FKT: Anna-Marie Watson - Mendip Way (United Kingdom) - 2020-10-31

Route variation
Mendip Way
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
9h 50m 25s

My unsupported journey along the Mendip Way from Weston super Mere to Frome started with a super early start from Frome where I parked my campervan & stayed overnight. I took the train from Frome to Westbury; Westbury to Bristol & Bristol to WSM; then jogged the 3.3km to the 'start-line'. The weather was pretty manky from the offset (see video) & frustratingly my iPhone hadn't charged overnight so I knew it wouldn't last the whole day. I had specifically planned to run this route as my 'end of season' FKT instead of the Diagonale de Fous in Reunion island. The date was selected as a full moon & due to the shorter days I knew I'd be finishing the route in the dark. 

The first section of the route has the majority of the climb & is more exposed to the westerly wind. The ground was really wet underfoot so it was more like slipping, sliding, gliding & paddling rather than running. Several fields have herds of cows who've churned up the ground which is tricky to walk/run across with lots of places where it would be easy to fall over. 

I followed the route from a gpx file downloaded onto my Garmin & I'd recced some sections in advance (Cheddar to Draycott, Priddy to Wells, Shepton Mallet to Frome). The route is fairly well marked apart from a 5km section from Shepton Mallet crossing large fields - it's advisable to walk around the edges & then hunt out the crossing point. There are a number of different wooden & stone gates & styles which seem to get higher along the route as your legs get tired! 

I stopped in Wells at Parson bakery for a pasty, cake, coffee & water replen (I carried 1L of water) this was literally 50m off the marked route & then back tracked to the same point. The only other time I stopped was for water from a tap at the side of someone's house (thank you!). 

It's a stunning route which has amazing views towards Glastonbury Tor & south Somerset. A high point was a complete rainbow as I approached Shepton Mallet. The last 11km the majority of which are through the woods were run in the dark before I arrived in the town of Frome amongst Halloween trick or treaters.