Rotary Coastal Quest 630: The End

Posted by martin.parnell |

Completed Quest:

Rotary Coastal Quest 630 (Quest #9)

  • Run 630 miles (1014 kms) around the SW coast of England

  • March 4th to April 1st 2014, averaging a marathon a day.

  • Attemping to raise 100,000 pounds for Right To Play

  • Check out: Rotary Coastal Quest 630

It’s done. I started Rotary Coastal Quest 630 on March 4th at Minehead, Somerset  and finished the South West Coast Path on April 1st at South Haven Point, Dorset. I must admit though two weeks ago I didn’t think it would happen. I had completed 300 miles around the North Coast of Devon and Cornwall and Kurt Kowalchuk, President of the Rotary Club of Calgary Sarcee, had joined me on the run.

That morning we were crossing the beach at Porthallow to look at the half way marker when I bashed my left shin on a boulder. I didn’t think too much of it but the next day it started to ache. The day after the muscle was inflamed and the repetitive strain injury I had had in 2010 was back. I tried to run but it was no good and that night it was time to get acquainted with an old friend, frozen peas.

Every night we were picked up by Rotarian hosts and taken back to their place. Rotarian David Laud had organized this and he made sure they knew about my medical needs. During the trip I talked at a number of Rotary clubs including Minehead, Bude, Brauton Caen, Bideford, Launcetown, Wadebridge, Perranzabuloe, St.Ives Bay, Plympton, Plymouth, Torbay and Ringwood.

They call this route the South West Coast Path however I must question the name. To me a “Path” is two people wide, gravel and rolls up and down hills. What I came across was more like a goat track. The route would head up a cliff, sometimes with steps, then straight down the other side through brambles and large mud puddles. Daily mileage ranged from 20 to 32 miles and instead of the planned 7 hours a day I was on the trail for 9 to 11 hours.

My shin slowly improved but because I compensated for the injury my left knee and hamstring started to seize up. This situation wasn’t helped with the large number of diversions I came across. The cliffs had been hammered by the winter storms and particularly along the Dorset coast rerouting was the norm.

The last day I walked up Shell Beach and Sue and her sister Lynne came to meet me. We arrived at South Haven Point at 11.30am and were greeted by our friends Stephen, Marlene, Pip and Bev, Logistics Manager David and George.

It was over, 4 weeks and 630 miles completed. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Rotarians across the South West. Why did we all push ourselves to the limit? To support Right To Play and help kids. Now that’s the best reason in the World.

To support Rotary Coastal Quest 630 please go to

Quote of the week:

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties and obstacles vanish."  John Quincy Adams

Picture of the Week:

The end of the South West Coast Path: South Haven Point, 630 miles from the start, Minehead.

RCQ630 The End

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