Norfolk Coastal Trail Marathon and Half Marathon

Just before 9.00, bright, sunny and surprisingly warm, and Ceri has dropped us off in Burnham Overy Staithe. She sets off back to Wells to open up the Sailing Club, where there will be a feed station, before she heads off to the Beach Café to marshal.

We are some of the first to get there so there’s no queue for registration so we soon have our race numbers pinned on, not quite straight as usual. We wait outside and soon others start arriving until there’s enough for a team photograph – and already there are a few RntS supporters with us.

Then it’s off to the car park for Kevin’s race briefing – keep the sea on your left and you can’t go wrong, go whatever way you like through the dunes, and follow the acorn signs (wherever they may be).

And then the countdown and a couple of hundred runners wind their way down to the coast path and along the quite narrow hardcore track to the dunes. Some people choose to follow the fence, but that’s a bit too much like running through a links golf course for my liking, so I head through the dunes. I think a few even head onto the beach! Fools, I think, do they know what that’s like?

But soon we are in Holkham Bay and pause for a drink at the Lookout before heading on to the beach café for hugs with Ceri and Angie and high fives from Tasha. Then it’s on to East Quay past Niall and Abbi – and then we have to think about our form because that’s Teresa and Becky ahead with a camera. Another drink at the feed station and then on to Stiffkey. The strong easterly wind is now really strong in our faces and at the same time it’s feeling hotter.

More friendly faces await us – Amanda and Suzie are at the entrance to the car park and Mark, Cat and Keith are ready to give us more water and more hugs!

And then we are on to the last stretch to Morston Quay – including a short walk because my left calf hurts. Oh, and my right knee too. My toe feels sore to – in fact what doesn’t hurt right now. “No sprint finish today”, my running partner says, but still we do manage to accelerate towards the finish line, our medals, and our shirts.

And of course, there are RntS there to cheer us and offer more hugs – and then we wait for Kerrie and Lynne’s daughter Emma to come in just after us. The marathon folk arrive a while later. For Shane it’s his first marathon, for Lorraine and Hayley it’s their first trail marathon, while for Lucy it’s just the first event of a weekend of running! Meanwhile, of course, Paula has set off much too fast again, somehow managed to sustain it and is already eating cake.

How will I ever manage the marathon I have booked for April? Still it was such a beautiful run that only a cool and still day with perhaps an occasional gentle drizzle could have improved!

Chris P

Official Times:
Lorraine – 4:33:20
Hayley M – 4:33:19
Shane – 4:52:47
Lucy Mc – 5:19:50

Half Marathon:
Paula – 2:01:48
Chris P – 2:44:14
Robert – 2:44:14
Kerrie -2:46:24

Extra shout to Glyn for tail running/walking – 8:21:48 (time as that of final finisher)