Endurancelife Sussex Coastal Marathon
19 March 2018 - By Terry Alabaster
On Saturday I ran in the above marathon starting from Birling Gap near Eastbourne.
As you can imagine the conditions were raw to say the least. The course had a total ascent of 4300 ft and took us over the Seven Sisters and then inland up and down all the way rising up to 700ft at one point before coming past the start at about 18 miles for the long drag uphill to Beachy Head. There wasn’t much running for the next 2 miles as the weather reached its worst blowing over 40 miles an hour without let up and the snow horizontal face on. I saw Charlotte at 19.5 miles and it was difficult at that point to keep moving forward at all. She stayed with me until the top of Beachy Head and I then tried to run again. Got to the checkpoint at about 21 miles and couldn’t use my hands at that point they were so cold. The gentleman manning the checkpoint had to change my gloves for me and take my pack on and off for me. I mentioned to him about perhaps calling it a day and after checking me out and asking if I felt dizzy he encouraged me to continue. Full credit to him. Half a mile later I saw Charlotte again and she stayed with me uphill until about 22 miles. I asked her where the car was and she somehow gave me enough words of encouragement to carry on. I was ready to quit. She popped up again a few times before the end and walked the last hill with me up to 25 miles. From 22 to 24.50 I actually got back to running and also the last mile or so. I just sneaked in under 6 hours in 5.59.57.
I would have stopped if it wasn’t for the gentleman at the checkpoint and Charlotte who got me through what was a very dark few miles.
I might do an easy one next.