I’m running the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in December and I’ve been in training with several other runners for the past three months. We’ve been slowly increasing our distance each week. Starting at 10 miles and adding a mile or more every week. Yesterday’s run was 17 miles round Portsmouth. Nice and flat.
Four of us set out and a steady pace from the entrance to Farlington Marshes, down the Eastern Road and across the tracks at Hilsea Lines. We crossed the A3 and followed the roads round to the Mountbatten Centre and then up to Tipner Lake where we got caught in a shower, the only one of the day. We then ran parallel to Whale Island, past the Ferry Port, down to Hope Street which we followed until it became Queen Street and we ended up at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
After that we headed round past Gunwharf and round Spice Island, which is very small and there are really only two roads to run on. Ann gave us a bit of local history here. There’s a pub, the Seagull, with a “witch’s hat” that used to be known to serve anyone, even sailors. Unfortunately for them it was also known as a place there the Navy and Army recruited. If you took the King’s Shilling there you were in for life.
After Spice Island we headed along the seafront past the Round Tower and the Square Tower to Clarence Pier and the fun ground. Then all the way to Southsea Castle and the Pyramids. We start the marathon from the Pyramids so, even though we were 10 miles in to our run it was a bit like starting.
After that there’s a long, and a bit boring, run along the Esplanade until we got to Eastney toilets where Lisa left us for a few minutes and Ann had to stop to do some stretches. We carried on after refuelling to Southsea Marina before looping back along Ferry Road all the way to Bransbury Park where I was marshalling the Great South run last week.
Across Bransbury Park and the right to the end of back to the end of Locksway road we rejoined the coastal path. Here’s where the wind really hit us. For about four miles we ran with a strong wind in our faces. The coastal path has nothing to stop the wind at all. It was hard going then but we pushed through and followed the road back to Farlington Marshes where we started.