some things in life can unexpectedly surprise you. i had one of those experiences today with my trip that would reacquaint me with part of my past.
after an early morning cuppa and toast i did the short drive to the start of my little memory lane adventure.
the sun shone. the sea glistened. the beaches were golden. could this be the same english northern coast that i frequented in my youth ? yes it was. and i was so happy to be part of it once more.
what was so inspiring was that the whole coastline had taken on a totally new being. gone were the hostile dark and murky waters and the coal emblazened dirty 'beaches', replaced over time through obvious hard conservation efforts and a vision to nurture a better place for all. and you know what? it's worked! you could have been forgiven for thinking you were elsewhere.
my route, covering in total four lighthouses (roker, one in seaburn whose name i dont know, souter and south shields), started from roker pier
, making its way along the promenade through to seaburn, then whitburn and souter lighthouse
from there it was on to marsden grotto
and down to south shields , then back again.
the run to south shields was a mix of coastal path and road, into a fresh headwind to add a little bit of resistence training into the mix. after marsden grotto i purposely picked up the road to run the last two miles of the GNR..a nice gently descending finish it is as well. i've never run that race and never plan to, but i imagined the euphoria people year in year out would be feeling as then descended down to the carnival like atmosphere at the finish.
for the return leg i stuck solidly to the coastal path, now with a tailwind, and came across little pockets of beaches and coves that i never knew existed. its amazing what discoveries running can afford you. by the time i arrived back to my starting point the lifeguards were getting ready to keep their watchful eyes on the activities that were to unfurl that day in the great north sea. that in itself was a real symbol that things had changed drastically for the better.
back in the car, roof down, i explored a few old haunts before going back to my sisters for a great breakfast feast and finally heading back home with Hollie.
today i felt the north east allow one of its now dissident sons to run in all the glory it could ever offer. and the distance? it could only have been 13.1miles.