Holidays are time for relaxing and recharging but that doesn’t mean running has to take a back seat. On my recent holiday to Cornwall, I took advantage of the coastline and countryside to recharge my running mojo.
Back in the summer, after being introduced to the founder of Trailburning, a website for people to share fantastic trails around the world, I’ve started to dabble out of my comfort zone and out on the trails. Leaving my favoured surface of tarmac was daunting, even a little scary. After a few recent local trail runs I’ve grown in confidence and I decided a trip to Cornwall would be an ideal opportunity for some fun running.
Before we headed south, I found two trails to try – one that would take me inland from Mawgan Porth and back again (via a different route), and one that would draw me right down to the tip of the UK, from Cape Cornwall to Land’s End.
Mawgan Porth is home to the Scarlet Hotel (the most relaxing place I have ever been!), which was our home for a couple of days to start our week of Cornish relaxation. I’d found a circular walk on the South West Coast Path website that would become my trail.
A complete mixture of surfaces (tarmac, tracks, grass and gravel) along with twists, turns and undulations meant I was always wondering what was coming next. I’d taken a map of the route with me that helped correct a couple of mistakes before I took wrong turns. My only downfall was missing a left turn that would have added another kilometre of coastal path to the run – I was a little disappointed but it meant I still had the legs for a 2.5 mile coast walk with my wife to Watergate Bay for lunch at Fifteen Cornwall!
Click here to view the full details and additional photos of my Mawgan Porth to St Mawgan trail on the Trailburning website.
I’ve had relatives in Cornwall for 14 years but have never been to Land’s End. One of the places I have been to a number of times is Cape Cornwall, a charming headland with fantastic views up and down the coast.
I knew the coast path linked Cape Cornwall with Land’s End but had to turn to Google to see if the distance would be within my grasp. Measuring just under 11km seemed reasonable, even allowing for the extra effort that would be required for the ups and down that comes with running along the coast.
My gorgeous wife is very understanding about my running and she drove me from St Ives, our base for the second half of the week, to Cape Cornwall and then headed down to Land’s End to wait for me.
Considering it was late September the weather couldn’t have been more perfect: a warming sun, a cooling sea breeze and most importantly for cliff top running, it was dry!
A tougher than expected climb from the National Trust car park to begin with, had me thinking I’d bitten off more than I could chew. That was, until I reached the top and could see all the way down the coast. Oh my word!
However, instead of feeling petrified at the sight of the many coves, I felt excited by the prospect of running past them. The scenery was as awe-inspiring as it was serene. The sound of the wildlife above and the wild sea below was all the soundtrack I needed. And with the biggest grin, I set off!
I danced down the descents, clambered up the climbs and flew along on the flats, all still with a grin firmly fixed on my face!
Never before have I felt so free, so alive, so exhilarated by running. Now don’t get me wrong, the high of crossing a finish line in a personal best time is a fantastic high but it fades quickly; running this coast path just kept on giving! Even when a sandy spot at Sennen Cove started to sap my legs, I didn’t mind. Luckily it was quickly followed with a short stretch of tarmac which helped them recover some strength.
Letting myself go on all but the most rocky descents felt so amazing. Even the sections of climbs that slowed me to a crawl and required my arms to help pull me up them felt great. It sounds ridiculous but it’s true.
If you’ve lost your running mojo then I heartily recommend you find a trail, take your camera phone, forget about pace, relax and enjoy the countryside and the freedom!
Click here to view the full details and additional photos of my Cape Cornwall to Land’s End trail on the Trailburning website.