Day 37: Wednesday 26th October "Once again the forecasters got it right and we had a lovely run in the autumn sunshine. We did get caught in a couple of heavy showers but we survived.
I had no support runners today, though Peter Macgill accompanied me across the Tamar Bridge, and Nicky and Sally accompanied me at various times up some of the hills.
Made really good time initially as we ran downhill into Plymouth. The downhill was so inviting that I did not do my usual warm up of miles of walking. The team was terrific in seeing me through the busy streets of Plymouth. We had the odd hiccup and misdirection but nothing that delayed us to any great degree. Somewhere in all of this was a mightly climb with a gradient of 17+ degrees - a hill that seemed to go on forever. I think it is on the hills in particular that the Nordic poles are such a boon, helping me power along.
After Plymouth, the Tamar and Saltash, we moved off the cycle tracks and pavements into a rural environment such as we had experienced in the days before in Devon. Doc tells us that in Cornwall we are of course in another country - the only thing missing being the passport controls at the border. (We are down to our last 4 ordinance survey maps out of large box full).
Usually when i am running, I complete the second half quicker than the first. Not so today, when both took something in the order of three hours, about which I was mildly disappointed. I put it down to the long hills in the second half of the run, with particular reference to the nasty little creature coming out of Notter Bridge. I had just passed Doc and his cafe/campervan and had been handed one of his super rolls but I quickly handed it back throught the Volvo window when I saw what was ahead of me. I reclaimed it when I got to the top of the hill.
At the end of the day, we fininshed down another country lane where the encampment we set up for the finishing line caused a deal of consternation for the local domestic traffic but little problem for the TNT wagon that simply folded in its wing mirrors and went sailing by with an inch to spare advising the troops that I was hard on his heels.
After that, it was into the campervan and back to Liskeard Premier Inn and our experience here of staff and food is far better than we have recently received.
Alan Le Poidevin re-joined us late this afternoon, so for the last few days we are now a team of 6.
I had a long interview with BBC Radio Guernsey after today's run and that should hit the airwaves tomorrow around lunchtime.
Another food parcel has been received for which many thanks Amanda.
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Day 38: Thursday 27th October "After our experiences on Dartmoor we were better prepared for tackling the wet weather elements that we experienced today. Though it was very wet, it was not cold or windy. I started out wearing a base layer longsleeved top and leggings, shorts, T shirt, running top, showerproof top, waterproof trousers, serious long waterproof coat with hood, cap underneath the hood, and gloves. To ensure a better fit with the shoes, we have Doc’s taping of the toes and other support strapping to insole and heels along with two pairs of socks. Thus prepared we set out for a wet morning’s running. And it really was very wet for the first 15 miles, with drains overflowing in the roads and some hug puddles forming minor lakes that we have to make our way through.
Also the route today took us on to some very busy ‘B’ roads. This was a complete surprise after the preparation work done the previous evening which tries to avoid the sorts of problems this throws up. It has become apparent that some of these roads are used as ‘rat runs’ and they are too dangerous to run on. As a consequence today I got into the back up car and we motored for half a mile to safety, which is why those of you following the run on Endomondo will see that we have gone further than usual today … we added the mileage whilst I was in the car to the end of the run.
Another serious issue today was that of the safety of the campervan. The ordinance survey maps are terrific in the amount of detail they give apart from advising on precise road widths. Doc, Alan and Peter found themselves down a little Cornish lane on a steep gradient with no way out but forward and with literally millimetres to spare they made it. Very stressful for all concerned.
Today’s food and water intake was pretty much as needed. A banana after an hour and a half, half an oat and date slice as a reward after a tough hill about 15 minutes later, the other half in the car after fleeing the B road, 2 small ham and tomato rolls after about 3 ½ hours – one eaten on the road and the other eaten during a pit stop to change sodden shoes and socks. I had an energy bar about half an hour from the finish and a banana and another oat and date bar when I finished. I drank 2 litres of electrolyte drink during the run, but it would appear that this was still not enough. When Doc checked my blood pressure after the run, it was unusually low and we put this down to a loss of salt due to excess perspiration from wearing the well-sealed waterproofs. Consequently I have been given another litre of electrolyte drink to finish by the morning.
This evening we were reviewing the routes for the last 2 days. Hard to believe that we are so close to completion.