Louise, John & myself [Dan] entered the inaugural Norfolk Coastal half & marathons respectively. The event was organised by positive steps in partnership with Norfolk County Council. The course ran between Weybourne & Sea Palling. The event fell on John’s birthday, so the day was set up perfectly, & the weather was fair. As we arrived in the village hall we were greeted by the organiser ‘Kevin’.“I take it you’ve downloaded your maps” Kevin probed sternly. When the hilarity ceased & the realisation that we might need to navigate set in, it became obvious that the standard retort “We’re Striders we don’t do Nav” wouldn’t wash with Kevin. We awkwardly shuffled over to the maps on the wall and took photos of the course.
Kevin sounded the klaxon & we set off.
The path took us right along the cliff edge, which was suffering from serious erosion, so much so that the path simply disappeared in some places adding to the allure of the challenge. As we scurried down a path between some dunes a rather rotund child turned to his mother & queried “what’s this running all about?” It wasn’t long before we had an answer. We ran down onto the beach and in a scene reminiscent from the film chariots of fire, we pegged it along the surf line! We felt like running couldn’t get much better! There is a lot of beach running on this race, which we loved however if it’s not your thing be advised. After missing an (acorn), and completing an extra mile we still managed to come in at 4hrs:20 ish.
Meanwhile Louise had “chosen” to set off with the walkers. After it dawned on them Lou & some others quickened the pace & completed the half with a highly respectable time of 1hr :50 after being reprimanded by Kevin for not tearing a page out of the book at the end of the beach (evidence of completion). After the race it transpired that Lou had run upwards of 13 miles after a navigational error but still managed to be 1st lady!