Running on the Gower

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I went for a run on Tuesday. It’s a run I’ve been thinking about for years, since it was mentioned to me by one of the strongest runners around. It’s a run I could only attempt at the end of a triathlon season because of the interruption in training and the risk of doing myself a mischief. Each year I’ve had a problem and have been unable to attempt it: calf tears, Achilles tendon issues, a fractured clavicle. This year I looked at the calendar and worked out a window when the tides would be right, I wouldn’t be racing, there would be enough daylight hours and what not. When that window approached the weather for Tuesday was perfect. Bizarre even, for October. A foggy start, little wind (and unusually from the east too), sun and light clouds all day. Oh bugger. It was unlikely that I’d get an opportunity like that again so I had to go for it.
What was the run? I live on the corner of the Gower peninsula, a Site of Special Scientific Interest with many National Trust bits, the new Wales Coastal Path and lots of prettiness. It’s world famous and parts of it are so well photographed that they figure in top 10 world lists. We spend a lot of time on it, running, cycling, swimming, walking, rock pooling, sand castling (that’s bound to be a verb), drinking coffee, body boarding, more coffee. We used to come here on holiday before we lived here to go rock climbing. The run is a run around the Gower. I guess you can start where you like (I started at my house) and you run around staying as wide as you can. Ish. Much of the running is on the coastal path, there are huge beaches to run along, and a lighthouse at Whitford Point to run around that you can only get to at low tide. And you have to get it right, because if you have to race the tide there you’ll lose. It’s too flat and too stony, so the tide moves fast and you move slow. Fun, eh? The route is a little variable but around 85km long. And hilly.

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