The coastal path that follows Langstone Harbour makes up a large proportion of the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside marathon. This event is in its tenth year now and has built up quite a cult status what with the race being the weekend before Christmas.
My training had to be put on hold last week due to a back twinge so the aim of todays run was to get back to double figures.
This blog isn’t so much about the ten miles of running but more about my observations of the area with its tidal mudflats and seabirds.
Over the recent years I’ve looked at my running from a different viewpoint. Yes, I run to the best of my ability but, no I don’t beat myself up over my pace.
Running gives me a sense of wellbeing and mindfulness purely due to the locations that I pass through and the sights that I take in. Photography also allows me to express the enjoyment that I experience while I’m out running. Stopping for a moment to take a photo means that I can both look back on my adventures as well as share them with others.
The two photos that I’ve used so far really capture just why I chose to enter the Believe and Achieve marathon. Naturally the event has a Christmas buzz with many people wearing fancy dress and with rum and mince pies on offer over the previous years these are also reasons for me to return having run the marathon and ultra options before.
The weather conditions this morning were perfect with no wind and the water was as flat as a mill pond. Race day may well be a different matter !! It will definitely be colder in December but extra layers and gloves can remedy that. I love running on the “South Downs” but it’s also good to visit the coast on occasions.
Running next to the water offers a completely different experience to the hilly trails inland. There’s something relaxing and hypnotic about running next to the sea.
My route took me along trails close to the seawall and with the mud flats to your right, the yachts moored out in the deeper channels and wading birds to watch you get a sense that you’re travelling through daily coastal life.
The trail is fairly narrow with the exception of a tarmac section near Farlington marshes but the majority of the time there’s the smell of seaweed, occasional shingle and the lapping of the water onto green algae covered rocks.
Virtually the only people I saw were fishermen who were out early morning bait digging and it struck me that this was probably something they’d been doing for years. I do like to run through areas with some natural history and the old Hayling railway bridge at half way is a great example of this.
The clear water was a perfect mirror to the yachts masts and the individual supports of the long gone railway bridge were a reminder of times gone by. The low tide certainly brought in various birds that feast on the rich offerings. Their calls and chirping was a constant feature of my run.
Some sections of the coastal path are rough underfoot so it’s important not to get too distracted with your sight seeing but overall the conditions underfoot were good.
I’m thoroughly looking forward to a longer run along the coast path next week and as an added bonus I aim run earlier in an attempt to catch the sunrise.