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A Running Recce


A Running Recce

Emily Ackner

When I decided to run around Cornwall earlier this year it was with excitement and trepidation.

Articulating the goal, Kernow300, I knew it was a little off the charts, but hadn’t quite appreciated how much so until last week. That’s what a recce’s for right?  Some clarity’s crept in and I’ve seen the mammoth task ahead next month, realised the madness of my imagination.

I'm a little obsessed with everything Cornish, coastal, endurance and run-related right now. Fired up and gently freaking out... I foresee a hybrid endurance exploration of brutality and beauty.

Heading home is normally a super relaxing experience...

this time it was more about trying to kick myself out of the door in full trail running attire, driving to different ends of Cornwall to scale sections of the unknown South West Coast Path; I'd stop along the way, take some snaps and make mental notes of logistical hurdles (see. ferry crossings/tides/pickup&dropoff car parks etc).

Turquoise ocean

The weather was stunning, sunshine and light southerly winds. Not to be lulled into a false sense of security; October, she's changeable. That’s the beauty of passing days by the ocean, a diverse space, feral and wild.


There were stretches of path along the north coast, far west past St Ives, that made my lungs burn and eyes blur with the sheer gradient climbed, little step by step. The south coast, a different beast of shaded woodlands and coves, but a wind that rushed right through me as I wound around exposed headlands and open fields.

I've learnt...

that I’m more in love with the coast than ever. A big concern before last week was the navigational aspect of the challenge (that and the obvious accumulation of miles). As simple as it sounds, I’ve now figured that I just have to run with the ocean by my side.

It’s an anti-clockwise journey north-south, so keeping it as my right-hand man, I’ll be dandy. Quite a comforting thought really, I can imagine crappier company on a long run.

Surf line up
Sunset surf

Back to London and I'm reflecting...

on the week as a whole. A beautiful collection of moments that have given me faith in what I'm doing. I believe the physicality of the challenge will be of secondary importance to the psychological. Hills have a tendency to test you far beyond the strength in your legs. 

That being said, I'll not be neglecting the mobility exercises nor food prep, nooo. Three weeks of serious limbering up and practice packed lunches are on the agenda.

Like most daunting tasks that lie ahead, the unfeasible becomes feasible when the whole is broken down into a half and then a quarter, an eighth and then a sixteenth. 

My hunch at the beginning of this journey was that it would be about more than running. I'm a bit of a philosophical soul and love the idea that something as simple as running around my home county could help me to grow as an athlete and a person.

At the very least I hope to have a good story to tell, a tale of one border, two coasts and ten days.

You can show a little love by helping on my fundraising journey... Please click the below link to donate to 'A Mile In Her Shoes', the wonderful charity helping women affected by homelessness in London to get back on their trainer clad feet. 

Emily x