Recovery run with a few new footpaths thrown in – 29/3/15

Today’s run was a combination of recovery and investigation !! At my age you have to listen to your body and over the last week DSCF3680 I decided today ought to be an easy run after 18,22 & 16 miles over the last 3 weeks. However, that said, you can get a lot out of an easy run if you put your mind to it. Running for the sake of running is a waste, so I had a look at the Hampshire rights of way website in my local area and came up with 3 footpaths I never knew existed. It’s always a pleasure discovering new routes that are parallel or close to roads/pavements and knowing you have found an off road option.

I checked these said footpaths out and now can factor them in, as and when, to future runs. The first use I will put them to is running club training night, this Tuesday. As the hour has gone forward the extra light needs to be used to it’s best advantage this, in my book, means running somewhere different that’s green and brown rather than black tarmac 🙂

Todays 7.5 miles mean I feel I’m rested and ready to ramp it up again next week. I also made a point of running on the grass verge whenever possible for less wear and tear. Finally my Ron Hill Tempest 100% waterproof jacket had it’s first outing, to great effect. I bought it more for long distance runs where you are out on the exposed downs and subject to the elements throwing what they can at you so todays trot in and around town wasn’t quite that, but I thought I’d take advantage of the challenging weather as a tester.

Photo wise, I find the amount of mud on the back of your legs usually equates to the size of the smile on your face 🙂 All in all a very constructive easy run.

Meon Valley railway line to Old Winchester Hill – 22/3/15

 The view far exceeds the video quality, nothing too professional here 🙂 !!!


A 16.5 mile round trip from the car park at Wickham to where the South Downs Way crosses the old railway line and then up to the top of Old Winchester Hill. Amazing views from the top and I was rewarded with the sun coming out on the way back.

The railway line has had a considerable amount of work done to it and with more promised for May 2015 I feel this could have been one of the last runs on it before it becomes more “commercial”. The old railway line has long been a hidden gem that not too many people knew about. The gradual incline out of Wickham has a tree lined corridor where the trains would have run, so from a runners point of view, gives shade in the summer and protection from the wind in the winter.

The nature of the old railway line means there are a number of interesting red brick bridges to run under as well as Droxford’s privately owned station where Winston Churchill once met with other allied heads to discuss the D Day landings !! As the miles pass by you mind drifts to what it must have been like decades ago. I’m sure the track and it’s access onto the SDW will remain a favourite of mine.

The sound of a woodpecker, the spring flowers and the benefit of some gradual downhill on the way back mean the miles are quickly clocked up. Always a pleasure & that’s why we run.

Catching the train to Winchester & run back to Fareham – 14/3/15


Our long awaited 22 mile run back from Winchester started with my alarm clock going off at 5.15am !! With my kit spread out in the lounge like I was in a triathlon transition I consumed my porridge with vigour and was off out the door (p.s. I did have a wash) and jogging towards the train station. Ironically I saw Mark running on the other side of the road and we met Craig Goodwin by the ticket machine.

The 6.15am train to Winchester was our transport and in no time we were out of the station and running down Winchester High street. Market traders were setting up for  business and I was looking for that iconic signpost that says 99 miles to Eastbourne !! We crossed the A3 bridge and were in the countryside. I’ve read books and watched videos about the South Downs Way so running from King Harold’s statue was really inspiring. After about 4 miles we left the SDW and started heading south east towards Bishops Waltham.

Don’t ask me how or where we ran over the next ten miles as I relied on Mark Greenfield’s navigation skills from his trusty map and Craig’s army training played a part too. After a while one cops looks similar to another but it’s certainly inspiring not knowing what’s around the next hedge or over the brow of the next hill 🙂

Well trodden tracks, hidden styles, grass turning to bog, running water and stagnant water, short steep hill climbs and long wide open fields led us to the BW main roundabout. Off road again and we came out on the outskirts of Waltham Chase. At this stage after 14 off road miles we decided the pavement was a good option so it was tarmac to Wickham and Mayles lane then a splattering of mud along the deviation line and back to Fareham.

A rewarding mornings running resulted in a training run distance personal best for me. A great run with great company, thanks lads … “Good Times”