Saturday, 26 May 2018

Cinque Ports 100

Every year the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) organises a 100 mile event. This year it was called the Cinque Ports Hundred which began in Hastings and finished in Dover. There were checkpoints in towns or villages every few miles serving hot and cold food including pasta, pizza and cooked breakfast, wonderful home-made cakes or other sweet treats.

In keeping with LDWA tradition, the route wasn’t marked – instead each entrant had to follow a set of route instructions, with a map and compass as back-up.    The route had around 7,000 feet of elevation and was a mixture of footpaths, fields, canal path and rocky paths.

Nick Payne started with around 40 other runners at 2pm on Saturday. Around 400, mostly walkers had started at 10am that morning. Nick completed the first 50 miles in around 13 hours, however the thunderstorms in the night, blisters and the hot weather on the Sunday slowed him down. In the end, He was just happy and relieved to finish in 35 hours 43 minutes placing him 86th out of 306 finishers.

Below is a summary of the best & worst of the event as described by Nick.

Good bits:
Meeting many likeminded runners/walkers to share the pain with.
Getting a round of applause from the organisers when I finished.
A “Cinque Ports” certificate and badge as souvenir.
Seeing my wife and daughter at every checkpoint on the Sunday.
The lightening frequently lighting up the night sky on Saturday night.

Not so good bits:
The hot and humid weather with the temperature reaching 25 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday.
The blister inducing downpours at night.
A blister PB of 12 – mainly due to the inclement weather.
The 2,200 steps scattered throughout the route. Many were made out of sharp rock on the rocky coastal paths after 70+ miles – just relieved I made round in 1 piece.  
Getting lost on more than one occasion – I ended up completing 112 miles!
Being chased by a herd of cows after around 10 miles – glad this was after 10, not 90 miles as I’d have struggled to run!
Falling over twice in the night – thankfully I emerged muddy but unscathed.  

‘I found this tougher than my previous 100, however I did really enjoy it despite all the pain – I must be mad! Doing an event like this is a great challenge – it’s tough but very rewarding - the sense of achievement when I finished was the best feeling running has given me’ Nick said.

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