With a week to go until my Barnstaple marathon Sundays run was a steady one that combined some pre and post miles around Fareham Crusaders “trial trail 5K”. Six of us met up at our local leisure centre and followed the progressively uphill route out to Wickham. All the lads joining me had different endurance targets hence adding on some extra miles. A combination of the Autumn morning mist and colder temperatures meant we are in my favourite time of year for running.
The outward road 5K was at a “chatty” pace with Mike Harper leading the way. The start of the club run is on the fairly flat old railway line which has recently gone through a lot of work for drainage and accessibility, as a result, it is now a lot firmer under foot but has perhaps lost some character in the process. In days gone by there were wet section, firm sections and downright messy sections all of which meant you got quite a varied run, so today it’s fairly consistent.
The work on the line has drawn a lot of attention with both the high cost and the end result being viewed differently, depending on your point of view. I have to compliment some of the slogans, “Byway Robbery” and “Valley Vandalised” that have been used at the public meetings, however, there were no picket lines for the 25 of us to cross today, we were simply enjoying a run in the country. The car park was our meeting point.
After a briefing about the course and the fact that the club is hoping to use it as a race I ran the 5K at a steady pace with Dave Fuller and Paul Stephens (both wearing their 100K Race to the Stones T Shirts) . The route had a gradual incline on the way out with a slight detour through the woods that was marshalled by club members and then brought us back onto the line. The sights and sounds of the run showed me how much I’ve missed the countryside as I’ve been using flat coastal runs recently for my marathon.
The fallen leaves that are already starting to change colour, the squelch of mud under your feet and that “green” smell of the country are a treat for your senses. Everyone agreed that the course was interesting and the morning had been a great success so it’s thanks to Jon, Lou and the marshals for putting it on . All that then remained was a steady run back home that finished with an average pace of 8 minutes 38 seconds for the 10.4 miles. A great mornings running with mates from our Club.