Lundy Island is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, and when a half-marathon was announced for July 8th I jumped at the chance.
Stuck out 12 miles in the Bristol Channel it’s not an easy place to get to; leaving home at 5:30am it’s 2 hour drive; a 2 hour boat trip, on the faded grandeur of the German 1958 MS Oldeburg, with the bonus of seeing dolphins jumping through the wake; the start line is a 20 min slog to the top and only village, for a 12:30 start.
The race numbers are limited to the number of people allowed on the boat, so 260-odd had the pre-race briefing, a kit check (as carrying water was mandatory), and set off in the glorious sunshine.
Being only 3 miles long and 0.6 miles wide, it takes 2 and bit loops to get the distance required. As an undulating XC run it’s never going to be a PB event, so I set off with a fairly easy pace hoping to take in the scenery and wildlife.
The first 7 or so miles were pleasant with open track and easy sweeping footpaths, but as the sun beat even hotter, the route turned into narrow technically challenging, occasionally terrifying, cliff edge climbs. By this point it was walking pace only, with the occasional stumble. There were a few injuries, cuts and bruises and a couple of people really effected by dehydration.
The final checkpoint 11 miles in was at the north end of the island, down a sigh-inducing set of steps, where I was able to gather myself, watch some seals, throw water over myself and shove fist full of jelly babies in before making the final push up the steps and through the middle of the island to the finish.
I was very pleased, or more relieved, to see the finish, and joined the other finishers in dunking heads into buckets of water, claiming our puffin medals and nipping to the pub for a pint of the Lundy ale.
An enjoyable and unique event that I would recommend to anyone who fancied something different. I came in 40th place with a time of 2:18, the winner came in at 1:38.