19 September 2018
I had set my alarm for 07:00, as I had committed myself by saying out loud to everyone that I was planning on running the length of Bermuda, from one side to the other. Jules had kindly offered to drop me off and Ian was going to meet me at the finish.
I decided to run from east to west but rather than run from the north east where the airport is, I chose the area of Tuckers as my starting point, mostly because I didn’t want to run along the busy Causeway which joins the airport island with the main island.
Cornelia woke up shortly after me and was looking forward to her day out with Daddy. They were getting the bus up to the Royal Naval Dockyard and we arranged to meet about four hours after I set off.
As Jules drove me towards Fricks Beach (my intended start point) so it poured with torrential rain, and I started to feel a little anxious about how enjoyable this might be if I were completely drenched from the start!
We arrived at the entrance to Tuckers, but there was a road barrier and you had to be a member of the club to be allowed through. Jules dropped me off there, about 2kms from the start, but the security man refused to let me in. I managed to walk up a parallel road and although it wasn’t my original start point, I did manage to start by the coast.
The first part of the run was quite lovely – it was along the main road, which hugged the coastline. Beautiful beaches, gradual inclines and a gentle breeze blowing. I needn’t have worried about the rain! Although the sun didn’t come out fully, it stayed pretty dry and the heat and humidity was intense. But I was quite happy, pootling along at a reasonable pace, conscious that I had a long way to go!
There were loads of churches along the route, which was main roads to start with, before it joined the Railway Trail. There are plenty of reasons to stop and take photos… the beaches, the churches, the funny road names, the feral chickens…! I was definitely taking my time!
Despite the slow pace, the heat did then hit me, shortly after joining the Trail. I was drinking regularly and after an hour, I stopped for an oat bar. It was then a case of getting to Julia’s after about thirteen miles, to refill my backpack with water, and I also realised I was possibly suffering with a touch of heatstroke, as my skin was very cold and clammy! It wasn’t bothering me too much, but I was quite aware of the sudden danger of heatstroke and frankly, that would’ve been embarrassing….!
At Julia’s, I had a banana and a spoonful of salty peanut butter, and filled my bladder (my running bladder, not my actual bladder…) with cold water and loads of ice cubes. After about fifteen minutes, I set off again, but it was a very slow plod for the last seven miles. I was pouring with sweat, and needed to take regular breaks to guzzle water. Eventually, I ran out of water and was a bit worried about the last three miles, until I rounded the corner and was in Mangrove Bay, a stunning little area with, hurrah, an alcohol store that also sold water. Tempting though an ice cold beer was, I did just refill with water, pouring a little over my head to try and cool me down.
Eventually I reached the Royal Naval Dockyard and weaved in and out of the cruise ship tourists, finding Cornelia and Ian by the ice cream shop. Ian nipped in to get me a chocolate milkshake recovery drink, then reminded me that I should really just run the last few hundred metres to the shoreline. How did I forget that?! So, I ran up to the museum, but it was $15 for entry, and despite clearly not making it up, the ticket lady refused to let me through for a finisher’s photo. 🙄 Never mind, I knew I’d done it and I was ready to start the recovery now!
I had a spare change of clothes in Ian’s rucksack, and once I’d changed my sweat-drenched kit and rinsed my disgustingly salt-crusted face, I felt tons better. Our plan had been to head straight home, but then we saw the petit train that did a circuit of the Dockyard, and of course, Cornelia really wanted to go on it. Having dragged her around all day, just so I could go for a run, it was the least we could do, and enjoyed our ten minute trip around!
We found our bus home easily and it arrived just a few minutes after us. By the time we arrived back, Cornelia had fallen asleep on me, and although this was the last thing I felt capable of, I lugged our little girl up the short hill back to our apartment. She woke up as we entered, but wanted to just lie in bed for a bit, which was perfect as it meant I could shower in peace and do some stretching etc.
Julia had invited a friend over for supper, so it was nice to have an excuse to put on a dress and some make up, although I realised how wrinkly the dress was fairly quickly! Jules has a steamer – amazing, I’m a convert – that erased the creases in no time at all!
So, just the laundry to do and I was ready for the evening to start!
Ian took Cornelia off to bed just as Monroe was arriving, and came back just as we’d filled our plates with yummy food. Good food, pink champagne and terrific company. What more do you need to ensure a good recovery?! Ian had promised Cornelia I would go down and see her in the apartment, which I did at around 21:30 and she was still wide awake, with her night light on. She was very happy and surprised to see me: “Mummy, you DID come!!! What took you so long?!” I was anticipating the need for a long cuddle, but I explained to her that we were having a quick cuddle, that she should be asleep by now, and that I was going back upstairs to finish off our meal, and she didn’t get upset or anything. Phew!
The rest of the evening flew by as if often the way with five around a table, and before we knew it, it was 23:00 and way past our bedtime! Ryan had already excused himself, and as Julia was taking Monroe home, it was the ideal time to head off ourselves. What a terrific day, in so many amazing ways!