters Inn ( for me this section was probably the most stunning of the 4 days).
Up and a nice leisurely relaxed breakfast, with some fun banter as we are all getting to know each other better. As usual the staff at St George's House had it all ready laid out for us, so the only thing to do was to discuss the route and the plan for the day with Ben.
The support team (again, a must for the success of this type of running holiday, and Ben had everything planned perfectly and had thought of everything right from day one!!) was going to drop us off at a place called Watersmeet (about a 30 minute trip out) and would meet us again at the Valley of the Rocks in case anything was needed.
From looking at the OS map, Watersmeet was a wooded valley and that the start of the day would be a nice easy descent down into Lynmouth .
From there we were to head out to the Valley of the Rocks following the coastal path around to Hunters Inn where the support crew would be waiting with Lunch.
Sounded another awesome day to me!
The 7 of us had now gelled into a great group and the constant nattering and jovial banter in the crew bus was refreshing as we trekked over to Watersmeet.
Down in Lynmouth there were two choices - choice 1 was to take the easy option and climb the cliff up onto the coastal path via the cliff railway or choice 2 RUN IT - yep I took the second option (somehow I seemed to get volunteered for it - I have no idea how it happened, it just did - never back out is my motto!) so while I prepared to race the train the rest of the team sat back in the carriage. The path up the cliff zig zags and crosses over the railway from time to time and accumulates to an ascent of 862 feet. Well I was going great guns, the heart rate was flying, the legs were working hard and as I crossed over the railway twice I was in front. Now three quarters of the way up the path comes out onto a road, there are no sign posts so you have a 50:50 chance, and yes, you guessed it, I turned right taking the wrong direction and started sprinting along the road back over the railway to try and find the continuation of the path. After a minute or so I stopped and just thought this cannot be right!!! So doubled back and as I recrossed the railway the chanting from above hit me - Oh well I nearly made it. So if you ever find yourself racing the cliff railway just remember to go left and not right!!!
As to the last two days, the support crew were here and ready for us should the matter of refuelling & watering arose, however we were all good and decided to keep on going.
After meeting up with the support crew for a well deserved stock up of fluids, we began the last section of the day. This was to take us out of Martinhoe and back up onto the Coastal Path and around to Hunter's Inn. I know I keep harping on about the scenery, but, Ben certainly knew how to pick the best routes for us.
This last leg for me was just great, the picture on the left here was the last section of the path and then we headed down into the valley to Hunter's Inn, here I left the group and got some fast descent practice in as we headed down into the Heddon Valley.
The minibus was parked up in a meadow, there was no ice bath today, oh no, something a lot better, and colder!!!! a wonderful stream / river running through Hunter's Inn.
A great way to end the 3rd day of trail running and mightily needed I can tell you.
Stats for the run at the end of the blog.
Core work can be fun especially with this group, it was a hard 60 minute session outside to end the day of activities.
After the full on day, dinner was, as ever a welcome sight and tonight was homemade chicken curry - excellent!!
After dinner Ben had organised a really informal endurance physiology session, so we trudged down to the pub, with white board in hand. Ben's topics of discussion were;
Injury prevention and treatment
Effective training programming
Enlightening, informative and a great way to end another Trail Ferret day........Tomorrow, Day 4 - Ultra day, but before that it was a trip into the kitchen to raid the fridge before lights out.
Stats for the day;
Time out - 02:30:50
Total Distance -17.3K
Average Pace without the stops at Support Crew positions (& sight seeing) - 6:31 mins/K
Total Ascent - 640M
Ascent percentage of run - 27%
Distance of ascent - 4.7K
Run Profile - See below