Todays early weather was chilly but with the promise of some Autumn sunshine later. My route was to include large sections of old railway track which would mean a scenic and straight path ahead, with very few distractions on my long steady run.
Within a mile and a half of running from home the Deviation Line was the first disused section of railway track which is just off Highlands Road in Fareham. The going underfoot was quite dry for this time of year and when gaps in the trees appeared you could see the sun breaking through and a shimmer coming off the dew on the fields. As I was heading for Wickham along Mayles Lane I couldn’t resist a quick chat with two of the locals 🙂
After a bit of horsing around I pressed on, only to be distracted a mile or so later for a photo of this field with the hay bails being covered up for later use, probably by the horses.
There are many benefits from long runs on your own, mental strength, self confidence, time to think and having the opportunity to stop when ever you want. Wickham’s old railway line stretches onwards to West Meon and there are many reminders of the past with both red brick and metal bridges. Wickham church came into view between the ironwork of one of these bridges.
The old railway line has been renamed the Meon Valley trail in recent years and a large investment has gone into improving the drainage.What hasn’t changed is the tunnel effect that the overhanging trees create and at this time of year the effect is magnified with the range of Autumn colours. Today was one of those days that I could have carried on running forever !! Peaceful and a visual treat 🙂
Running under one of the red brick bridges I was struck that the arch looked like a picture frame so I couldn’t resist another photo. Bridges are also great for shouting out random words to hear it echo, or is that just me being childish ?? Yes it is 🙂
With so many views to take in the miles passed without me hardly noticing and at just past 8 I had a quick chat with a cyclist and started on my way back. If one photo sums up the colours from today it was the next one.
A testament to this great trail is that I saw runners, bike riders, walkers, horse riders, squirrels and birds. The trail had however saved its best for last, the wind picked up at around mile 10 before I left the track and this meant I was treated to the leaves falling around me as if they were tica tape at some kind of celebration. Nature was a marvellous host and I loved my run today, 16.3 miles in 2.34 was just fine by me.