Fastest known time to run the entire path
Name: Rhys Jenkins
Running the Wales Coast Path had been on my bucket list since it was fully connected in 2012. Skip forward a few years and I saw the amazing time James Harcombe set for running the Wales Coast Path. From that day on wards I knew I would be having a go at the fastest known time for quite possibly the most epic trail in the world - the Wales Coast Path.
Start date: 21 July 2020 setting off from Chester
Finish date: 10th August 2020 in Chepstow
The plan was to average 44 to 45 miles a day and that would mean a shot at the record (with a little wriggle room). The best plans are adaptable though and on Anglesey (The Ring of Fire), this path really tested my resolve and grit - with relentless headwind and torrential downpours leading to a couple of shorter days to protect the mind and body.
Setting off from Chester on July 21st, it felt like all my running adventures to date had led me to this point. The most iconic fastest known time in Wales on the Wales Coast Path.
However, the positives completely outweighed the negatives and one of the many highlights took place on the Llyn Peninsula. This stunning area of natural beauty took me by surprise - yes the path was brutal, yes the weather was pretty grim but it was all overshadowed by the views and the people. The people of Llyn were on another level when it came to support and willingness to help out a complete stranger. In Pwllheli the locals lined the streets cheering me on - it was the exact uplift I needed.
Each day I would envisage the finish line, a brief look into the future, not knowing if it were possible but determined to die trying.
My Light bulb Moment
I guess the record became a reality about 2 miles away from the finish line, my good friend Steve sat me down and told me to savour it - the record was mine for the taking. Upon crossing the finish line a wave of raw emotion took over and I all could do was punch the air and fall into the arms of my wife.
Looking back - I wouldn’t have changed anything for the world - it was the best adventure of my life. A new fastest known time of 20 days 10 hours and 36 minutes for the Wales Coast Path.
This record attempt was inspired by my wife, my mum and my best friend. Each one of them gave me a reason in my darkest hours to keep on fighting. With special thanks going to my amazing wife who crewed for me the whole the way!