Saturdays run started along the River Hamble and then continued around the coast along the Solent Way. I haven’t run along the river for a while so I thought I’d take in the hundreds of yachts and then treat myself to some coastal shingle with views of the Isle of White.
Warsash is a sleepy location at the head of the Hamble just before it opens out into the Solent. The fact that the long stay car park says maximum stay seven days, sums up this quiet location.
The wind was whistling along the fairly narrow track that you can see at the top of the page and I was glad I had my trusty egloves on.
Today was certainly fresh and dodging the puddles meant some added agility training into the bargain. Bursledon bridge was my initial target at 2.5 miles and making judgments on which puddles I could jump and which to skirt around added to my amusement.
On arriving at the bridge I could see small wispy snow flakes in the air and call me childish but considering I was only a quarter of the way through my run the prospect of snow was very exciting.
Since joining Instagram I’ve noticed how people take slightly abstract pictures so here’s my shot looking at the yachts through the open sections of the bridge. I can’t make up my mind if it looks arty or “farty” (as in it doesn’t work !!) I’ll leave that up to you, the reader.
Returning back along the riverbank the chilly wind was behind me and that made a huge difference. One thought I did have was the amount of water and the gusty wind could well result in an “early bath”, as it were, so I was reassured to see this lifebuoy !!
With different water channels and mud banks around the river this wooden bridge not only helped me on my way but it was also another Instagram contender.
Upto this point I was at about 3.5 miles and that annoying “low battery” sign appeared on my garmin. OK, schoolboy error, I should have checked before I came out but then I thought to myself, actually, I know the shingle will slow me down so what the hell, I’m not that bothered about my average pace.
Arriving back at Warsash the Rising Sun pub looked very tempting but it was noticeable that the faces looking out at me had those, “my god what’s he doing out there”, expressions. It’s funny but whenever someone says why would you want to do that, I know I’m in the right place and it spurs me on to run further.
I ran past the school of navigation, had a short tightrope walk along a concrete sea defence to avoid a particularly large puddle and then, there it was …. the open sea and the stretch of shingle I’d been anticipating.
Thousands of small shells, pebbles, stones and occasional seaweed lay ahead of me almost like a red carpet that had been specially rolled out. Apparently sand and shingle takes 30% more effort to run and when combined with an onshore coastal breeze this was epic endurance training and exactly what I’d come down for.
The crunching sound of my trainers and the smile on my face made the numbing of my mouth and lips quite bearable. This enjoyment continued for a full mile until the path headed inland briefly before a second shorter spell.
After skirting around the Solent Breezes caravan park I was conscious that time was getting on so I turned around and retraced my steps. The Solent looked busy with tankers, pleasure craft and ferries all passing by. The constant lapping of the water up against the shore also combined with the occasional seagulls cry’s, along with my crunch, crunch on the shingle. Ahh, the sounds of the seaside !!
As I arrived back at the car the flakes of snow were still just occasional glimmers but the eleven miles or so had been a complete pleasure.
It was time to head off home for a warm bowl of soup !!
Suffice to say, “I’ll be back” ……………