Trail & Ultra Running Thread

Bon chance

Enjoy!

Unfortunately had to drop Petworth, 52km in. Victim of glass feet and a screaming back.

:cry:

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Sorry to hear that FP, take care and recover strong

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Still a good day out

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With family holiday to France cancelled, family has decided that a week in north Devon it is - Woolacombe here we come

Will be able to do a recce for NC110 and the UK’s hardest Parkrun while there - every cloud and all that…

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Excellent. I definitely advise doing the Woolacombe to Ilfracombe section and make sure you go right through and out the other side of I’combe. Going to Heel Bay might be better.

There are some tricky nav bits but like most things, easy once you know.
I’d advise coming into Wool from the end of Marine Drive (where the painted cows are) and familiarising yourself with the r/h turn up to the first aid station. It’s not tricky at all (turn right at the Red Roof pub) but it’s a long way up a hill, so be prepared for that.

The next bit to be wary of is the the SWCP goes right at the Watersmeet Hotel corner DO NOT take that. Follow the course GPX on the road up the hill, it’s a bit of a drag. Then you get the stone gate/gap at Morthoe that leads you to the SWCP and Morte Point.
You’ll do MP in the dead of night and TBH, if it’s very windy it’s a bit nerve wracking, watch your feet placement, easy to turn an ankle.

You have to go around the edge of the point, you can’t cut the ‘pointy bit’ off. (well you can but it’s confusing AF and cheating of course).
This is where it starts to get a bit technical in general. About 4km from MP is Bull Pt lighthouse, you can’t miss it, it’s a lighthouse! You can however miss the little r/h turn, it’s next to the little white building. Don’t go sharp right up the road.

Then on to Lee, this is where the proper gnarl starts and is probably the most technical bit of the course IMO. It’s very steep, very dark and very full of steps that have wooden lips that stand proud of the mud or gravel step. They can easily trip you up. There are 1,000s of the fuckers (seems like :smile: ). Don’t follow a sign that says ‘Rugged Path’, you’ll only end up at the sea and have to come back up.

On to the road toward Lee village, sharp left and down the hill. Here is where the nav can cost you huge time if you get it wrong (ask me how I know! :man_facepalming:t2: )

Through Lee you just start to climb out of the village, there’s a little junction with a wooden SWCP that’s really easy miss, TURN LEFT HERE, otherwise it’s a huge climb in the wrong direction. The correct road is also a huge climb but the right one. It comes to a dead end and a field. Here be cows and this is where I ran into the back one that was sleeping on the trail :smile:

After about 400 mtrs (maybe more)the trail becomes a bit gravelly and a slight descent, this is the easiest bit to miss. You MUST bear left off the natural path you are on and head for a wooden sign that you will not see unless you are looking for it. Put your head torch on full to see it. (one year, GB’s builder mate ‘Leigh’ was the official sweep and he got lost there as well. The reason i was with the sweep was that I missed that left turn at Lee).

Through a gate and a bit of a wind down a hill/field then you take a sharp left and go straight up a short sharp climb and the path entrance isn’t easy to spot but it’s there, kind of around the back of the little copse.

Straightforward now for a bit, just follow the path and it zig zags into the edge of I’combe. the road joins another larger one and make sure you go up the hill. Just about at the crest of that hill, there’s a sharp r/h turn and the road drops down. DON’T follow the road down, there’s a little gate with the tiniest of SWCP signs on a tile in the wall, go through there. It looks like a garden gate and very easy to miss.

Follow into town and it’s pretty straightforward, drop down to the bay and hug the path next to the water, don’t go into the town itself. Just keep the water hard left. This takes you around the front of the town and you drop into an area that can be confusing but you are heading to the harbour and you need to be on the ‘other side’ so the water is on your left. If it stinks, you’re on the right road.

Through the end of that bit and this is where despite me trying 4 times (in races and recces) I cannot work out the correct route. Out of the harbour, you follow the footpath for a short bit and you’re meant to go up the right somewhere but I keep getting lost. I go left, up a little hill into a car park, there’s a gate on the right into a pitch and putt course, I cut across here at a sort of 11 o’clock angle and you’ll see a gate. Follow that path and about 200 mtrs later take a sharp left and you’re back on the SWCP and going uphill. Somewhere up there is a very shap l/h turn and it’s one of the very few places that Justin puts a glowstick.

For me, this covers the trickiest bit and you’re now on your way to Combe Martin but I’ve only done this section once, so can’t speak with authority on it, I don’t remember it being tricky but there is a lot of road.

There are some easy nav errors to be made between the start and Saunton, it’s not as straightforward as the route map makes it look but your brain is fresh and there are people around.

When are you going? I’d be happy to come down do this section with you if my logistics allow and your family aren’t interested. Up to you :+1:t2:

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Wowza - that is a lot to take in

Thanks for taking the time to spell it all out - will definitely take this with me on the route

I’m not quite sure what the family plans are so difficult to say exactly when I can do that section

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It’s easier to do it than read it but I can’t tell you how much more confident I felt that last time after properly getting it set in my mind. because I’m at the back by then, I am always alone in that section and it just takes the guesswork out.

Some of it is obvious in the day but first time at night, it’s so easy to miss.

One other tip (although you’re a lot faster than me). I would advise changing headtorch batteries at Morthoe or I’fracombe if you’re fast enough. Lee is the obvious place but I cannot remember if there is a lamp post in the village.
There is very little light otherwise and I had to change my battery in the dark and lucky not to drop the screw cap. I’m taking three batteries because I will need a torch at the finish end of the course but you will probably finish in daylight.

I’ll see if I can do some screen shot stuff tonight.

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Or alternatively do as I do and just head out and work it out in the fly! :joy:

Diaclaimer - I did lose well over half an hour on nav mistakes last time! :joy:

I have no recollection of any parts in any detail other than the first hour or so and the last few hours! :joy:

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Some of us aren’t blessed with your fleet footed sandbagging abilities. Every minute counts for us slow pokes :smile:

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Lovely film.

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Will have a look at that later

Did Woolacombe to Puts and back along the beach with daughter this afternoon - a nice 8km after a lonnng drive down

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Nice. That building high on the hill is where we stay. You’ll be glad to know that the NC110 course doesn’t go over that whacking great hill :smile:

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I thought that would be the case - recognised it from the photos on the balcony

We worked out that it is 30 years since we first came to Woolacombe - a learn to surf weekend (should have asked for my money back on the ground of trade descriptions) - haven’t been back for 28 years - not a massive amount changed but a nice vibe to the place

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Glad to hear you salvaged some kind of holiday. A nice run/walk would be out to Morte Point and you can have some coffee and cake at the Watersmeet hotel. Lovely view

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The family have given that their seal of approval to that suggestion

I think the coffee and cake sold it :rofl:

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Make sure it’s on the way back, otherwise you’ll never get them out of there. A word of warning, if you’re tempted to go across the road from hotel and trek up the trail (which is the SWCP), there are loads of beehives up there and they like to roam about.

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Liked that

Also just watched this one - could have been made 3 separate hour long episodes I think

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Watched it last night, very good.

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