The trip was unsupported, so I relied on Mountain Fuel bars, gels and powder for food. For water, I dug out my water bladder and took 2 litres in that plus 1.5 litre in three soft bottles. Probably overkill but I did drink about 2.5 litres as the weather turned out to be fantastic. I also took some vegan cocktail sausages and sausage rolls for a bit of change at lunchtime.
On the day, I started from Cromer church at 9am then joined the route at Cromer pier.
I also had another idea as I set off. I could sign the visitor’s book in each church to record my journey for the future, if I ever returned! I did this for about 10 churches, I missed the start and end, one church (Paston) was closed for building works, and one did not have a working pen!
It is not a hilly route but the first few miles were along the Norfolk cliffs but my plan was to run/walk alternating for 60 seconds each as I had taken a few months off running 100% after injury last summer. This was also new, having carried out recent events with more walking than running.
Soon you leave the coastal hubbub and enter the quieter hinterlands with unfamiliar stretches of roads and trails to while away the time. I have never run unsupported before, so this was a new experience but I think the choice of route was a good one as there was always another church, another goal! Kept the mind occupied.
There was a long stretch of beach between Mundesley and Bacton, which was fantastic and, as the tide was out, provided a surface to move a bit more quickly for a while.
The last 5 miles I started to get tired as I’d not run that far for a long while (it turned out to be about 20 miles of running in the end) but I still kept the walk/ run rhythm going.
As I arrived at North Walsham, there was music and buntings! Not for me but there was some food and entertainment in the market place. Tempting but time to get home! A great day and a unique experience for me. The finish time was within my 8-hour target, 7h40m, as the church stops kept me stationary for over an hour. The distance was over 50k, 2k more than the plotted route.
As a bonus, I also raised some valuable funds for charities associated with refugee support.