The Atlantic Coast Challenge

Posted October 13th, 2014 in Race Reports by Kay

A Race of Three Halves!!!

andy jukes race reportAndy Jukes, At-Your-Pace Trail Team member and Hayle runner took on the Atlantic Coast Challenge last weekend.

As it says in the blurb “The Atlantic Coast Challenge route starts near Padstow and finishes at Lands End. It completes 78.6 miles (3 marathons) over 3 days by running, walking or crawling, pitting your mental and physical prowess against some of the wildest coastline in Britain.” In reality it’s nearer 84 miles but the rest of the description is pretty accurate!

Andy started day 1 at Trevose Head near Padstow running the 29 mile route down the Cornish coast path to finish at Perranporth;

“The first 20 miles went really well and I found myself running in the top ten somewhere, however it was a very warm day which made hydration and electrolytes a critical factor, unfortunately I think I got this a bit wrong! Combined with not enough solid food early on meant I spent the last 9 miles dizzy, being sick and cramping up! Not the ideal way to finish and it cost me several places”

10668758_759857977409454_7620516427583068976_oAndy finished day 1 in 14th place in 5hrs 6mins 37secs and was going to withdraw from the race, but was persuaded by a friend and fellow At-Your-Pace team member to recover over night and see how he felt in the morning. Day 2 started at Perranporth and followed the coast path to finish in Hayle 26.5 miles later.

“I started day 2 with no expectations and ended up running the race of my life, I felt so much better and ran strong all the way chasing down the leading group the whole day. I couldn’t believe my time of 4hrs 15mins 47secs and 7th place, it felt amazing!”

Day three is the toughest day, although it is only 27.5 miles it follows the coast path from St Ives to Lands End which provides some of the toughest coast path in Cornwall to run on.

“My legs were very tired from the day before but I had nothing to loose so I just went for it from the start. As soon as I hit the technical coast path at St Ives, my regular training ground, I pushed it hard to try and get an advantage over some of my close rivals and just hoped I could hang on until the finish! It was a very tough day but such a spectacular route, and finish’s by running through Sennen and on to Lands Ends which is breathe taking. In fact it was so elating that I even managed a sprint finish with two fellow runners!”

Andy finished day 3 in 5th place, only missing out on 4th by 2 seconds in a time of 5hrs 29mins 7secs which placed him 7th overall for the three days.

“I am still a bit shell shocked by my result but obviously over the moon, it was beyond all my expectations. Cornwall is such a great place to run and be a runner, the local support is incredible, which not only comes from the At-Your-Pace shop and Trail Running Team in Helston, all the members at Hayle running club but also from the many fellow Cornish runners out there.”

Any one who wants any advice on trail running can contact Andy or any of the other members of the AYP Team via the At-Your-Pace running shop in Helston or through Hayle Runners who meet every Tuesday night at the Hayle rugby club.

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