THE ROUTE

ROUTE DESCRIPTION BY ANDY JUKES (CHALLENGE MANAGER FOR 1ST SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION):


The Start


The challenge starts at Marsland Mouth (Grid Ref 213174) on the coast path. The border is marked by a sign in the valley bottom on the Cornish side of a bridge crossing the stream.
To get to the starting point the easiest place to park is on the right hand bend (Grid Ref 222176) due west of Marsland Mouth and due south of the hamlet of Mead. This was assessed as the easiest access point as it is a short walk down hill to the start as opposed to parking at Welcombe Mouth on the coast and climbing over a very steep climb on the coast path.


The Route


The first 7 miles is probably one of the toughest sections of climbs, once past Duckpool it starts to get a bit steadier through Bude to Widemouth Bay. From here you embark on the longest and toughest section of the run. You run through Millook, Dizzard, Crackington, Boscastle, Tintagel, Trebarwith and on to Port Isaac, along this section you go over the two highest points on the Cornish coast path, the good news is that you do all this at your freshest and you get over 10,000ft of the total 25,000ft of climbing out of the way in the first 40 miles!!! From here it is downhill all the way!


The running gets steadier from here to Rock where the ferry is taken over the Camel estuary to Padstow where it continues to be nice running all the way through Harlyn, Porthcothan, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay and on to Newquay. Having to run through Newquay town is probably the biggest shock after all that glorious coast path! Just after Newquay you have to get across the Gannel Estuary. The bottom crossing can only be crossed by the ferry which is seasonal and at high tide, the middle crossing can be crossed on foot a half to low then to half tide.


You don’t want to go around the top as it adds 2 plus miles of not nice running!


The whole challenge was timed to hit Rock during ferry operating times and then The Gannel at half to low tide.


Once across the Gannel it is still steady running to Perranporth , where if the tides are right you can run the whole length of the beach which is definitely an easier option than the dunes.


From Perranporth the running gets a bit tougher again with a good number of hard climbs through Blue Hills, St Agnes, Chapel Porth, Porthtowan until you get about 1.5 miles past Portreath. From here it becomes very steady running all the way to Gwithian where if the tide is out you can run the 3 miles of beach all the way to Hayle. Again the dunes being a slightly harder option.


From Hayle it is on the road around to Lelant and a short coast path hop to Carbis Bay and on road again in to St Ives.


Once through St Ives you are back on the coast path for probably one of the most technical sections of the whole Cornish coast path to Zennor and on to Pendeen. Once past Pendeen it gets a bit easier to Cape Cornwall where it gets a bit trickier again in places with a couple of climbs thrown in, but not a bad run in to Sennen.


From Sennen with only 1.5 miles to Lands End it doesn’t really matter what’s left, because if you have got this far you its job done!


Checkpoints


I scheduled in more checkpoints than the runners felt necessary, but having run all this coast (Over 5 days not 1!) I knew how tough certain sections were and that it was much, much better for motivation to have shorter sections between stops, even if they did not stop for long, it definitely works, trust me! And not to mention it is a lot safer just in case, and means the runners can also travel light!


Timings


See the attached spread sheet showing the schedule, checkpoints, tides etc. that we worked to. The Average speeds we worked to include all stops, and where tides are marked this indicates where there are beaches that can be run across if possible. Click here to download the Schedule Sheet - PDF Document


Support Crew


We had two vehicles for most of the challenge, they leap frogged each other which enabled time for sleep. It seemed to work pretty well, but the support crews should not under estimate how tiring it is. Each vehicle carried duplicates of most things from food to drink to clothes to medical kit.