A Journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path - June 2006
Sponsored By:Cotswold Outdoor, Running Bath Campsites:Freshwater East, Windmill Hill, Hook Farm, Porth Clais, Castell Farm
Pembrokeshire Coast Path

My fund raising attempt this year will not be an organised event, but an attempt to run the length of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Tenby to Cardigan.

Janet is supporting me so I do not have to carry tent, sleeping bag, etc.

I had been looking for a suitable training plan to follow for this but did not find anything for multi-day ultra distances, so I actually followed a Comrades training plan as the basis for mine. The Comrades is a 90k road race held in South Africa annually. I recognise that my run is not as far for any one leg but it was over six days, so I did some long events on consecutive days. i.e. The Compton (40 miles) and Coombe Gibbet to Overton (16 miles) in March as well as some consecutive long days at other weekends.

Also as part of my training I includd the Neolithic Marathon, so from my main fundraiser for 2004 it became an integral part of my training

Running Bath have provided me with some Brooks Podium tee shirts, Hilly twin skin socks and SIS Electrolyte drink powder for my run. Visit their friendly shop, in the centre of Bath, for advice on running gear.

Cotswold Outdoor provided me with a Lifesystems Outdoor 1st Aid Kit, Primus Power Gas cyliners for my stove, Compeed gel blister plasters, some Eat Natural snack bars and a pair of Teva Terra-F1 sandles for using in the campsite at the end of each day.

The outline plan for running this long distance path was as follows, there is a diary for each day stage. I also have some conclusions about some of the more significant aspects of my run.

Click on the date to see a map of the days route and my diary entry.
  27 May 28 May 29 May 30 May 31 May 1 June
FromAmrothFreshwater EastPembrokeMarloesSt DavidsFishguard
ToFreshwater EastPembrokeMarloesSt DavidsFishguardSt Dogmaels
CoordsSS024981SM943009 SM775090 SM744240 SM983382SN153485
Camp Portclew Windmill HillEast Hook FarmPorth ClaisFishguard Bay 
Miles(km) for the day 18 (28) 33 (54) 34 (55)24 (38) 34 (53) 27 (43)
Mileage(km) total 18 (28) 51 (82) 85 (137) 109 (175) 143 (228) 170 (270)*

The equivilent fee for the campsites has been donated to Headway - the brain injury association

* The distance as measured off the map, the 'offical' distance is 186. The discrepancy may be because I got the 2 low tide crossings. I managed to time my crossings of both tidal inlets on Day 3 to avoid the detours to pass them at high tide. Aided by the fact that I had not taken BST into account.

Something that I had not realised before I started looking at the route for this is that, despite the path not going over 200m above sea level over the full length, it ascends over 10000m, 1000m more than Everest. Also generally people who climb Everest do so from a base camp at around 5500m, and Everest is 'only' another 3000m. Admittedly I will not have any problems associated with altitude, cold, winds, snow, avalanche, rock fall, climbing, etc. and I wouldn't want to give the impression that climbing Everest is easy, I've never had any desire to try. I just thought it was an interesting comparison

I had spoken to the military, as they have several firing ranges between Tenby and Milford Haven. They confirmed that they do not use the ranges on Bank Holidays. I planned to start on the Bank Holiday at the end of May so I would be clear of the range areas after the weekend.

The other aspect that I spoke to the Castlemartin ranges about is that, ideally I would like to follow the coast and the official coast path actually detours inland to skirt around the tank firing range. The Army kindly offered to escort me though the range so I can follow the coast.