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  • Writer's pictureLuke Douglas-Home

Stretch 2: the haunting sound of seals, the speed of sanderlings and skeins of geese at dusk

S2: Hemsby to Happisburgh

S2 of The Coastline Runner’s mission

(to run as much as he can[i] of the British Isles’ coastline until 9th October 2022).

On Monday, 8 November, greeted by Heidi Beaumont-Peston, Councillor James Bensley and Dan Hurd and Michael Litten from Hemsby Lifeboat

(photo credit: Victor Ling at Barkers photographic)

a. Start: Hemsby

b. Finish: Happisburgh

c. Distance: 20 km

Previous: 14 km

running total: 34 km

d. How arrived: by public transport (train to Yarmouth) and bus from Y'mouth.

In Hemsby, I was met by Victor of Barkers Photos link here (LH) along with local Councillor James Bensly (LH) and Norfolk Waste Partnership’s Heidi Beaumont-Preston (LH) and Dan and Michael from Hemsby Life Boat Station (LH).

e. How departed: by bus from Happisburgh to North Walsham and then train.

f. CO2e[ii] emitted: 15.4 kgs (15.3 kgs CO2e (return train travel) + 1g (local bus route (rounded up)) + 1 kit kat)

g. Plastic trash observation: whether it was because of the massive morning tide or the 2-minute beach cleans (here and here ), this stretch is one of the most plastic-free I have ever experienced – 3 old plastic water bottles and marine plastic left in the bin at Sea Palling Life Boat Station (LH)

h. Short Report (SR): (250 words)

Previously, I was carrying the weight of a TV on my back (LH): for S2 I got it down by 25%, still including the 1.2 kgs of fresh drinking water.

By altering my Vibram Barefoot Running shoes (LH) to the ‘furishiki’ model (which I run the ½ marathon in) to see if they are better at handling the sand and water of shoreline running, I made it to Happisburgh by dusk; after seeing sanderlings, seals and 000s of geese.

For running, the shoreline has the firmest sand. But because of this, I made a terrible mistake.

Thinking they were shoreline rocks (pictured)

I ran into hundreds of basking seals (pictured).

Please don’t make that mistake – close human interaction can cause mothers to abandon their young (LH). Maybe check with the experts first (LH), the Friends of Horsey seals.

Another bit of advice: don’t ever make sandwiches with goat’s cheese and peanut butter – they don’t go together!

Do drink smartwater bottles (LH) if you have to buy water bottles. I haven’t researched them properly (yet) but the claim is that they are a plastic made from recycled, reusable and recyclable. Therefore they are a #circulareconomy product. Remember, though, that plastic can only be recycled a couple of times (LH), so a water flask is always the best option if you can plan forward. Looking forward to Monday 15th November, and the next stretch of 20 km again (pictured); Happisburgh to Cromer, on the 15th November! Here we go! The Norfolk Chapter by Christmas.

Thanks again to you all. Thanks especially to Vic, of Barkers photos (LH) for being adaptable (to train delay crises) and having the nous to take drone footage, Nathalie Garritley at Great Anglia, Mike at Sanders Coaches (LH) and everyone for reading and sharing this blog.

S2 has been reported already here by Liz Coates (@Liz_Coates)

The justgiving page (to cover travel costs of the coastlinerunner's mission) is here.

[i] Family and work-life allowing! [ii] The CO2e calculation will be based on all travel, accommodation and consumption necessary for this mission; savings by being given any of the above will not be calculated, but mentioned as probono. Mike Berners Lee (LH) (LH) and The Vegan Society (LH) are used. Thank you.

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