I awoke to several inches of snow and the challenge of a long run that I had planned all week. I’d got 4 hours which meant around 20 miles, so my thoughts of running to Windsor (and train back) were cancelled when I saw that buses replaced trains today. So I decided on a 10 mile out and back along the Thames Path to Weybridge Ferry.
This is where the Thames Path crosses the river to the north side using a little ferry (seats around 6 people, starts at 11am on Sundays and you have to ring a bell on the quarter hour to get the ferryman to come over!). How quaint!
I had sorted out warm clothing, Camelbak, food and footwear (Neo Trails with gaiters) last night as the forecast did pretty much guarantee snow. I don’t mind 5k in my Lunas with Toesocks but 20 miles would be too risky.
So dressed (and a tea and banana later) with music playing I left home at 8am and headed out through crisp snow towards Bushy Park and Hampton Court Bridge, where I would cross the river to get on the Thames Path.
Bushy was pretty deserted, even the deer seemed to have stayed away from the snow, which was a shame as it would have made some nice photos.
Once I’d crossed the river and apart from the odd cyclist and rowing team on the river it was fairly quiet along the path.
I’d turned the volume down low on my iPod so I could hear how I was running, as the furthest I had previously run in my Neo Trails was 3 miles and a further 17 was a big jump. If stuff started to go wrong I needed to know sooner rather than later.
At Sunbury Lock the river was frozen on the lock side and the Church was just visible in the distance.
I started to have to duck under oars as I was going past boating clubs near Walton as all the rowers started carrying their boats down to the river from the various clubs.
I finally reached my turnaround and looked across to the little ferry still tied up. After a few gulps of a small flask of tea (how very British) and a Clif bar I started back the way I had come.
By now I was pretty wet from sweat and my Neo’s had succumbed to the melting snow I was running through so were soaked, but still warm.
The way was not as nice due to increasing numbers of people (antisocial git I am) and cyclists, and the fact that the snow was melting fast meant I was running through slush and puddles. But I was past caring.
I ran through Bushy, still able to see the footprints I left this morning and got home just after midday.
Leaving a pile of wet kit in the porch I sat on the lounge floor drinking a huge mug of tea and eating salt & vinegar crisps, as I was a couple of pound lighter I reckon I needed the fluids and the salts.
A good route and one that would be even better once the snow had gone and I could wear my Luna Sandals.