My plan for today was to gain some more insight into the Believe and Achieve Harbour 50K route that I’ve entered in December. Running from the maps green starting dot at Farlington Marshes, this also ties in with last weeks blog, where I travelled in the opposite direction. My return leg on this run will be the first 5.5 miles of both the marathon and the ultra as they begin to wind their way around Langstone Harbour.
Please ignore the maps red line heading back to Fareham, this was my error which appeared on my Strava download, ha, ha !!!
The Pyramids entertainment centre is located on Southsea’s seafront with views of the pier that dates back to 1879, the wide open esplanade and on Saturdays, Southsea parkrun.
The irony of the Southsea parkrun was that by the time I was heading down to the front some 300 runners were heading in the opposite direction. I had four “you’re running the wrong way” comments 🙂 I saw a surprised Matt Fleet and Mark Brooks from Fareham Crusaders and David Brawn from Pompey Joggers as they ran their 5K.
Once past the pier the seafront stretches out for some time until you reach Eastney swimming pool. Having mentioned the swimming pool I also saw about 80 wet suited swimmers preparing for an open water swim on my run down towards the seafront, as well as Paul Southon out running too. After crossing a couple of roads you then drop down onto literally the harbour mud, but, as long as you keep close to the tide mark its reasonable underfoot. However, stray too far down and you could loose a trainer !!!
After following the “beach” for another few hundred metres you cross the Milton Lock bridge and then join the compacted harbour trail. It was at this point that you realise just how far around the harbour you’ll be running. There can’t be many races that you can see ten miles ahead of you, from mile 3 to Hayling Island and 13 miles point.
Following the trail you will next pass the Peoples Memorial which has both a flagpole and gardens. The memorial is a tribute to the men and women currently serving in the British Forces on foreign battlefields around the world. I found this a very powerful experience.
A pub, caravan park and a number of water sport facilities then follow each other in rapid succession. The trail does vary between grass, sections of broken concrete and good tarmacked paths. Once passing by an aggregates business there’s then the peculiar experience of running through 200 metres of dense trees with pine needles and tree roots so care is needed here.
Out onto the environmentally reconstructed harbour bank I was within sight of my car park and the end of eleven miles. As my trusty watch says I managed to stay under 9 minute miles and hopefully this blog will give anyone involved a better idea of what to expect.
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