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Sandy Slither, Elie, Fife – 2009


There was a good turnout for this scenic Friday night multi-terrain race of about 6 miles.  The beach, village, a cliff top section of the Fife Coastal Path, and eventually the beer garden of the Ship Inn provided a lovely seaside setting for this friendly event.

The route had been changed this year to a loop, starting and finishing on the beach in front of the Ship Inn in Elie, replacing the old end-to-end course.  This made the travelling logistics easier, but meant the slog (I mean pleasure) of running across the beach was experienced twice.  The weather was warm and muggy at the start, making for testing conditions. The first mile or so was on the beach.  Underfoot it alternated from hard flat sand, to rippley stuff, through wee streams and over energy-sapping soft sand banks. Then on to a road for a bit of relief, and then a landrover track skirting Earlsferry Golf Course to Shell Bay Caravan Park.  The next section, on the Fife Coastal Path looping over the cliffs back towards Elie, was most picturesque with views over the Forth and towards Elie. It was also quite close to the cliff edge at points and the footing on the descent was a bit slippy, on a John Muir Trust-style rocky path.  I was a few people behind one gentleman who slipped.  A gasp went up as the soles of his trainers disappeared into the bracken, as he went headlong down a steep slope towards the sea.  He was helped back to the path and seemed none the worse for his unplanned detour. The last mile retraced the footsteps (literally) along the sweep of the stunning beach at Elie, the thought of  a well deserved pint in the beer garden followed by award winning chips from Valente’s (Kirkcaldy) on the way home, kept me going.  Marvellous.

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