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St Piran's Revenge

I really don’t like sand. It’s a long story going way back to childhood years when sand (or grit as I prefer to call it) became mixed with sun cream and was frequently applied to already burnt skin. So, why did I, or anyone else for that matter, want to enter an event up, over, and down several large sand dunes? There was only one way to find out. 


St Piran’s Revenge is hosted by Perran Trail Runners, who have claim to some of the most spectacular coastline and wide beaches in the UK. St Piran has been adopted by them as the Saint of Cornish running, and she/he/they either wants to hurt you or give you a fun Sunday morning with your fellow runners and stragglers. 


Reaching the start the three words that best summed up my mood were trepidation/unprepared/why? It was a real Dr Pepper’s moment, what’s the worst that can happen? 


Fellow FRC member Paul eased some of my anxiety and told me about the course ahead, his wise words recommended not going too fast at the start, thanks Paul! 


The start time came and after a gentle jog across fairly firm sand we arrived at the first bottle neck to climb the steps up the first dune/hill, too soon we were all running again, albeit slowly along the narrow sandy paths, good to see many FRC shirts were stretching away into the distance.  


The descents were tricky, to say the least, you see kids throwing themselves down these dunes, but to an old git there is always the worry of a trip to A&E with a broken collar bone, so the brakes were applied. Even then it was hard to slow down at some points. 


Soon we were being shouted at by the lovely Marshals (thank you to them all), that the leaders were on the same narrow path, heading home. Ed was out in front (where he stayed), closely followed by several other FRC members who were making it all look too easy. 


For us back markers, the KMs were passing steadily, and the legs were feeling ok-ish. We came to a long steep descent back to the sea. Stride length increased and feet needed to be buried into the sand to prevent doing some spectacular somersaults down and probably wiping out several others in the process. Concentration was so great that I didn’t realise that the Marshal on the beach at the bottom was Robin until I was passed him. Sorry Robin. 


One last long climb up again from the beach, where half way up there was a teasing short cut (cheat) on view to add to the pain, turning at the top led to another fast descent and the relief of the finish across the beach. 


The event organisers had worked hard to be eco-friendly and as such the medal given at the finish line was simply brilliant. I will cherish it.


Well done and thanks to all. A great event, well organised, and very friendly. I think getting an entry for the 2024 SPR will be quite a challenge (limited to 250 places) so book early to avoid disappointment. 


As I dumped my running stuff on the floor at home a pile of sand emptied out with it. Perhaps sand isn’t so bad after all. 


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