LDWA Winter Poppyline 17-2-19
Loving North Norfolk trails I decided to run the LDWA Winter Poppyline rather than Peddars Way which I've run twice before. With excellent weather for February the race was challenging but really enjoyable leaving Aylsham High School and going through 5 checkpoints at Itteringham, Holt, Sheringham, Southrepps and Felmingham and finally back to Aylsham.
Gary Macdonald from Lowestoft RR and I set off at 9am with other runners with walkers setting off at 8am and some walkers/runners setting off at 8.30am. We planned to 10-minute mile for as long as possible and this worked out well. The route was muddy in places and more up and down as we approached the coast. With stops for filling drinks and quickie toilet breaks (which I'm known for) we reached Sheringham bang on target met by Vanessa and Darren which gave us a real boost. Had 5 minutes here but still did under 5-hour marathon. I felt really good and was loving the route and Gary and I kept each going.
Sheringham and Cromer brought back memories from last year, but we made light work of the up and downs with very little walking until we decided to walk up the Beeston Bump. I thought I could run downhill well until running with Gary. He was really good at it (lots of practice on the Scores I think). I'm good at walking quick so on the small amount of walking we did do we made good time. Our plan was to get as far as possible before dark and we did well as only did hour and half in darkness. I like to grab and go so hurried Gary out of the Checkpoints quick.
Gary had a little rough patch at about 42 miles but we were still running a good pace and we had 2 or 3 other chaps around us that we kept seeing. On leaving the last checkpoint and seeing Andy (relieved I think I looked so good) we carried on with only 5 miles to go. Gary now wanted this done and we were under 10-hour pace. The last 3 miles were under 10-minute miles with me hanging onto Gary. We had left a couple of the others behind and I still felt good. On coming into Alysham I walked a few paces to get up a little climb and then with Gary sprinted into the finish feeling like I could have done 100k. Not sure Gary would agree with me as he had had little sleep the night before. Our finishing time was 10 hours and 1 minute with stops so bang on target.
Brilliant run and really well organised with loads of food, drink and support at the checkpoints. Would highly recommend it.
Report by Karen Peck.