Day Four – Land’s End and Godolphin – In Theory.
Daybreak brought with it a torrential downpour and limbs that felt like they’d had a personal encounter with a medieval torture rack. Our itinerary for the day was hastily reviewed, but I had a personal mission to accomplish: the Park Run. This year I’ve been on a crusade to conquer all the Cornish park runs, but Land’s End? That one was a logistical nightmare. A 9am start and a road trip that would normally mean I’d have to leave the house at seven. However, our accommodation was a mere five miles away. But the rain was biblical. Steve, demonstrating wisdom worthy of a sage, decided to sit this one out.
After sprucing up the cottage till it was spick and span, we bade our farewell and hit the road towards Land’s End. I spent the journey with my eyes riveted on the heavens, hoping for a respite in the ceaseless deluge. Upon arrival, we were rewarded with a parking spot that was, lo and behold, gratis for park runners. Steve initiated a mini excursion with Agatha, and I, cloaked in determination, ventured into the relentless precipitation.
The run organisers were a hoot! They cracked wise about the surprisingly high number of us tourists braving the weather, and showered us with pointers for navigating the course. Land’s End park run is mainly flat and hardcore, with a track as narrow as a tightrope. It features a double loop, necessitating a strict adherence to the left to avoid collisions with oncoming runners and speedy Gonzaleses overtaking from behind. The day’s additional challenges: ample mud and sizeable puddles.
In spite of the wretched conditions, spirits were high. The volunteers were like smiling ice sculptures braced against the win and rain, while I morphed into a mobile sauna. Mid-run, I shed my raincoat. Yes, I had been running in a downpour dressed like Paddington Bear. I didn’t break any personal records, but I did manage to run nearly the entire course without stopping. Thrilled, I was!
Post-run, in the sanctuary of the car, Steve aided me in shedding my sodden attire. My fingers, numbed by the cold, refused to cooperate and I was relegated to shivering in my seat.
Our journey home commenced.
Godolphin had initially been on our agenda. A six-mile circular trek that, given our exhausted muscles and waterlogged states, we had scratched off our itinerary at the first sight of the morning’s rain-laden skies.
That’s an adventure for another day.