Blue 9, your time is up!

Tamsyn and M by the Land's End parkrun sign.

It’s starting to get real – I’ve now received my email from London Marathon letting me know my start colour and wave – I’m in Blue 9.

Tamsyn's London Marathon email - start colour: blue; wave: 9. Start time: 10:36-10:39. (Blue 9)

I’ve also got my bib number: 54632. This means that you can track me, either online or using the London Marathon 2023 app. Remember that Blue 9 is supposed to start at 10:36, so with a slightly late start and a congested first 5km, I wouldn’t expect to see anything on the tracker until ~11:15am.

Tamsyn's bib number: 54632. You can track her and others via the London Marathon 2023 app).

Stair climbing at PK Portcurno

After my long run around Hayle, we had to find some other activities during our holiday as the weather forecast was dire. I did a bit of studying, but that doesn’t entertain M, so we decided to go to PK Porthcurno, the telegraph museum. I’ve never visited before, but it has a great reputation for being child-friendly as is mostly indoors, so it seemed like a good idea for a windy and rainy day.

There were lots of interactive exhibits and an excellent talk that involved the young visitors. M was very excited about climbing the 190 steps that lead from the part of the museum that is in the cliff up to the escape hatch at the top. I think she had mistakenly thought the hard hats meant we were going into an underground mine. The steps made my legs ache more than any of my long runs have done and the terrible weather meant that we didn’t want to stop and admire the view for long.

Stu and M at the escape hatch from the Telegraph Museum.
Stu and M at the top of the escape hatch at PK Porthcurno.

Visit to Geevor and Levant

Later in the week when the wind had dropped, we visited Geevor Tin Mine. I’ve been to the cafe before, but never visited the rest of it. M is interested in mining and was looking forward to panning for treasure. The tour is quite emotional. I remember seeing about Geevor in the local news when I was growing up and the Dry (the changing rooms) have been left exactly as they were when the mine closed.

After we had toured the mine (and gone through the Victorian mine workings) we went to the Count House Cafe for lunch. The views were stunning and the food was tasty and good value. I don’t think my photo shows just how turquoise the sea was.

The view from the Count House Cafe at Geevor.
The head frame at Geevor.
The headgear at Geevor.

After lunch, we walked over to Levant Mine, which is managed by the National Trust. It has a working beam engine. When I was in college, the girls in the year above wrote a moving play about the man engine disaster at Levant, so I’ve been familiar with the incident for a long time.

Levant boiler house (on the left) and whim building on the right. The sea in the background is turquoise blue.

Although I didn’t do any running, I was exhausted from all of the walking and sea air.

16km run around Hayle

The weather forecast was good for Friday morning, so I decided to fit in my last long run of 16km. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit it in around parkrun and I had other plans for Sunday.

I set off from my mum’s house and headed towards Sandy Acres. The last time I was on the path was during my childhood, so wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t as rocky as I remembered, but there were some puddles that spanned the entire width of the road, so I got damp feet. There were also lots of Spanish bluebells, which looked pretty. It rained a little bit at this point, but I wasn’t too bothered by it.

Spanish bluebells.
A bumblebee by a Spanish bluebell.

After coming out towards Gwithian, I headed back towards Ventonleague. I jogged up the hill towards High Lanes before turning off down Strawberry Lane. I normally run on the right-hand side of the road, if I’m on my own, but there are quite a few bends and I like to make sure that I can be seen as well as possible, so I had to keep switching sides. Fortunately, I only saw a couple of cars.

When I got to Joppa, I had to cross the ford. This wasn’t as bad as it sounds – if you look at the far left of my photo, you can see that there is a small footbridge. After that, there’s a bit of an uphill slog before coming out at Tolroy Holiday Village. Then I ran down Water Lane, towards St Erth.

The ford at Strawberry Lane, Joppa.
The ford at Strawberry Lane, Joppa.

Wo-ah we’re halfway there

At Chenhalls Road, I turned onto the cycle path. I’ve run on it a few times recently. It’s a lot higher than the road and has bushes separating it, so it feels comparatively peaceful. The entrance to a farmer’s field is part way down. Lots of mud has been churned onto the cycle path and the rain means that the entire width of the path was covered by an enormous muddy puddle. I didn’t want to get my shoes wet (the puddle was at least ankle-deep), but I also didn’t want to turn around. Then I spotted a path that people had made through the bushes. I was just about able to cling on and get to the other side without getting wet feet. Hooray!

At the end of the cycle path, I ran out to the end of the Millpond. On the way back, I stopped on a bench for a quick breather. I drank some of my drink and had a couple of shot blocks. Then I headed back towards Asda, where I ran around South Quay. I turned left and ran towards North Quay, stopping to take some photos.

View towards St Ives from North Quay in Hayle.

At Harveys Towans car park, I stopped for another breather and to take some photos. The sun had come out and it was feeling very hot.

Boats heading out to sea from Hayle estuary.
Selfie of Tamsyn on the cliffs.
One day, I’ll take a decent selfie!

The final leg

I ran back along King George V Walk to the recreation ground and then turned back into Hayle. I ran through Home Bargains’ car park and along Black Arches. Partway, I stopped for a photo. It was hot and the views were lovely.

View of Copperhouse Pool from Black Arches.
Selfie of Tamsyn on Black Arches.

I only had a few kilometres to go, but was feeling tired. I ran down King George’s Walk past the swimming pool and then turned for the final kilometre. When my watch said I’d run 16km, I was so glad.

I stopped at The Edge cafe and bought a cold drink to have on my walk home. I’ve now done all of my long runs ahead of the London Marathon and just have a few short runs to do before the big day.

Pink Spanish bluebells.
I love pink Spanish bluebells.

Land’s End parkrun

On Saturday, we had a choice of parkruns. I didn’t want to return to Heartlands as I’ve done it more than any other parkrun in Cornwall and didn’t fancy the hills of Penryn Campus. I checked the weather forecast and saw that it was predicted to be dry and not too windy, so thought it might be a good day to visit Land’s End with M. Stu has had her for quite a few parkruns recently as he’s been injured. Last week they ran together and she was really motivated, so I hoped that I would have the same result.

This was my second visit to Land’s End parkrun, with the last one being in December 2019. It was cold, wet and windy on that date. It was also a different course, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Runners waiting at the start of Land's End parkrun.
Runners waiting at the start of Land's End parkrun.

The course is essentially an out-and-back, however, it starts in the car park and finishes closer to the buildings. The main part of the run is completed twice. This is nice as it meant that we got to see Stu and the other fast runners a few times.

We were unbelievably lucky with the weather. It was very warm and there was no breeze at all. I don’t think I’ve ever known such a still day in Cornwall, let alone on the coast. There is very little shade on the parkrun route, so M found it a little hot. She was really enthusiastic on the run (and kept looking for quartz, her new obsession). Her finish time was just under 43 minutes.

Tamsyn and M by the Land's End parkrun sign.

After we finished running, we took advantage of the free parking and had a wander around.

Stu and M on the rocks at Land's End. In the background Longships Lighthouse can be seen.
Tamsyn's result email from Land's End parkrun. Her time was 43:00.


So, my main training has now finished. I’ve got a Lordshill training session on Monday and a short ‘endurance’ session on Thursday left. On Wednesday I’m going to the Excel centre to collect my race pack.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve developed a niggle in my left knee. I’m not too worried as I had the same problem 10 years ago when I ran Paris Marathon and that worked out OK. I’ve also been using the massage gun that Stuart gave me for my birthday, so hopefully, that will help.

Humorous checklist: what went wrong on my run today? The list says: should have warmed up beforehand; was dehydrated; GI emergency; bonked; too hot; too cold; shoe cam untied; nagging injury; ran into a concrete wall at full speed; beard not thick/full enough; didn't like show on TV at gym; am a mere shadow of the runner I was 3/5/10 years ago, another reminder of my inevitable march toward the grave; slipped on a banana peel, flew into air, landed flat on back; just felt way too fit, good-looking, and athletic today, so embarrassing; stepped in dog poop; stepped in rotting deer carcass; shin splints; massive asteroid hit earth; side stitch; not enough cheering from passing pedestrians and motorists; didn't find $100 bill on sidewalk/trail; attacked by a bear/other megafauna; still mad about choco tacos being discontinued; was called upon to save the universe from villain with superweapon, ugh, again; dunno, just wasn't feeling it today.
©Brendan Leonard, Semi-Rad:

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