Round 4 in the 2018/19 Cornwall Multi-Terrain Race Series, the St. Michael's Mount Remembrance Run is organised by Mounts Bay Harriers and takes runners along the fine stretch of sandy coastline between Marazion and Penzance. The race may only be short and flat, somewhat atypical for most Cornish races, however what it lacks in elevation change it more than makes up for in energy-sapping soft sand.
This year's race was run on a falling tide. After a 2 minute silence, we were off across firm flat sand. However, that wasn't to last for long. Runners soon found themselves sinking ankle deep into loose wet shingle, brought in by rivers during the recent storms. As the tide was still falling, it was not possible to seek out the firm solid sand typically exposed at low tide. As a result, most of the outbound section was extremely tough across soft unconsolidated sand, accompanied by a ruthless headwind.
At the turn around point though, everything changed. The wind was behind us, switching from being a massive hindrance to a huge benefit, increasing amounts of firm flat sand were being exposed by the falling tide, and I felt like I was rocket propelled. Being near the front of the pack, there was also a fantastic view back to a line of red runners, over a mile long, tailing back round the bay. The view across to St. Michael's Mount was equally fine with superb air clarity, surrounded by rolling white horses as the Atlantic swell pushed in. A perfect opportunity for a drone video was missed at this one.
I generally found the return leg much easier and more enjoyable, but the last mile started to become interesting again, as the firm flat low tide sand was only intermittently exposed and large breakers kept rolling in. The backwash was particularly strong and some runners found themselves taking an unexpected swim.
This is probably the toughest 4 mile race I've run but very pleased to finish 5th overall and 3rd in age and see my form returning after almost a year of absence! Falmouth Road Runners boasted a fantastic attendance of >50, including a handful of age category prizes for Jackie Cope, Janet Watson, Mark Littlejohns, Andrew Laurie, Keith Marshall and Karrie Fox. Sadly the team prizes alluded us though...