Dear Santa, Please may I have more sand ??
Well where else better to spend a bank holiday monday than the beach! We headed up to New Brighton, which can only be described as a bit of a hidden gem to people who aren’t from the Liverpool area, although it’s somewhere we used to go as kids. Infact it’s so secretive, it’s not actually sign posted off the motorway. It’s actually located at the mouth of the River Mersey where it meets the sea, a couple of miles down river from Liverpool.
New Brighton fell into decline in the later parts of my childhood. I have memories of it being dirty, run down and just a little tired but over the past few years a huge regeneration project has been taking place. There’s huge cycle lanes and walkways perfect for running. There’s only the one arcade, a small childrens fun fair and a few places to eat. Scrub away at the surface and venture into the back streets and you’ll find run down businesses again but from the front New Brighton is a genuinely nice place to be. The beaches are clean, and although the water can be a little murky the beaches are kept safe by the teams of lifeguards.
I’d already told Sarah my plans of going for a run on the beach, who was more than happy to chill out on a rock and people-watch so I set off along the beach. Part of the reason for the beach run was that my knees had been aching and I thought the soft sand might be give them a break.
The tide had been in when we first got to New Brighton but was now starting to go out again, I set off in the direction of Liverpool wondering if I could make it to the ferry terminal and back. very soon, my plan was foiled as the beach came to an end, and in hind sight I should have probably gone in the other direction for a beach run and not wanting to turn back and admit defeat carried on along the promenade which stretched out for miles in front of me.
In the distance it was easy to make out the iconic buildings of Liverpool and the activity from walkers and cyclists around me made it easy to stay focused. I’ve been a little downhearted with my progress over the last week having struggled to run continuously for 25 minutes which was my current goal. The sun was beating down and I tried my best to stay in the shade of the towering houses on the hills to my right.
I was making a conscious effort to keep my speed as constant as I could, rather than taking big strides I chose to take smaller less powerful steps and maintained a speed of about a mile every 8 minutes as opposed to fluctuating between 6 and 10 minutes like I normally do. My plan worked and I seemed to be able to keep this up. I looked at my watch and couldn’t believe the time, I’d been gone 20 minutes and hadn’t turned back yet. Rather than make Sarah wait even longer I decided to turn back about half a kilometre from the ferry terminal, slightly disappointed but knew it was for the best.
I couldn’t even make out New Brighton in the distance and was quite shocked to see how far I’d come, slightly daunted by how far I’d have to run back. On the way back I noticed sign posts every 100 metres counting down the distance for me to run, it did help my motivation and I was pleased to find that the wind was blowing in my face. I promised myself that I could stop running as soon as I got to the beach and planned to walk back paddling my feet in the sea to cool down.
Surprisingly within no time, I made it back to the beach feeling slightly exhausted but eager to cool down in the sea. I returned to Sarah who had almost given up hope on me but had used her time up wisely …
I rewarded her with showers of 2p’s which didn’t last all that long … but did keep us entertained for a little while !!
We’ll be back sometime around Christmas and next time maybe i’ll do a full beach run … but possibly next time in the other direction !!