Saturday, 17 September 2011

Purbeck's running

Red flag, bugger. Who would of thought that the MOD would be playing army on a Friday. So my best laid plans were scuppered. What to do? I was intending to run the Jurassic coast line to near weymouth and back to kimmeridge. Infact my Sept event was going to be a 50 miler this weekend but as we all know, what we want to do and can do aren't possible from time to time. With my rib injury i have done pretty little this last month (C2C in exception) and my knee was also playing up which stopped me from going out last weekend for a long run. So with this being my last chance to do something for sept i was now facing down what to do. Simple if i cant go west I'll go east. I had no maps but i have climbed swanage for years so i have a little local knowledge. Hang on. I'm in swanage on a beautiful day..why aren't i climbing..hold on, this is why i have never run the Jurassic coast as climbing the sea cliffs always favours a hard slog on the purbeck hills.
But I am here now with no distractions, unless i run into a tank. I turn myself around and head east to Swyre head and decide on making it up as i plod along. The ridgeline is superb with a couple of tough ups which i try to run up to no avail. Upon reaching Swyre head I only had 2 options, to either drop down to the coastline or head inland. Since I was planning on coming back via the coast I went inwards along the top of an amazing bowl. Unfortunately i then dropped down and onto a road, something i had wanted to avoid. but, i soon soon Corfe castle and figured out where i was, nearing Kingston and a favourite pub (Scott Arms). Here again I dithered on whether to take the road to Matravers or drop down into another valley via a path. Wanting to stay offroad I took the path and into the valley i went. Traversing beautiful farmlands and all types of farm animals, including a large pack of Alpaca's I ended up in Langton Matravers from which there are a multitude of paths heading to Swanage and the coasts headland. Once at the headland I took a break and ate a sandwich to try and ease a nagging stomach pain and take a painkiller for my knee.
The next stretch, which I know well from climbing, was a joy. My stomach aches lessened and my knee was forgotten as I meandered my way on the South West path only the old scattered quarry mines slowed the pace with hard ups and downs to pass them by. Approaching Aldhelms Head the inclines started to show themselves. With tiring legs these ups just got harder and with the wind battering me full on constantly my head was wishing for the end. When i turned the corner of Aldhelm I was taken aback by the Jurrassic coastline, although my heart sank a little more as i contended in my mind of all the hills i still had to hit. The end would just have to wait a while.
I decide to walk more and more here especially the hills I was incapable of doing anything apart from huff and puff up these now. But, I did enjoy the downs. I hammered these fast and my legs felt surprisingly strong. I wish there were more hills i could train on locally. Soon I was sprinting down into Chapmans Pool a beautiful idyllic spot for anyone to admire. Admiring soon turning to hurt as I made my way up over a 100m vertical for a km, ouch. More awesome views from the top though and I was sure I could see the end with no further big hills.
Another fast descent and I was 'cruising' past Kimmeridge ledges and could see the tower at the bay. Descending into Kimmeridge bay I took a break to admire the views and take a few shots. With still another 2km to go to the car I didn't linger long and taking the long way back didn't enthuse me at all. Arriving back I managed to buy a cold orange and lemonade from the cafe and take a seat after 5hours on the move covering around 26miles of tough terrain (circa 3700feet).

From 2011 Purbeck run

A great days running and I surprising felt good, tired, but in a good way seeing that my training had been low these last 6 weeks. I recommend anyone to run/walk the Jurassic coastline it is simply beautiful and whats best for me is that i still have the westside of kimmerigde to explore now - well maybe next month. And even better as i contemplate linking it all up with a run from Studland to Weymouth. Mouth watering.

From 2011 Purbeck run

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