Sunday 4 June 2023

South Downs Way - Part Three


 With only four weeks until my race I've still got three long runs on my training plan.  So this week I was back on the South Downs Way.

I finished at Amberley last time, so this is where I got 'im outdoors to drop me off.  A fast walk up a hill to get to the 'start' was a good warm up as there was still some cloud and a chilly wind.  But there was even more hill past this point so it felt like ages before I actually started running.


Although this weeks part of the Way was still hilly, it is the South Downs after all, it wasn't quite as bad as last time, so I could get a bit of rhythm going. 

It was also more open than the last section, with less trees.  This wasn't a problem, but did mean that the wind tried to steal my hat a couple of times!  It was also pretty busy with a mix of dog walkers and day trippers, so I had to keep an eye out for cyclists and walkers.


I also came across the South Downs Way 100 Miles Relay.  It was very interesting to run past one of the points where they change runner and see the row of mini buses waiting to take everyone onto the next point. 

And I ran past Devils Dyke where I did my Silver Map Reading course last year.  It was lovely to see the view this time rather than the driving rain we had in November.


After 24 miles and five and a half hours of running I came off the Way at Plumpton.  You don't quite realise how high up you are until you spend 10 minutes coming down on a very steep track.

It was a good run but hard.  I'm finding the chalk hard underfoot compared with the sandy soil and leaf litter I'm used to near home.  And the wind was really strong and constant, trying to steal my hat and making my nose run.  But I'm getting closer to the sea now and one more run should see me to the end.


When it's hard I keep reminding myself how lucky I am that I live in such a beautiful place and that I am capable of running these sort of distances.  I know many people who'd love to do something like this but just can't for so many different reasons.  I intend to keep going for as long as I can.


 You can read what happened on part four here.

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