FKT Report Portsea Island Loop
Date: 27th December 2021
Weather: 8*c and VERY Wet
As others have mentioned previously there are a couple of divisions. The COVID diversions appear to have been removed for the moment however there were two required due to building work:
- The Promenade (see Strava photo) is still undergoing construction work and so I followed the diversion until I could rejoin the seafront.
- There is construction work ongoing along the eastern side from the Harvester pub all the way to where the course rejoins the main road near the bridge. I just ran parallel along the main road attempting to rejoin by the Sports Centre but unfortunately that's not possible.
I'd decided to run an FKT route over the Christmas period and this one seemed like a great route to try given the distance and the location. This FKT attempt comes at the beginning of my marathon training block ahead of Manchester Marathon 2022 so I decided to try and pace it as close to Marathon pace as possible, although I didn't quite expect quite so many 'trail' sections heading into the route. A warning for those who attempt this after me, some road/trail shoes would be beneficial.
I parked up on the housing estate on the North side of the route and commenced my run from the kissing gate in the North East corner to give myself a clear start/end point. I ran counter-clockwise and after struggling with a couple of slight route mishaps in the first few kilometers crossing the big roads I managed to settle into a decent rhythm as the rain subsided. I got over the first trail section along the stony beach on the West side the route was fairly easy to follow down to the seafront and along Southern edge.
I ran into some difficulties once I reached the South Eastern corner with my watch not being clear on the directions given the out/back nature of that section along Ferry Road. I made a slight navigational error just after that, missing the initial entrance to the beach section and ending up in the housing estate but managed to get back on course fairly quickly.
As others have noted, you'll need to do this FKT at low tide (and I would recommend during the summer when it's generally drier) as it's likely both the stony beach section on the West side and the beach section on the East side wont be traversable when the tide is in.
Overall a good route and one I think I'll be back to give another go at in slightly drier weather when the diversions have been lifted.
I ran this unsupported carrying three gels and a chocolate fudge bar. I consumed two gels at 9km and 18km and didn't take any water with me.