Charlie Bell, June 10, 2012
Endurancelife is run by a team that seeks to create events that inspire individuals to participate in the great outdoors. They have a wide variety of different events to choose from ranging from the X-Man Extreme Triathlon (off road Ironman distance triathlon) to the Bell Buoy Challenge (10KM open water sea swim). On the 6th May I took part in one of their nine Coastal Trail Series events at Flete. At each event there is a 10KM, half-marathon, marathon and Ultra marathon distance trail run option. I chose the marathon distance event.
The event took place on Flete Estate, a privately owned estate closed to the public most of the year round and also an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With the event arena set up on top of a hill overlooking the sea, I was very taken back by how scenic the area was. Despite having explored a large proportion of the South-West, Endurancelife had certainly gone one better than I had experienced.
The signing on process was very well organised with a very high number of staff and volunteers to settle any queries. The option of either a free polyester Endurancelife t-shirt or a visor was very welcoming followed by a selection of gels to take with you. This whole process was far quicker than expected and therefore gave us the option to start early with the Ultra Marathon runners. Using electronic timers which you check in with at the start/finish of the race and numerous other check points, it made start times very flexible and therefore prevented those hectic mass starts which you may be familiar with.
Within the first 10 minutes of running we had been through a forest, across a beach, down a steep hill, up a steep hill and along some flowing single track. It really did feel like we were embarking on an adventure and the coastal scenery was spectacular and a fantastic distraction from the 5,656ft of ascent. In terms of hills there were a lot a steep sections but due to the scenery this was less daunting. There were 3 checkpoints throughout the race that provided water and some food. With 2 miles to go from the finish there was a fairly wide river crossing that was not only a refreshing cool off but also really gave a sense of adventure.
At risk of sounding corny, Endurancelife really created this connection between yourself and being out in the open air in this adventurous environment. Well organised, very creative and with a fantastic community of like-minded people that participate there is a fantastic environment. My next adventure I shall be embarking on with Endurancelife is the Ultra Trail South West. There is the option of a 60 and 100-mile point-to-point trail run along the coast. I have opted for the 60 miler.
Check out endurancelife.com for more.