I’ve spent a lot of time running on the Reading to Newbury stretch of the Kennet and Avon Canal, but only been further west once or twice.
So, during the Christmas break I took the opportunity to do a little exploring. I got the train from Thatcham to Bedwyn, crossed the brick bridge and headed to the Wharf car park to get my stuff sorted out.
A couple of gels, rucksack with waterproof etc. All sorted – except the shoes, I had my road shoes on… not ideal after a good few days of typical British weather. Anyway, no turning back – I set off at a leisurely pace, enjoying the views.
It is actually pretty scenic along there. Not too bad underfoot, so an easy 5 or so miles brought me to Hungerford. It seemed shorter than I had expected, and although I had expected to stop to buy some water / food I decided to just crack right on.
The next section, Hungerford to Kintbury, seemed to take a bit longer than the 4 miles I expected. I’d run from this point before, so it was familiar territory and I kept recognising landmarks. A fair bit of mud here and slippery underfoot with my damn road shoes on.
The Kintbury to Newbury section is a bit longer, something like 6 or 7 miles and although mostly nice, does go through some bland areas, under the A34 etc.
By the time I got to Newbury I had run out of water, so I stopped at the Cornish Pastie shop and bought some (water) then cracked on again towards Thatcham. I know this bit of the canal really well so it was just a case of ticking off the landmarks.
Finally got to Thatcham station after about 3 hours 10 and a easy paced 18 ish miles.
First long run in a few months, and pretty pleased with it. Thinking that next time I’ll head to Pewsey, which is more like 25 or 26 miles. Need to get a few more of these in, unfortunately has to be the dark mornings or nights…