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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Round the Island at Xmas

high tide floods road by ultraBobban
high tide floods road, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.

Xmas eve was a great morning to get out. The higher than normal tide had been caused by strong winds in the night and this had led to the tide being higher and in for longer. I've run round Mersea Island more times than I can remember. Each time is different and I can't recall a more beautiful and fulfilling run than on the eve of Xmas.

With the tide high and the wind strong, I opted for the clockwise circumnavigation of the Island. It is of course, the coast path which totals exactly 13.1 miles forming the Round the Island Half which Mrs UB has delighted in completing on 2 occasions. The clockwise route takes in West Mersea first and I needed a stop off to pick up much needed hydration at the post office en route. In all of my circumnavigations, I have never seen a true high tide. It was awesome. A real deep blue clay-like hue to the normally turbid estuarine flow. The water overtopped my feet on numerous occasions as I dipped close under the cliff, un-Cnut-like in my Trabucos. Note to self....sort out the laces as I am getting a toebox problem when they gently loosen across the tongue.

Around past the world famous Company Shed where I paused to check closing time (to pick up oysers and cockles later!) and round to the bleakest and my favourite part of the Island, punctuated only by the idiots that attempt to cross the saline filled Strood at high tide. Now along the coast path from West to East along the Pyefleet Channel. It looked more stunning than I had ever seen. Moody sky, wind and light drizzle, low sun and deep shimmering sea. I passed 2 people in 8 miles. "What are you doing, running round....?" "Yeah the whole Island...great isn't it!? I replied....."Nutter...." and then they were out of earshot.

I finished off my lap with a bit extra to take me up to 14.5 miles and could have (and should have) done another couple...but dinner needed to be prepped.

Xmas day was less boozy than ever before. I am going totally dry come New Year for the foreseeable future and it didn't bother me too much. Mrs UB is joining me for boxing day tomorrow and I'm not sure she has her runners with her, although I have her other kit here. I know she would have loved the experience yesterday and I hope that I can enjoy it again when I brave the ankle deep mud, then sand, then mud (more layers than a cake) to view the wonders of coast Essex again. Running with Mrs UB is amazing and I can't wait to spend every Xmas running with her from now on. Merry Xmas all ye plodders and sprinters

1 comment:

  1. Well done Rob, something special about running on "home turf" something I enjoyed earlier this year when running the Croydon Ultra. I still love people's comments calling us nutters and the like....what could be so normal as to run knee deep in water.