Bath City

The Bath man who ran for 25 hours on the ‘brutal’ South West Path Bath City News

On May 1, 2021, I set off from the Chipping Campden end of the Cotswolds Way at 7am, intending to become the first person to complete the 102 mile course in one go, self-sufficient. The gentle hill out of town rewarded me with incredible first views from the road, on a hazy haze engulfing Worcester and Warwickshire. The blissful feeling of having the English countryside to myself meant the first hour was a breeze as I walked up Broadway Tower and down into Broadway Town 6 miles away.

Outside of Broadway the hills started to get a little more serious, but I was able to stay on track through the quintessentially English villages of Stanton and Stanway, with narrow streets lined with thatched cottages, to walk half a century. uneventful marathon.

Winchcombe (30 km) was the first chance to stock up on liquids and a climb out of town then turned into rolling fields. The landscape has changed in the blink of an eye, from rolling hills, to woods carpeted with hyacinths, to tracks lined with thistles, to farmland, with sheep and cows watching me curiously as I stroll. Approaching the marathon distance, a climb up Cleeve Hill was tough, but worth it for some sensational views of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and even the Brecon Beacons in Wales in the distance.

After a hill up to Lineover Wood, I enjoyed a gentle expanse of wooded flat around the 50 km mark and headed to my next stop for a drink at the Crickley Hill Visitor Center ( 60 km), where I proceeded to purchase the store. their bottled water and got myself a can of Coke. This is where I dealt with the first sign of a blister on my left heel as well, but with the power of Compeed it turned out to be only a mild irritant and nothing to slow down progress.

Through the woods overlooking Gloucester (approx 45 miles) I made the mistake of tempting fate by thinking ‘I’m really enjoying this’ but hit my toe badly on a tree root … twice … letting me clop for a few 100m sections. I cursed the fatigue setting in which I didn’t lift my feet.

The gentle slopes out of Painswick quickly became less gentle and the race got really tough across Edge Common and up to Haresfield Beacon (halfway), although more spectacular views (this time over the estuary of the Severn) were the prize. Kings Stanley Co-op was my next stop for liquids and an hour later, with the light going 95 miles away, the headlamp continued.

If the hills had been bad so far, they turned hellish 100km away, with a 35% incline to Cam Long Down, then a long descent into Dursley, followed by a succession of huge climbs and descents brutally steep out of town then into North Nibley and Wotton-under-Edge. It was slow in the dark, the climbs wreaking havoc on the legs and lungs and having to take the descents carefully to avoid turning your ankle on rocky ground.

At 120 km a mini natural waterfall in Splatt’s Wood and water purification tablets gave me the fluids that would allow me to take me to the end and it was shortly after that point that I had had a surge of energy and enjoyed a few hours of quiet night- time running at a brisk pace, reaching Tormarton and shortly after, the M4.

That second wind blew, however, and even the hint of the sun emerging in the east couldn’t help but deteriorate about 12 miles from the end. Nausea and feeling like I was going to pass out, I sat on a bench outside the grounds of Dyrham Park, struggling against the urge to take a nap.

Forcing me to move on, the next few miles were hell, but I got a boost of adrenaline as I completed the last big climb up to Lansdown and hit the familiar training territory around Bath Racecourse. The day ended well as it had started, with an early morning mist, the city of Bath hidden below me as I passed Kelston Roundhill. I fell in Weston, made the last short climb to Summerhill and walked through Victoria Park, past the Royal Crescent, through the Circus and down into town. As the Abbey loomed, I curled up in a ball on the limestone slab that marks the end of the course at 8.15am, delirious with fatigue but ecstatic to do the job.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-05-13 13:42:59