15 miles : Coastal shingle, riverbank, 2 hills and great views from start to end


8am saw myself and Paul Coates arrive at the Warsash Rising Sun car park. This area is famous for sailing as it marks the end of the river Hamble, that then widens out to the Southampton waters and the Isle of Wight. Today we were running 15 miles as it’s now only two weeks to the marathon. Shingle coastal trail, riverbank and twice up a good hill, were on the menu.

The starter “as it were” was 1.25 miles, out and back, of varying amounts of shingle (see the photo below). As the wind was against us the harder going, under foot, meant a double dose of resistance training and the really exciting fact was that it would also be the “cheese board” of our route i.e. we would be repeating it as the last leg of the run. A good steady pace was maintained along the riverbank with wildlife and dingy traffic to watch as well as chatting.

The “main course” for our run was the 230 feet elevation hill from Lower Swanwick up to the Windhover Manor that we would run twice. This climb is in two halves with a false flat in the middle. The first time up was quite manageable and the second was just what we needed, “a good test”.  Ten miles done and still averaging 9 minute miles talk turned to the race its self with kit options and shoe choice discussed and in no time we were running past the boatyard and pressing on.

A small wooden bridge at 11 miles provided the ideal opportunity for a gel break and a quick video. Paul is convinced he looks like Brad Pitt, I will leave that up to the viewers decision/imagination 🙂 We passed the pink ferry that takes foot passengers cross the Hamble river and both agreed the earlier resistance training would be a fitting end to a good run.

After a bit of a laugh with two lady walkers and a group of hikers the shingle was concurred and the 15 miles done. Great company, great run and role on the taper with 10 miles next week. All this talk of food has also wet my appetite for replacing the 1,800 calories that I burnt 🙂