Friday 16 December 2011

Christmas Trio Update- 1 day down, 2 to go!

Saturday was the first of our Christmas Trio Challenge, with The Jersey Christmas Walk - an 18 mile walk along the cliff paths and beaches of Jersey.
The morning started lovely and dry with a spectacular sunrise, although we should have heeded the warning ‘red sky in the morning, shepherds warning!’ A coffee at the La Fontaine pub nearly scuppered our plans as it was far more tempting to stay in front of the roaring fire than head out for 18 miles of walking, but we were soon gathered for our pre-walk meeting and at 8.30am on the dot we were off.
Over the first few miles of cliff paths our pace was determined by the walkers in front of us and at times it was pretty slow, but once we squeezed past a few groups we were off and made good pace to check point one at Greve de Lecq, 4.5 miles in a respectable 1 hour 20 minutes. The weather stayed dry to this check point and was warm enough to be in just a long sleeved top. Feeling good we put our heads down and trekked on to check point two, 4 miles away.
It was in between these two check points the rain decided to make an appearance, just a slow, steady drizzle but enough to put the rain coats on, then the sun came out and it was nice and warm so the coats came off again, then the rain came back… that’s how the rest of this part of the walk went!
Anyway- check point two at the picturesque site at L’Etacq appeared just 2 hours 55 into the walk, then came the part most people dread on the ITEX Walk - St Ouen’s Bay. A long stretch of nothing but sand for almost 5 miles down the west coast of Jersey. The walking is easy, nice and flat but that’s where the problem lies - there’s nothing interesting and the fact you can see the end makes it even harder to keep going (especially with lots of nice eating places along the way tempting you to stop!)
The next point was at the farthest end of the bay another 5 (rather boring) miles along, but we were there in 1 hour 10 minutes, so had managed to skip along at almost 5 miles an hour! I think this may have something to do with the fact Ben wanted to get the flat bit out of the way as boredom prompted me into several renditions of the 12 days of Christmas, if we had trainers on I’m sure he’d have run…
It was just after this point the rain started again so the jackets went on, then a beautiful rainbow (the 3rd of the day) led us to believe it was going to dry up again so off they came just in time for a heavy downpour that lasted all the way from Corbiere to the start of St Brelade’s beach. By this point we were wet, a bit chilly and really looking forward to our free drink in front of the fire at the Smugglers Inn at the end, a great motivation to get into gear and crank the pace up again.
By the time we hit the half way point of St Brelade’s Bay a little jog to ease pain on knees, toes and hips meant we were aiming for a sub 5 hour 15 time, a great personal achievement seeing as since the ITEX Walk and my knee op we have done little in the way of proper training walks and we were aiming for 6 hours best!
Finally we were welcomed at the Smugglers Inn with a round of applause, a photo and our free drink token. As in Scotland all I craved was an ice cold diet coke - a bit of a waste of a free drink voucher but it went well with the steak and onion baguette we managed to devour in record time!
Total time 5 hours 12 minutes, only a few small blisters (probably because of the rain) and very pleased we beat our estimated time by 45 minutes!

Next up this lunch time- the Jersey Hospice Santa Dash, in about 45 mph winds, hail and thunder. We are going to be rather soggy, wind blown Santa’s, here’s hoping it’s at least a tail wind…. Report will follow in the next few days.    

No comments:

Post a Comment