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St Austell Bay Coastal Run for Charity

By Deb Grills

Sunday 27th May 2012

Sunday 27th May saw the St Austell Bay Coastal Run for Charity taking place on the cliff tops around St Austell Bay. The success of the event was hugely contributed to by generous support from Allen’s Travel of Mount Charles and St Austell Rugby Club who provided free bus transport for the 43 runners to the start point in Fowey. The event support crew were also well stocked with water from Asda, Jelly Babies from Wilko’s and great fruit cake donated by The Coffee and Cake Team of St Paul’s Church Charlestown.

Fuel was much needed for this challenging off-road run from Fowey via The Gribben and Polkerris to Par where the first watering hole was located. Deb Grills, the organiser, had vehicles strategically located throughout the course to ensure all runners were well cared for. All 43 runners enjoyed this first stretch in perfect running conditions of light cloud and cool temperatures. As the temperature began to rise runners made their way along the next stretch towards Charlestown. After a drink stop at Carlyon Bay, a “lucky 13” took the tougher option of continuing onto Black Head, Pentewan and Tregorrick. The other 30 runners completed their 10.25 mile route by finishing at the Rashleigh Arms at Charlestown. There, managers Rob and Lucy kindly provided facilities for the runners to enjoy a relaxed recovery in The Rashleigh garden where large quantities of roast potatoes were gratefully received by the hungry early arrivals.

The group led by Dave Rowe and Duncan Oakes continued on the Coast Path and the steep climbs of Trenarren and Pentewan. Leaders Izzy Wykes and Andrew Ferguson were the 1st to complete this 20 mile route and arrived back at the Rashleigh appearing as if the whole event had been effortless.

Many of the runners were from St Austell Running Club, though others joined in this social run including last weeks Olympic Torch bearer Ken Johnson. The first two men to reach Charlestown for the 10 mile “sprint” were Martin Rowe from Saints Health and Fitness and his running partner Matt. Shortly behind them was first lady Leanne Rickson. Deb Grills said “Although it wasn’t a race a few enjoyed the challenge of completing the course as fast as possible without long stops at the cake and water stations”! Others rose to the challenge of running their first ever run of such duration and were thrilled with their accomplishments. As it wasn’t a race, taking their time on the steepest parts of this fantastic stretch of Cornish coastline was still a pleasure for everyone.

Today’s event was to raise funds for The Torbay and South Devon Hospice, “Rowcroft”. Deb was inspired by her great friend Jane with whom she grew up and went to school with in St Austell. Jane, now living in Torquay, completed The Rowcroft charity Sleepwalk in 2010 but has since been diagnosed with cancer herself and may well soon need the care provided by Rowcroft . Jane and Deb still hope to be able to complete the Sleepwalk together in July later this year.

“I would like to thank all the runners and everyone else who contributed to today’s event and made such generous donations”. The sum raised so far is over £600 and donations are still coming in.

If you would like to make a contribution you can do so on line by Deb’s Virgin Money Giving page at or you can contact Deb on 07964 107422.