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jamie witton, London , UK, United Kingdom

Cyprus Trails - down and around the beach

Part of the fun of going on a work organised 'retreat' is to find some way to express your own freedom while on it.  Obviosuly for me this meant a run, and what better than a trail run in a country with beaches, mountains and amazing weather.  Thing is, I had 58 minutes to squeeze this in....

Having been shipped off en-masse for a team leadership development programme (yes... really), I began to look around our 5* resort for opportunities to stretch the legs and regain a bit of personal space. 

So following our last activity of the day, when we had a 1 hour break, I laced up the trail shoes.  I quickly realised I had 8 minutes until the sunset.  Time to run!  This came at a bit of a cost though, as I turned all the muscles in my lower legs to mulch on the 10% gradient path down to the sea.  Worth it though:

I paused for a brief moment at the top of the cliffs which led down to the pebbly beach to regain my breath and massage my destroyed calves.  Clearly my muscular mess isn't quite 'there' yet with the high-impact-bad-technique stuff (hardly suprising).  Plus I don't have a downhil technique yet, something to learn soon.  Also, a lesson learnt that running up a hill is the best way to warm up - save the steep descents for when your muscles are more malleable.

The view was phenomenal, so I decided to do a Salomon Scramble down to the water's edge.  The trail was proper scree, and I don't think I looked as good as Ricky Lightfoot when doing it (awesome video called "Of Fells & Hills" by Salomon Running TV, check it out on YouTube).  That said, I didn't have slowmo and emotional music to accompany it.

Reaching the beach I realised that it was best to stick to the flatter path just back from the pebbles.  These are really hard to run on, £120 trail shoes or not.  In case you're thinking of investing, these La Sportiva "Bushido" pair I have are outstanding.  6mm drop means your gait is natural, but the support is there in terms of cushioning and ankle sprain prevention.  In addition, the 'impact brake system' works a little too well when running down hill on a track, not a trail!

After a few hundred metres I came across this perfect scene:

It was something out of a film, I and stopped to take a few (too many) photos.  One of the true joys about getting into running as a lifestyle, rather than chore to keep fit, is that you simlpy don't care about stopping and starting.  The energy is there, but you chose to take in your environment whenever it feels right.  Some of the best runs I've had recently have been getting to a top of a mountain/hill and just taking in the view.  Gives your body a chance to recoup too.

Having seen the sun sink behind the horizon, I made my way back up the shallower trail to reach the cliffs again.  There was a marked trail that led east and I had no hesitation in setting off down this.  It was getting dark though and I was conscious that I didn't want to end up lost near cliffs in a foreign country with no head torch x_x.

I ran for about 10 minutes before reaching a natural turn around point.  By this time I'd recovered from the climb back up the hill, and the thought of stopping was hardly appealing.  Sadly, all good things come to an end, so I took a quick silly selfie to 'represent my running club and headed back up the hill. 

The hill climb on the way up was a good stress buster and I settled into a really nice rhythm.  I'd do a similar switchback hill climb the next day, but that was 'organised fun' and somehow doesn't stick in the mind as much as this glorious, mad expression of freedom.

Cyrpus... I'm definitely coming back for round II

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MR goes to Greece... so do I! Well Cyprus. Awesome trail down and around the beach
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Cyprus Trails - down and around the beach
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Cover image:``fEbUg@dMbIdBdFhKdApAtFmJ|JuDzJnHgQo@eE~BgF{@CnBOM_CpM{FrB}M~BnAbAqJ|Ak@n@{CbD_@_Dd@qCfEy@~IcCgAiA|KwJxHeCJ@~BaIk@_HoKcIcDiRH{@f@v@pB
jamie witton, London , UK, United Kingdom
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