Gadcliff Dawn

Note to self: must cease interrupting training runs by stopping to take grainy mobile phone photos.

This morning I ran the local hills as per usual, but went a bit further; I followed the two Purbeck ridges into and out of the military firing ranges (they’re not firing this weekend, thankfully), via the beach at Worbarrow Bay. The highlight was a run along the top of the awesome Gadcliff, a series of epic overhanging precipices. The sun peeked above the horizon just as I was doing this, mindblowing. The lowlight was the gruelling hill from the beach back up on to the second ridge, effectively a 500 foot staircase…

When I staggered back through my front door, I’d clocked 15 miles and about 2500 feet of ascent in 144 minutes. I’m pleased that I survived this, but I do have to remind myself that the Ultra-marathon is just a month away, and happens to be well over twice what I did this morning. Nothing can go wrong (*sob*).

The final picture below shows the Gadcliff on a summer’s day, a few years back. The guy in front pretending to check the map (i.e. posing for the camera) is my friend Chris, who tragically died in a kayaking accident on the River Dart in November 2009. Part of the reason I have entered this ludicrous race and am habitually running around hills at dawn wearing ludicrous tights, is that I am keen to raise money for Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Ashburton, who gave great and selfless assistance in recovering my friend. I cannot bring my friend back (and he is dearly, dearly missed by so many of us), but I can at least attempt to achieve something positive to honour his name. Please consider supporting the DSRT’s great work by sponsoring me…

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