Running the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

By Laura Cummings

Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series: 10K

Endurance Life organises coastal trail running events throughout the year in some of the most iconic areas in the country. These events consist of races of varying lengths all together on one day to form a celebration of trail running, usually including a 10K, a half marathon, a full marathon and an ultra-marathon.

At the end of April, I was lucky enough to participate in the Pembrokeshire coastal trail series with my running team as part of a girls' weekend away, with the Belper Harriers competing in each of the event distances.

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This was my first time travelling for a running race and it really added to the excitement – it made the race more of a social event and we all got to share the pain of the coastal hills together. I travelled down with a fellow Belper Harrier and after a 9 hour journey we arrived at a youth hostel in Broad Haven, with immediate stunning views of the coast. We all brought prepared food for the Friday night and discussed the day ahead of us.

On Saturday morning, we all left the hostel at various times to head to our events, with the longer events starting much earlier in the day. The race start was a 25 minute walk away in Little Haven, a beautiful little town with tea shops and great pubs! The race event was incredibly well organised, with registration at various times to accommodate the sheer amount of runners. The 10K event started in Marloes, so 150 of us piled onto 3 coaches to be taken to the start.

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The race itself is hands down the most spectacular route I have ever run - very undulating underfoot with over 1000ft in elevation - and I definitely felt that in my legs! The scenery is outstanding and with glorious blue skies, we really couldn’t have been any luckier with the weather. The sea breeze kept us cool, though we all got a little sunburnt! There really is something to be said about running by the sea and throwing yourself down a downhill section with a cliff edge to your side! Another plus to this kind of event is that with the staggered start times, you are running with numerous other people; they might not be from your event but it makes the whole thing seem very inclusive, that we are all running together like one big team.

There was a checkpoint and a water/jelly baby stop on my route, which were very welcome before the last push to the finish up a hill. I was welcomed across the finish line by 2 of my teammates and then we waited to welcome in the others on the longer distances. There was a real sense of team spirit and it was so nice to spur each other on. We celebrated our achievements with a huge dinner on the beachfront and a well-deserved rest before the long route back home.

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The Pembrokeshire coast is a gorgeous route with plenty to offer a runner or walker; the views by far outweigh the hills and I cannot recommend enough that you get yourself down to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path!

Originally published 10/05/18

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