The longslowone

The Long Slow One, the aftermath

What a fantastic days running everyone had, 34.1 (the 0.1 was the worst bit apparantly) from the scenic joys of Great Bedwyn along the sometimes tranquil sometimes noisy but always beautiful in its own right Kennet and Avon Canal.

First some history though!

The Kennet and Avon canal is a beautiful canal that was created by a clever chap called JOhn Rennie the Elder in 1794 and good for him because otherwise we wouldn’t have a beautifully graded path to run along.  Lots more details on the history of the Kennet and Avon canal online

Heres a lovely map of its entire route, the #longslowone took in the eastern section (where the canal starts to turn Noth, then at Newbury along the canalised River Kennet before ending up joining the majestic River Thames which was where last years run started and the run from the year before ended so regular runners of the #longslowone know it well.

Map of the route with rivers shown in dark blue and canalised route in red.

So was it a nice run?

Yes it was from all accounts.  The day was a perfect day for running, not too hot, not too cold and not too much wind apart from one unfortunate incident in Hungerford (spicy beef is not a good pre long run meal).  The route went from town to town and village to village stopping every few miles to regroup, get a sugar hit from Lucozade sports drinks (actually Tesco’s own is cheaper so we took that and its probably the same anyway) and have some food before setting off on the next leg.

Carol joined the runners for a couple of sections along with the kids on bikes (yes, there were bribes were made to borrow the bikes but were not quite enough to tempt the kids into walking or running).  And so, the day continued with bridges, locks, second world pill boxes, train stations and pubs (it was claimed no-one nipped in for a cheeky half but that has not been proven to be true).  One of the many highlights of the day was the local duck race at Midgeham where there is a lovely pub if you are ever in the area.  One of the other highlights involved a large group of kids hustling for a race but more about that later ……

All was going well until black clouds arrived on mass and soaked the 12 plucky runners at Theale only 7 miles from the end.  So it was that they squelched their way from the backwaters of the River Kennet under the M4 and A33 to end up slap bang in the middle of the Oracle Shopping Centre where some little “tykes” decided to push their luck and outrun the group.  Rob was up for the challenge though and with his eyes set firmly on the end of the Oracle where the kids Mums would call them back the race was on.  Needless to say they were put firmly in their place and Rob was nearly sick from the effort.

What’s a pill box?

Its what the soldiers used to hide in during the second world war and keep an eye out for pesky Germans making their way up the canals on canal boats

Sounds like a great day was it tough

Well everyone made it so it cannot have been that bad!  Seriously the pace is always nice and slow on these runs and the plentiful stops make it easy to cover long distances without too much effort, walking downstairs the next day is always going to be fin though.

Any plans to do another one?

It is an annual thing so you will probably have to wait till next summer to do one with the club but there are loads of ultra races available to sign up for and lots of challenge events dotted around the country.

Did you take any photos of the day?

Well of course we did and here are a selection of them although not in the correct order (the internet goblins and elves are playing tricks!)