DimExcuses Start of Spring Walk 2018.

It all started with the DimExcuses End of Summer Walk, a yearly walk in September, 19 miles in 9 hours taking in the best of the South Gower Coast. Then there was the DimExcuses Mid Winter Walk, a 10K on the rest of the South Gower coast racing the sunset from Pwll Du Bay to Mumbles.

Now we are aiming to do four DimExcuses walks every year, with each one on the equinox of each season. So this was the first DimExcuses Start of Spring Walk. Starting at Gowerton Station we took the train to Pembrey and Bury Port Station and then basically walked a half marathon back along the Wales Coast Path.

I tracked the walk in two legs, before and after lunch. You can see the Strava data for the first leg here, and also a Relive video of the first part here.

We had the DimExcues Dogs Oakley and Molly with us, but Molly only did the first walk because she is a bit small for a walk of that length.

Oakley is big enough to do the whole lot and take it in his stride.

You can see the Strava for the second leg here, and another Relive video of the second part here.

It was a great walk, and we were lucky with the weather. The only issue was that the whole 14 miles were on tarmac, so that took a hard toll on knees, hips and backs. We are used to the grass and sand of the DimExcuses End of Summer Walk.

It was a cracking day and we did it all in about six hours including lunch. A full gallery of all photos is below, just click on a thumbnail to see the larger photos. So we are now thinking about a DimExcuses Mid Summer Walk, you should come on that one, DimExcuses.

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Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 4.

This is the forth gallery from the Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge 2018. You can find an index of all four galleries here. Click on any of the thumbnails below to open and view the gallery, DimExcuses.

Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 3.

This is the third gallery from the Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge 2018. You can find an index of all four galleries here. Click on any of the thumbnails below to open and view the gallery, DimExcuses.

Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 2

This is the second gallery from the Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge 2018. You can find an index of all four galleries here. Click on any of the thumbnails below to open and view the gallery, DimExcuses.

Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 1.

This is the first gallery from the Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Run Challenge 2018. You can find an index of all four galleries here. Click on any of the thumbnails below to open and view the gallery, DimExcuses.

The Beast from the East meets the Gower Monster. Darth Mannion 2018.

The Darth Mannion Beach and Swamp Challenge, the Gower cross county half marathon is tough at the best of times. You can see how tough it was in previous years here:

2015 Darth Mannion

2016 Darth Mannion

2017 Darth Mannion

This year the weather forecast was really bad. The Beast from the East weather system that brought the country to a stand still a week ago was making its return with bitter winds, low temperatures and snow forecast.

Some of the sea submersion had to be left out of the route, because of a real threat of participant hypothermia. The route was also changed to take out the steep decent at Pennard Castle and Three Cliffs Valley featured more. You can see why the Pennard Castle Decent was wisely removed in these amazing photos from 2015.

The race is getting so popular that the field is getting larger every year. This meant that by the time everyone had passed me I was unable to get to Pwll Du Bay, as I have done in previous years, but this allowed me to get some new shots in Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles Bay. The full galleries can be seen in the links below.

Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 1.

Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 2.

Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 3.

Darth Mannion 2018. Gallery 4.

There are some epic shots as this Monster Gower Run hit the Beast from the East head on, but there were also a lot of smiles over a lot of miles. I am sure many will be back next year and hoping for a return to more spring like weather, DimExcuses.