This Sunday, one of our contributors Sarah Briggs will take on the distinctive Cross Bay Challenge in Flookburgh. Here, she tells us how her preparations for the race are going.
When I was presented with the opportunity of taking part in the Cross Bay Challenge I was delighted. It's a race I've heard rave reviews about and certainly one that has always been on my to-do list of top events.
Starting at Hest Bank, the course follows the length of Morecombe Bay and finishes at Flookburgh. This year's route is the reverse to previous events and a little longer - I believe sand experts made the recommendation so runners are able to cross the channel in time.
In terms of training, my plan was to sustain a half-marathon fitness level over the winter and do several standard distance triathlons this year. Due to a long-lasting cold and cough, this hasn't quite materialised however, but I've managed a couple of slow 10-mile off-road runs and some hill work in the lead up to Sunday's race.
I've run on sand before, but dry sand dunes, which were hard work: this will be wet sand I would guess, so should be fairly compact. Apparently there's also a river to cross part of the way through: if I get there late I could be in water up to my thighs (especially as I'm not very tall!) Still, I've crossed rivers before and if it's a hot sunny day it'll be nice for cool down at the very least.
The race has been going since 2006 when it attracted just 64 runners. This Sunday, I'm expecting to be part of a 1000 strong field, which goes a long way to underlining how popular and hotly anticipated the Cross Bay Challenge now is.