The Beer Runner https://beerrunner.co.uk Addicted to Running, Fuelled by Craft Beer Wed, 07 Oct 2020 07:16:51 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://i2.wp.com/beerrunner.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/cropped-noun_Hops_565518-1.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 The Beer Runner https://beerrunner.co.uk 32 32 116091274 Dealing with a Leaking Colostomy Bag During a Run https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/10/07/dealing-with-a-leaking-colostomy-bag-during-a-run/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/10/07/dealing-with-a-leaking-colostomy-bag-during-a-run/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2020 07:16:43 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2335 Running with a colostomy bag has been so much better than running during a Crohn’s flare up and running after performing a colostomy irrigation has been every better, but there are risks.  Early Colostomy Bag Runs Back in April 2020 I started running again post-surgery and I had a taste of the some of the potential issues you can experience running with a colostomy bag – I had a few mid-run bag changes, I experienced ballooning but overall my experience was good. I even managed to complete some races including  spending an entire day travelling to Lundy Island and running a 14-mile trail race. I was always prepared for bag changes with spare supplies. Then I stopped running again and after more surgery I switched to irrigation which was going to bring even more benefits.  […]

The post Dealing with a Leaking Colostomy Bag During a Run appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
Running with a colostomy bag has been so much better than running during a Crohn’s flare up and running after performing a colostomy irrigation has been every better, but there are risks. 

Early Colostomy Bag Runs

Back in April 2020 I started running again post-surgery and I had a taste of the some of the potential issues you can experience running with a colostomy bag – I had a few mid-run bag changes, I experienced ballooning but overall my experience was good. I even managed to complete some races including  spending an entire day travelling to Lundy Island and running a 14-mile trail race. I was always prepared for bag changes with spare supplies.

Ballooning whilst running

Then I stopped running again and after more surgery I switched to irrigation which was going to bring even more benefits. 

Running After Irrigating

Due to ongoing issues with the colostomy bag I made the decision to switch to colostomy irrigation and it was a game changer. After irrigating I could head out the door for a run without worrying at all about what would happen with the bag. The irrigation had flushed everything out so apart from wind, there was nothing to come out. 

I restarted my running seriously 4 months after starting irrigating so by this time I had become confident about running after an irrigation and initially I would take spare supplies with me but then gradually started to forget. In some ways this was a very important step to being more ‘normal’, to not think or worry about the stoma, to just head out the door and run. 

My irrigation schedule was originally every day but I’ve managed to get that down to every other day largely without any issues. I’ve used this to my advantage when it comes to following a training plan as I can fit in early morning runs without getting up extra early to irrigate. 

I’ve been back running for 5 months and have increased both the frequency of my runs and the distances that I’m running. For many runs where I wouldn’t take anything with me such as a drink, I also wouldn’t take any colostomy supplies and things have always been fine. For longer runs I have been taking some basic supplies with me consisting of a single colostomy bag, poo bag and a dry wipe. I never needed it and thought it was enough should I need a bag change during a run.

Becoming Complacent?

Last week my training plan called for a 21-mile run and I adjusted my irrigation plan accordingly so that I could get up on the day and not worry about irrigating before the run (another reason is being cautious . I had already runs of a similar distance without any issues although they were not all run 24 hours after irrigating. For one or two of them I had irrigated the night before just in case and that probably helped reduce the risk of any issues arising. 

For this run I headed out 24+ hours after the last irrigation with the usual minimal supplies (actually an afterthought as I originally didn’t pack any) and didn’t think there would be any incidents. 

Around 9 miles into the run I started to feel some sensations around the stoma and presumed that it was related to the parastomal hernia so carried on but at 11 miles I experienced a ‘warming’ sensation in the same area and stopping to take a look revealed that for the last couple of miles the bag had been leaking. 

At this point I was in the middle of a housing estate with some choices to be made. Do I stop now and finish the run? Do I attempt a quick bag change in the housing estate or do I continue until I find somewhere more secluded to change? Do I continue further and hope the hernia support belt ‘keeps everything in’ before changing the bag? 

I was determined to get a good time for the distance so was gutted I had to stop so decided that I would do a very quick change and try and clean up as best I could. Unfortunately I don’t carry plain water with me (there’s usually some electrolyte mix added to it) so I couldn’t use that to moisten up the dry wipe so cleaning up was challenging. That said, I think I only lost 3 minutes before I was back up and running and eager to finish the final 10 miles carrying my little black poo bag.

11 miles in and this happens.

Running through a populated area I thought I would be able to quickly get rid of the bag but it took 6.5 miles before I encountered a bin to deposit the bag.   To make matters worse, by this point the replacement bag had also started to leak, and leak quite badly. I only had a few more miles to go, and I was running home, so I ploughed on and hoped the hernia support belt and other clothing would keep everything in place. 

My companion for 6.5 miles until I found a bin

I was conscious of both appearance and smell as I was running in an increasingly built up area but I’m sure most people weren’t aware of the situation. Underneath the clothes things were getting pretty messy but I was determined to keep on track and get a good time, and I was pleased with the end time, and the hot shower!

What Have I Learned?

Irrigating has been such a big game changer in allowing me to run without worrying about whether I will need to a bag change but I really need to start carrying a better change kit with me on longer runs. I was lucky that I was close to home when the accident happened rather than on one of my ‘town-to-town’ runs that I like to do. For the runs that are far away I think I need to irrigate on the day of the run or the night before if I need to start the run very early. 

I had aimed for 2h 48m so was pleased with the final time.

I still think I can get away without the need of a change of bags on runs below half marathon distance but beyond that I need to ensure I take a better stock of supplies, and some wet wipes. Looking back I used to suffer terribly with the runner’s trots and then things improved greatly with the colostomy bag and with irrigation improved even more. Apart from the odd accident like this one, in some ways I’ve got an advantage over other runners.

The post Dealing with a Leaking Colostomy Bag During a Run appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/10/07/dealing-with-a-leaking-colostomy-bag-during-a-run/feed/ 0 2335
A New Half Marathon PB https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/28/a-new-half-marathon-pb/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/28/a-new-half-marathon-pb/#respond Mon, 28 Sep 2020 10:21:03 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2324 Back in October 2016 during my first year of running I ran my first and only half marathon (either road or trail) and finished in a time of 1:36:51. Since then I haven’t run quicker than that. Most times I ran the distance in training I never pushed myself so not sure how close I would have been able to get to it but I never felt that I was capable of bettering it.  First Half Marathon Post-Second Surgery Back on July 24th I decided to attempt my first half marathon since I had the second surgery in September 2019. The route went out and back on the Severn Bridge twice so wasn’t flat but also not hilly. I pushed myself back then and managed to finish in just under 1:49. I was ecstatic that […]

The post A New Half Marathon PB appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
Back in October 2016 during my first year of running I ran my first and only half marathon (either road or trail) and finished in a time of 1:36:51. Since then I haven’t run quicker than that. Most times I ran the distance in training I never pushed myself so not sure how close I would have been able to get to it but I never felt that I was capable of bettering it. 

First Half Marathon Post-Second Surgery

Back on July 24th I decided to attempt my first half marathon since I had the second surgery in September 2019. The route went out and back on the Severn Bridge twice so wasn’t flat but also not hilly. I pushed myself back then and managed to finish in just under 1:49. I was ecstatic that I had completed it in a respectable time but it was hard.

Fast forward two months and I’m a month into a new training plan and have been doing regular speed sessions, hill work and long runs. My times have been improving and I’ve been able to run distances of 6-8 miles at a faster pace. 

Half Marathon Training Run

At the end of the 4th week my training plan called for 12 miles at race pace. 12 miles is so close to a half marathon so I couldn’t resist using the session as a test to see how I had improved. 

Leading up to the run I  decided on a pace of 7:45 /mi which works out at 1:41:32 which I was hoping that I would be comfortable completing. I contemplated setting the pace at 7:38 /mi which would bring me in at just under 1:40 but wasn’t confident about managing that pace. 

I set 7:45 /mi and 13.1 miles into the PacePro feature on the watch and set off. The feature is potentially great if you keep to it but I’ve yet to stick to it. It’s still useful as it will tell you if you are overall behind or ahead of pace. 

I immediately set out quicker than planned finishing the first mile in 7:27. The pace was feeling comfortable although I had another 12 miles to run so whilst it was feeling comfortable now I was taking a gamble as to whether I would be able to keep it up. 

The first part of the run is the long stretch of Queensway running parallel with Llanwern Steelworks (what remains of it) and is arrow straight for around 3.5 miles until it reaches the turning to Redwick which was where I was heading to complete a loop around the Rose Inn (and right at the edge of Newport which is as far as I’m allowed to go) and then head back towards Queensway. By this point I was maintaining between 7:00-7:10 /mi which wasn’t feeling too bad although I was feeling like I was pushing myself. 

By the time I had reached around 6 miles I was a couple of minutes ahead of pace which would mean that I could possibly finish sub-1:40. The prospect of achieving this was spurring me on and keeping me running at the same pace. Frustratingly at mile 7 I had to stop to tie up and shoe lace which slowed me down a bit and made me lose the momentum I’d built up. 

Before reaching Queensway I took left to follow the straight roads through Broadstreet Common and eventually back to start to complete the 13.1 mile loop. Somehow I was able to maintain the same pace averaging around 7:15 /mi and looking at the watch I could see that I was continuing to gain time and was over 4 minutes ahead. Doing some maths I there was a possibility that I would get close to my PB of 1:36:51. Mile 10, 11 and 12 were all at 7:15 /mi or less and I was now 5 minutes ahead of schedule so was on track to beat my PB.

Turning onto the final stretch leading back to the finish I was well over 6 minutes ahead and up until this point I hadn’t looked at the elapsed time so when I looked at the time and saw that I had a real chance of getting sub-1:35 I pushed hard to keep the pace for the last mile. As I hit 13 miles I was constantly checking the watch until it reached 13.11 and then I could stop. As I reached the distance I stopped the watch and checked the time. 1:34:44! Over 2 minutes quicker than Cardiff’s time! I felt like I was going to throw up but I had done it, I’d not only beaten July’s time by over a minute per mile, I’d scored a PB. 

What’s Next?

Since surgery the times I’ve been getting have just been ‘PBs since surgery’ but this was an actual PB. For the rest of the day I was on a runner’s high and still find it hard to believe that I managed to get that time. It showed that the getting up at 5:30am a couple of times a week to do a speed session in the pouring rain or run up and down a steep hill had paid off. I’ve got another 2 months on the plan so can’t wait to see what else I can achieve. I’ve got a goal of getting sub-20 for a 5k again but I’m wondering if I should aim to beat my PB of 19:37? 

The post A New Half Marathon PB appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/28/a-new-half-marathon-pb/feed/ 0 2324
Chepstow to Bristol https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/20/chepstow-to-bristol/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/20/chepstow-to-bristol/#respond Sun, 20 Sep 2020 16:43:55 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2285 I’m currently following a training plan with RunItYourWay.com and this week’s long run was an 18-miler. When it comes to long runs I like to seek out interesting routes or catch a train to a town and then run to another town and catch a train back home. When discovering that I would need an 18 mile route I fired up the OS Maps website to plot a route but I already had a potential route in mind.  With the weather forecast to be warm and sunny, I was looking forward to a having a few beers outside the Small Bar in Bristol and I had a route in mind to get there and get the long run at the same time. I plotted a route between Chepstow and Bristol and with a little detour […]

The post Chepstow to Bristol appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
I’m currently following a training plan with RunItYourWay.com and this week’s long run was an 18-miler. When it comes to long runs I like to seek out interesting routes or catch a train to a town and then run to another town and catch a train back home. When discovering that I would need an 18 mile route I fired up the OS Maps website to plot a route but I already had a potential route in mind. 

With the weather forecast to be warm and sunny, I was looking forward to a having a few beers outside the Small Bar in Bristol and I had a route in mind to get there and get the long run at the same time. I plotted a route between Chepstow and Bristol and with a little detour through some streets along the way I made a route that would take me right to the centre at exactly 18 miles. Usually trail routes on OS Maps can be a bit longer than plotted but as this was 100% road it was likely to be accurate. The route was sorted. 

I’d decided the route early in the week so whereas I never look forward to a training run at 5/10k race pace, I get quite excited about the the challenge of a long run. 

I have recently ran some longer trail runs (17 miles) but for this run I was keen to run on road so that I wouldn’t be interrupted by stiles or cows or be tempted to stop for a selfie with a horse. I would no doubt stop to take a photo or two , particularly when entering Bristol where the chances of encountering graffiti would be high.

The trains from Newport to Chepstow are not the most frequent so in order to get my usual seat outside the Small Bar I caught a train that would get into Chepstow around 8am. I was anticipating the route taking around 3 hours although I was hoping that the run would go well and it would be more like 2.5 hours. 

The first section of the route leaves Chepstow, passes through Bulwark and then crosses the Severn Bridge. It was particularly windy when crossing the bridge, especially on the English side. After the bridge was a section of the Thornbury road which I knew would involve running along a fast road but after a mile or so the route would change to less busy lanes (apart from the dozens of cyclists that frequent the area).

The route goes through Olveston and nearby Tockington and then heading through Almondsbury. At this point (around 10 miles) the route passes underneath the M5 motorway and the remaining 8 miles would be along increasingly busy roads passing Rolls Royce and Airbus in Filton and eventually ending up in the centre. Rather than taking the direct route into the city I went via Ashley Down (and probably other areas I’m not familiar with) until I met the M32 motorway.

It was at this point (around 16.5 miles) I encountered some proper Bristol graffiti clustered around an underpass and there was some seriously impressive artwork. I simply couldn’t resist stopping to take some photos. 

The last section of the route involved some weaving around streets to ensure I made it to 18 miles with a finish in Castle Park. The total moving time was 2:33 and the total elapsed time to 2:39 (I needed a pee near Olveston as well as stopping for a few photos). The run went much better than I had expected and felt so good for entire length of it. There was one steep hill at 9 miles which I opted to walk but besides that it was running all the way.

The reward at Bristol was usual seat outside the Small Bar for a few beers in the sun paired with some fried chicken and fries. This wasn’t the first time that I’ve ended a run here and upon arrival I was asked if I wanted my usual seat 🤣

The post Chepstow to Bristol appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/20/chepstow-to-bristol/feed/ 0 2285
Trowbridge to Bath https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/13/trowbridge-to-bath/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/13/trowbridge-to-bath/#respond Sun, 13 Sep 2020 19:58:49 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2230 My training plan called for a 10 mile run so I fired up the rail network map to see if there were any stations that I could head to and run via trails to another. Turns out that Trowbridge to Bath via trails is around 10 miles so started to plot a route between the two using the OS Maps app.  The app is so useful for plotting distance, elevation and giving you an estimate of time. I usually opt for a mix of trails, woodland and country lanes and try to include any historical features along the way. I’ll have no idea what the paths will be like along the way and there’s a chance that some of the paths may be overgrown or inaccessible but that’s part of the adventure. Having the OS […]

The post Trowbridge to Bath appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
My training plan called for a 10 mile run so I fired up the rail network map to see if there were any stations that I could head to and run via trails to another. Turns out that Trowbridge to Bath via trails is around 10 miles so started to plot a route between the two using the OS Maps app. 

The app is so useful for plotting distance, elevation and giving you an estimate of time. I usually opt for a mix of trails, woodland and country lanes and try to include any historical features along the way. I’ll have no idea what the paths will be like along the way and there’s a chance that some of the paths may be overgrown or inaccessible but that’s part of the adventure. Having the OS Maps app on the phone means I can always look for an alternative route. 

Run Day

Many trip that start at a train station involve navigating through the roads and streets to get to the trails and Trowbridge was no different  although it wasn’t long before I was running along a country lane out of town complete with a little rabbit in the road (from a distance it looked like a cowpat so I didn’t get the camera out, and then it moved).

The first trail I encountered was a double corn field that was clearly a well established path due to the amount of vegetation that was growing on the path between the corn. It was great fun dashing through the waist-high vegetation avoiding the odd thistle along the way. The morning dew did mean that the trainers and socks got wet early into the run.

Westwood

The historic village of Westwood is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is first mentioned in 983AD. Today, the quaint village was being disturbed by sounds of the nearby Farleigh Castle Hungerford Motocross Track which I could hear but was always out of view. 

When passing through villages I like to seek out phone boxes that have been converted into libraries and the one in Westwood is the best I’ve seen so far. Those responsible for restoring the phone box have even gone as far as trying to categorise the books. 

Interestingly, the village has quarries in the area complete with tunnels that were used during the Second World War to house a number of works of art from the British Museum and the V&A. 

Iford

Just beyond Westwood is Iford and descending down into the hamlet I was reminded about the bridge that I had learned about while researching the route but had forgotten about. Iford, or originally Igford in 987AD (meaning a ford with an island) , straddles the River Frome and features the 15th/16th century Iford manor on the west side. The bridge is perhaps from c1400 but has been in existence since the 1680s although the statue of Britannia was added in 1899 by Harold Peto who lived in the manor between 1899 and 1933. 

The picturesque bridge appeared to be a popular resting place for cyclists, photographers and those with dogs eager to play in the River Frome. 

Cows

Every run/walk features cows so at this point I was halfway through the route and I hadn’t encountered a single one. Then I did. 

This section of the route was a dog leg turn in a wooded area at the edge of a field and as I approached the woodland there was a pond with the soil around it cut up considerably. Clearly this was an area used by cows and shortly into the wood there they were, taking shelter from the late morning sun. The herd was friendly so didn’t mind me being there but weren’t interested in making a mooove. It was a long way back to make a detour so I decided that try and get through them. Fortunately I managed to scramble up a section which took me out of the wood and back onto the path I needed to get onto. 

Freshford 

Next on the route was Freshford which I’m familiar with from past walks. For this section I purposefully took a slight detour so that I could climb up through a woodland section and enjoy the fast descent to Freshford. The path exited at the Freshford Inn, a picturesque pub on the southern edge of the village and as I ran past it I wished I had started a little later so that I could have stopped for a beer. 

The previous time I had visited was via train so I didn’t see much of the village but today’s route took me through the heart of it passing building such as the Old Parsonage, the Old Fire Engine House and the mill which has long been part of the village (there has been a mill since at least 1086 although now is used for housing).

Beyond  Freshford I dropped down along a sunken path (I never get tired of navigating along a sunken path) into Monkton Combe. The village featured an interesting historical feature – a lockup built in 1776. The building was just  9 square feet but had two cells inside, the first was lit by the light coming through the door but the second was completely dark with just 8 small holes for ventilation.

Being located in a valley, and Bath being in another, there was a sizeable climb out of Monkton Combe but interestingly, the path up the hill was paved and bordered by stone walling. Clearly the path had been in use for some time (possibly to allow people to walk down to the church at the end of the path) and had been made permanent. 

After Monkton Combe comes Combe Down and rather than taking Ralph Allen Drive (A3062) down to Bath, I took a path to the side which runs through Perry Mead which is far more interesting. The trail runs parallel to the A road but is far more scenic.

The route finished at Bath railway station  at 10.5 miles which was only 0.5 miles over what I was expecting.

The Reward

Rather than heading to Beercraft like the last run that ended in Bath, I visited a pub I hadn’t been to in many years – The Raven. According to a local, the chairs outside the pub were a new addition and a trial held by the council and the pint of cold Rye IP was very welcome. I also visited the Old Green Tree which was another pub I hadn’t visited for some time.

The post Trowbridge to Bath appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/13/trowbridge-to-bath/feed/ 0 2230
Chippenham to Bath https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/12/chippenham-to-bath/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/12/chippenham-to-bath/#respond Sat, 12 Sep 2020 12:39:26 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2198 After the success of the recent run between Tewkesbury and Gloucester I decided to attempt another longer run. Rather than driving to a destination and running a circular route I decided on another linear route finishing with a beer or two.  Examining the OS Map showed that it was around 14 miles between Chippenham and Bath with a good mix of road and trails and the opportunity to see some historical sites along the way and hopefully get some good photos. Like I discovered with the Tewkesbury to Gloucester route, there was a good chance that the route distance would not be accurate and would likely be a mile or two longer particularly as it’s an area I’m not familiar with so will most certainly have some detours.  Run Day I was feeling a bit […]

The post Chippenham to Bath appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
After the success of the recent run between Tewkesbury and Gloucester I decided to attempt another longer run. Rather than driving to a destination and running a circular route I decided on another linear route finishing with a beer or two. 

Examining the OS Map showed that it was around 14 miles between Chippenham and Bath with a good mix of road and trails and the opportunity to see some historical sites along the way and hopefully get some good photos. Like I discovered with the Tewkesbury to Gloucester route, there was a good chance that the route distance would not be accurate and would likely be a mile or two longer particularly as it’s an area I’m not familiar with so will most certainly have some detours. 

Run Day

I was feeling a bit tired on the Saturday and with it being a Bank Holiday weekend decided to switch to Sunday. The first train of the day out of Newport was the Portsmouth Harbour train which meant that I could get to Bath fairly early for a connecting train to Chippenham. The train would arrive at 1030 which would mean arriving into Bath, and Beercraft, at 1300. 

It would take a couple of miles to get outside of Chippenham although it didn’t take long for me have to take a detour when what I thought was a bridleway alongside an industrial park turned out to not exist. Nearby was a lane which had a dead end sign even though it looked like it continued on the OS Map. I decided to go around using the main road but this led to a busy A road. I doubled back and ran along the dead end road which transpired had been blocked off to prevent it from being used as a rat run and I could use it to get to another path which was next to the path that didn’t exist. I was back on track but it had added another mile onto the route.

An extra mile added to the route after just two miles

The route entered the historic and spacious Corsham Park home of Corsham Court. Dating back beyond the 18th century, the current layout is from the mid to late 1700s when the new owner Paul Methuen employed Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to improve the house and surround land. The public footpath cuts diagonally through the entire park and interestingly there’s an old bridge left in a woodland over a private path which was once used by Methuen and guests to walk without encountering the public using the footpath. 

Corsham Court is kept away from the walkers using the footpath by a ha-ha which is a ditch that is used as a boundary (and for keeping the deer out) which not interrupting the views for the owners as a regular wall would. 

The route skirted around the south of Corsham so missed many of the historic buildings in the town but I did view the magnificent almshouses and school house built in 1668 with funds from Lady Margaret Hungerford of Corsham Court (then Corsham House).

Whilst planning the route I noticed a place on the map called Chapel Plaister which interestingly featured a tiny chapel which dated back to the 13th century and would have been used as a roadside resting place for those on pilgrimages to Glastonbury. I purposely added a detour to go via the chapel and it was worth it. 

Beyond Chapel Plaister I was heading for Box via a number of fields one of which was large, open and on the crest of a hill. Jogging across the hill and down towards the stile I spotted a herd of cows in the distance, and they spotted me. Being curious they started moving in my direction so I picked up the pace, as did they. With the stile still quite a distance away I broke into a sprint, and they broke into a stampede. I made it over the stile in time as they all arrived to investigate the brightly coloured runner who had crossed their field. 

I’m usually pretty good with cows and happy to be among them taking photographs but lately I’ve had a few experiences where very curious cows start taking a keen interest in me and whilst I know they aren’t looking to cause any harm, when they start jumping around you can’t help but worry about one of them inadvertently jumping into you. 

Safely away from the cows there was a fast decent along a bridleway into Bathford and then after crossing the main railway line it was a couple more miles along the very busy towpath into Bath. This was familiar territory having ran and walked along here before so I knew there was only a little longer before I’d reach Beercraft and the reward. I arrived at 1345 which was later than expected but 14 miles along a trail is never the same as on the road with many different obstacles to overcome including stiles and cows along with the usual photography opportunities. Total distance was 16.7 miles and the cold craft beer at Beercraft was so good .

The Reward

Beercraft is a small bottle shop and bar located near the famous Pulteney Bridge and features around 6 taps and a large selection of cans and bottles which can be super chilled in a few minutes to drink on the premises. 

The post Chippenham to Bath appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/12/chippenham-to-bath/feed/ 0 2198
Tewkesbury to Gloucester https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/11/tewkesbury-to-gloucester/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/11/tewkesbury-to-gloucester/#respond Fri, 11 Sep 2020 22:38:05 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2181 If there’s one thing that I enjoy about running, it’s heading out to a new place in search of adventure. Monday to Friday’s are for doing loops around the riverfront or commuting to work but when the weekend arrives, it’s time to plan an adventure.  These adventures involve travelling by train or bus to a location with the aim of running to the finish where there is beer and a ride home. Planning the route is an adventure in itself and involves using the OS Maps website/app to discover a route between the start and finish. The website assists with calculating distance, elevation and total time using the Naismith’s Rule and gives you a flavour of the type of terrain you’ll encounter. I’ll also use Google StreetView to check out the roads I’ll be running […]

The post Tewkesbury to Gloucester appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
If there’s one thing that I enjoy about running, it’s heading out to a new place in search of adventure. Monday to Friday’s are for doing loops around the riverfront or commuting to work but when the weekend arrives, it’s time to plan an adventure. 

These adventures involve travelling by train or bus to a location with the aim of running to the finish where there is beer and a ride home. Planning the route is an adventure in itself and involves using the OS Maps website/app to discover a route between the start and finish. The website assists with calculating distance, elevation and total time using the Naismith’s Rule and gives you a flavour of the type of terrain you’ll encounter. I’ll also use Google StreetView to check out the roads I’ll be running along — I’ve been caught out before having to run along a busy A road without a pavement.  Once planned the run then become the highlight of the week and something to look forward to. 

For this run I’d be travelling to Ashchurch for Tewkesbury on one of two direct trains and then head west to Tewkesbury along tarmac before joint the Severn Way trail which would take me along the winding River Severn south west to Gloucester. 

Tewkesbury uses Ashchurch for it’s railway station so after starting here there was a 2.5 mile run into town along the A46/A438 and over the M5. The route takes you through the historic town and past Tewkesbury Abbey.

I missed a turn in so using the OS Map joined a footpath further along but this joined a route called the Battle Trail which takes you around the battle sites of the Battle of Tewkesbury – one of the decisive battles of the War of the Roses in May 1471 (The House of Lancaster was completely defeated by the House of York). The route included the very descriptive Bloody Meadow where many of the Lancastrian ranks were slain. 

Exiting the Bloody Meadow I was back on the right route and the Severn Way which would take me to Gloucester. This section was predominantly trail with gates and stiles to cross along the way.  

South of Tewkesbury the route passes Odda’s chapel which dates back to 1056 and is attached to a 17th century house. 

The route continued to follow the winding River Severn with anglers dotted along the banks, the odd heron and narrow boats puttering along. 

There was some variation with a climb up along a wooded area called The Cliff with a well signposted route through woods and grassland. Even spotted the white tail of a rabbit darting for cover when I exited the wood into the grassland. 

Apart from scrambling through a tree that had blocked a path (most likely felled during a recent storm and I wasn’t going to add more miles by backtracking to avoid it) the route was uneventful but still pleasant and good training. 

In total with the odd navigation error, running around cows and historical distractions the total distance was 17 miles.  This was the furthest I’d been since Paris in March 2018 and even though the legs were sore afterwards it all felt good and I’m so glad I’m back where I want to be. 

I would say that life is too short not to get out and do these types of things but I happened to read about an essay by Seneca before heading out this morning called On the Shortness of Life where he says that we don’t have short lives, instead we waste most of it so I guess I’m trying to make the most of life. 

The Reward

The first pub visited post-run was the Turk’s Head which was a new one to me. It’d been a while since I was last in Gloucester (running the Glevum Way) and the pub was new since then. Serving cask ales directly from the barrels, and cider from a side room, the pub is traditional with a long list of quirky rules. Other pubs visited were Tank, which is a modern brewery tap for Gloucester Brewery with a good selection of their beers, and Robert Raikes’ House. 

Robert Raikes’ House is owned by Samuel Smith who spent a small fortune renovated the property some years ago and features a number of different rooms from the basic rooms at the front with their flag stone floors to the plusher lounges at the back. The pub once belonged to Robert Raikes who was instrumental in the Sunday School movement.

The post Tewkesbury to Gloucester appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2020/09/11/tewkesbury-to-gloucester/feed/ 0 2181
EcoTrail Paris https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/03/27/ecotrail-paris/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/03/27/ecotrail-paris/#comments Tue, 27 Mar 2018 12:15:36 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2107 Having (not) completed Race to the Stones in 2017 and DNF’ing at around 49 miles I was determined to complete a race of a similar distance (at least a 50 mile race) and the EcoTrail Paris appeared on my Facebook timeline in November 2017. Billed as a race featuring 92% trails around Paris with a finish line on the Eiffel Tower the race was too much to resist so I booked a place. Uncertainty Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease means that are some complications that can interfere with running such as being susceptible to getting abscesses in a place where you would least want one. Three weeks before the race I had started to develop an abscess and tried to head it off at the pass with a course of antibiotics. Two courses later it […]

The post EcoTrail Paris appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>

Having (not) completed Race to the Stones in 2017 and DNF’ing at around 49 miles I was determined to complete a race of a similar distance (at least a 50 mile race) and the EcoTrail Paris appeared on my Facebook timeline in November 2017. Billed as a race featuring 92% trails around Paris with a finish line on the Eiffel Tower the race was too much to resist so I booked a place.

Uncertainty

Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease means that are some complications that can interfere with running such as being susceptible to getting abscesses in a place where you would least want one. Three weeks before the race I had started to develop an abscess and tried to head it off at the pass with a course of antibiotics.

Two courses later it was still lingering which meant emergency surgery just 5 days before the race. Depending on the outcome of the surgery there was a good chance that I wouldn’t make the race but it went well and there was a chance I’d make the start line. And I did!

Pre-Race Routine

With a 1215 start I had an opportunity to get out for a little run to get ALL parts of the body working correctly. Suffering from the dreaded Runner’s Trots A LOT, I have found that going out for a short run of a mile or two prior to a big race helps get things moving and fingers-crossed prevents issues later in the race.

Running around Paris early in the morning does mean that I get to photograph some of its more famous sights without any traffic or tourists getting in the way. 

En Route to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

Part of the race fee included rail and bus travel to the starting line and there were multiple trains that I could catch (plus my first ride on a double decker train!). I always prefer to arrive at a destination early but I wouldn’t want to be hanging around in the cold for too long. Not knowing exactly how long it would take me to get there I opted for one of the middle trains.

I had been monitoring the weather all week and it had varied from dry to snow to rain to overcast to freezing cold to not-so-freezing cold. The latest weather forecast predicted it to be chilly with us missing the snow that was further north but heading out of Paris on the train it started to rain. Hopefully it would pass over so that it could be a dry race.

Arriving at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines after connecting via race bus, there was going to be a 90 minute wait until the start. I purposefully didn’t bring a drop bag so that I could leave the finish straightaway so was stuck with only the clothes I’d be running in. In hindsight I should have brought some cheap clothes to bin rather than being chilly.

At the start there were hot drinks, Coke, Iced Tea and cake on offer so did some last minute carb loading whilst topping up on caffeine.

Start

Assembled on the start line with 2197 other runners we were all eagerly awaiting to start the run and promptly at 1215 the stampede began – both ahead on the course and to the nearest tree for a number of the men!

The first five miles was a tour of the Saint-Quentin pond and a taster of what was to come. Despite being predominantly flat the terrain was very wet and muddy and despite best efforts it was difficult to avoid getting wet feet so early into the race. Leaving the park there was a brief respite running alongside a velodrome and more tarmac before it was back on the trail and more mud. Conditions were deteriorating with light snow falling making it feel colder and making conditions under foot even more challenging.

Buc – 14 Miles

Arriving at a snowy aid station at Buc was a welcome relief due to needing the toilet and it was also a my first opportunity to sample what food would be on offer. Compared to some aid stations I’d experienced it wasn’t the best spread on offer but having cheese was a bonus and sugar cubes were a great way of getting sugar fix. I’d wish I’d made an effort of bagging up the food and taking it with me rather than solely relying on the Tailwind which I’m still unsure about on long races.

Exiting the aid station down onto the picturesque La Bièvre river the legs were feeling a little tired so I told myself that I’m going to have to start power walking sections. It wasn’t what I’d planned on doing, or in fact wanted to do, but after a DNF at Race to the Stones, and recent health issues, I was determined to get to the finish and I had to strike the balance between not burning myself out and getting to the Eiffel Tower.

The path alongside the river quickly ended and it was back onto forest trails. I try to hold off from using headphones for as long as possible so that I can take in the sounds of the trail and I was rewarded with the sight of a startled deer shooting through the woods behind me. Unfortunately was too quick for me to turn on the phone to take a photo.

Prior to the race I had downloaded the GPX file so had an idea of the type of elevation that I would expect but I completely underestimated just how many hills there would be and by now I was starting to experience them fully. The hills themselves are never an issue but I was conscious of not making good time particularly when combined with walking other sections.

With a few miles to go to the next aid station at Meudon I was feeling slightly nauseous which may have been due to the Tailwind. I had come with SOS Rehydrate as a backup so would start using that in conjunction with the Tailwind from now on.

 

Meudon – 28 Miles

The light is beginning to fade as I reach Meudon, the second aid station on the route and this one only has water available. I knew this in advance but was hoping that they may have included a few bits of food or at least hot water but it was plain old regular water. The phone battery was running pretty low so it was time to take the charger out of the bag and plug the cable into the… oh crap! It’s a micro USB cable and not a lightning cable! With 20+ miles left to go, the phone was going to have to be switched off so no more photos of music. 

Bottles filled with SOS and Tailwind, on with the head torch and off into the night. Straight away runners were needing assistance by volunteers to get up a steep and muddy embankment. Shortly after leaving Meudon I reached the Orangerie du Meudon and Parc de l’Observatoire which would no doubt have been stunning in the daylight. Whilst on the way to the Orangerie I passed someone huddled in a bus stop wrapped in an emergency blanket – a sign of how cold it was getting.

I latched onto another runner from the USA for a couple of miles which was great for both of us. When running alone it’s great to feed off other runners to help push you along. Unfortunately it was soon curtailed as we began to encounter the worst mud of the race so far. For the next 2 miles there was a wide river of up-to-ankle deep mud that was completely unavoidable. There was no alternative but to plough through it and get wet, dirty and cold. At times it was safer to avoid slipping by going through the deepest sections.

Cruelly, exiting this muddy section the route passed a sizable French Restaurant which smelled so good. I would have paid good money for a steak at that point but instead I dipped into my pocket and finished off the remainder of my Burton’s Fish ‘n’ Chips!

The next aid station at Chaville was around 3 miles away and I had found myself in a small group including a couple from the UK (there weren’t many of us running). Along this part of the route there were a number of sections which were narrow which meant we continued together as a group. Great to keep moving together. We then hit one of the worst sections of the race – a gully that was beyond ankle deep in mud and difficult to keep vertical. We were all barely moving through this section and one of the UK runners in front fell at least three times.

Chaville – 35 Miles

Arriving at Chaville meant a chance to get some food although at this point you’re faced with the left overs so a couple of cups of soup, cheese and a banana. The photo of the mud (not mine but one from Instagram) shows just how bad it had become by now.

Reaching around 40 miles my watch began to indicate it was close to running out of juice so keen to make sure I recorded the entire run I picked up the pace (that’s one way of getting you running again!) and ran along any section that I could (easier said than done in the slippery mud!). I still had a couple of hours to go so wasn’t sure if it would make it the entire way. At times there were some runnable tarmac sections but then you were hit with mud-bath after mud-bath. With more hills thrown in for good measure.

Saint Cloud – 43 Miles

The last aid station on the route and all down hill from here. Saint Cloud was looking rather empty and volunteers were encouraging runners to not to stick around due to the time. I needed something hot inside me so grabbed a soup before leaving and descending down to the bank of the River Seine.

After a bit of mud on the descent it was then back onto tarmac so I picked up the pace a bit and continued to run as best I could. I had 7 miles to cover in around an hour which wasn’t going to be easy at the pace I was capable of at that point. I bumped into the American guy that I had run alongside after Meudon and we jogged together for a mile or so but I needed to press on so continued to run when he started to walk.

Following the River Seine into Paris the Eiffel Tower was nowhere to be seen despite me hoping to see it on the horizon. With 5 or 6 miles to go it was far too soon to see it but I was looking for something to latch on to. I’d occasionally run past finishers who would offer words of encouragement whilst reminding me of the dwindling time.

From researching the route prior to running I knew we had to run along an island in the Seine so when we crossed a bridge to gain access to it I thought we had reached that island. It transpired that the island I was thinking of was actually closer to the Eiffel Tower so I still had another 4 miles to go.

By this point the Eiffel Tower was in sight although it was cruelly out of reach. With a few miles to go, unless I ran at 5K pace there was no chance I’d make it in time. As I reached the second island in the Seine and with members of the public shouting Allez, Allez the Eiffel Tower started to twinkle. It was game over. The twinkling meant it was 1am and the Eiffel Tower was now shut.

Eiffel Tower – 50 Miles

The ‘finish line’ had now become a makeshift point outside the entrance to the Eiffel Tower in a dark corner with a group of organisers handing out medals and race t-shirts. After 13 hours and 50 miles this was a huge anti-climax and after collecting a medal and t-shirt that was it!

Conclusion

Reports from the race organisers and other runners appear to indicate that conditions on this year’s race were the worst in the eleven years it has been running. If the trails were dry it would be a cracking race but with all that mud it’s hard to build up any enthusiasm to do it again. 

The post EcoTrail Paris appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/03/27/ecotrail-paris/feed/ 1 2107
Thornhill Street Race https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/03/05/thornhill-street-race/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/03/05/thornhill-street-race/#respond Mon, 05 Mar 2018 18:15:06 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2095 After a cracking Newport Street Race I was keen to experience another. The next race in the South Wales Orienteering Club calendar took place on February 22nd in Thornhill, Cardiff. The last two street races in Newport and Chepstow were in areas I was familiar with so allowed me to plan better whilst running and importantly know how long it would take me to return to base from a variety of locations. My knowledge of Thornhill and surrounding area didn’t extend beyond a street or two – and I’d only seen those streets in the daytime. At the Newport event we were fortunate to have been given a sneak peek of the map so that we could decide on the correct footwear but on this event we’d only be able to see the map once […]

The post Thornhill Street Race appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>

After a cracking Newport Street Race I was keen to experience another. The next race in the South Wales Orienteering Club calendar took place on February 22nd in Thornhill, Cardiff.

The last two street races in Newport and Chepstow were in areas I was familiar with so allowed me to plan better whilst running and importantly know how long it would take me to return to base from a variety of locations. My knowledge of Thornhill and surrounding area didn’t extend beyond a street or two – and I’d only seen those streets in the daytime.

At the Newport event we were fortunate to have been given a sneak peek of the map so that we could decide on the correct footwear but on this event we’d only be able to see the map once the clock had started.

Turning over the map I quickly scanned it and could see a north-south divide with some high value controls in the south and lower value, but more of them, in the north. I decided to head north and quickly visited two controls but then got disorientated, then flustered, then after running around in a circle got back on track and could finally pick up some speed running to the next control.

It didn’t last long. I was disorientated again! Running down a small path behind some houses I had become confused when it entered the rear of Sainsbury’s and being conscious of not wasting time I back-tracked along the path and headed for another set of controls grouped at the front of Sainsbury’s. It was only now that I was feeling more confident reading the map and was confident enough to take a marked shortcut through Sainsbury’s.

I quickly planned out an number of controls whilst running and calculated that if i didn’t stray too far to the edges of the map I would have a chance of getting back before the hour was up. Some of the controls were higher value but none in the highest category of 40 points – those were reserved more for the edges of the map and but if you were a fast runner you have a good opportunity to sprint between them. You’d also have to be confident of knowing exactly where you were going, which I wasn’t.

I managed to do a good job of finding the controls I needed without wasting much time and was working in an anti-clockwise direction back in the direction of Sainsbury’s and ultimately the finish. By the time I reached the south side of Sainsbury’s I headed for a cul-de-sac and control #10 only to realise when I arrived that I had already been there! Very much a rookie mistake but I was still heading in the right direction and this was the only control on the way so wasn’t an issue.

With around 10 minutes left there was a chance I could take a little detour and bag a higher value control and still make it back to base. It was on the main road so meant more running and less navigating.

I arrived back at base at around 57/58 minutes so no penalties but still wasted time. The experienced orienteers were arriving back dead on 60 minutes or just after. The combination of being a fast runner and an experienced orienteer meant they were scoring a lot more points and even with penalties were still leagues ahead of me.

The post Thornhill Street Race appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/03/05/thornhill-street-race/feed/ 0 2095
Rogue Runs Night Race Series https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/02/14/rogue-runs-night-race-series/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/02/14/rogue-runs-night-race-series/#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 18:33:00 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2082 The Rogue Runs series of night races were some of my first night races in 2016 and after the first one I was hooked. There was such an excitement about running through the woods at night lit by headtorch. You needed to focus intensely both on your feet and the route ahead and a lapse in concentration could mean slipping, tripping or taking a dip in a mud bath. Last year I was the only Parc Bryn Bach RC member to run the races but this year I’d recruited enough for at least a male and female team on each race. Race 1: Mallard’s Pike The first in the series, Mallard’s Pike is located deep in the Forest of Dean where wild boar roam. During the race briefing runners are always warned that the wild […]

The post Rogue Runs Night Race Series appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
The Rogue Runs series of night races were some of my first night races in 2016 and after the first one I was hooked. There was such an excitement about running through the woods at night lit by headtorch. You needed to focus intensely both on your feet and the route ahead and a lapse in concentration could mean slipping, tripping or taking a dip in a mud bath.

Last year I was the only Parc Bryn Bach RC member to run the races but this year I’d recruited enough for at least a male and female team on each race.

Race 1: Mallard’s Pike

The first in the series, Mallard’s Pike is located deep in the Forest of Dean where wild boar roam. During the race briefing runners are always warned that the wild boar are attracted to the smell of a sweaty runner but to date everyone has made it back to the post-race cake stand safely.

Last year’s route featured a steep, single-file climb have the initial lap of Mallard’s Pike pond and if you had started too far back you would have little opportunity to pass anyone until you reached the top of the climb. Thankfully the route had changed this year but it did mean a section on road and harder track before hitting the trail proper.

The tough route wound its way anti-clockwise around the forest and featured sections of mud, steep climbs and some fast descents. Prior to the race I was warning people about a deep water feature that you had to wade through in last half mile of the race so I was anticpating it but around 4 miles in the route went in a different direction and through a much smaller water feature. Heading this way did mean that you followed a faster track which resulted in me recording a faster time than last year despite being slightly further.

Race 2: Beechenhurst

Ah, Beechenhurst, I’ve got a score to settle with you!

Last year this was the last race in the series and unbeknownst to me it featured an unavoidable mudbath. They did erect a sign warning runners of the ankle-deep hazard but it’s so wide that you have no choice but to wade through.

With only single knots in my laces it was not going to be a fair battle and no sooner had I stepped into in the quagmire it claimed one of my shoes. It took a few strides before I was able to stop and return to claim my shoe. I squeezed my muddied foot back into the shoe and rejoined the race.

This route is perhaps the toughest out of the trio with the usual hills, obstacles and mud but with extra mud and the mud bath sap the energy out of your legs. Apart from one slight variation in the route it was the same as last year and much like Mallard’s Pike I was warning people about the deep water feature towards the end of the course.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the water feature was no more due to a new bridge being built which meant avoiding the water but not avoiding the slippery muddy bank on the other side which just further sapped the energy out of your legs.

And to cap the race off, a final obstacle involved crossing a wide ditch which had been filled with smoke. Unfortunately, one of my club’s runners lost valuable places when fell.

Race 3: Piercefield Park

The final race in the series and after the disappointment of a smaller water feature in the first race, no water feature in the second race, this race was to feature not one, but two knee-deep water crossings.

Based at Chepstow Racecourse, the route heads through a wooded section and into the open of Piercefield Park. Reaching the Wye Valley Walk section, the route become a little tricky with lots of obstacles to avoid and a path that’s on a slope (watch out for that big drop down into the River Wye!)

Giant’s Cave follows along with a scramble up a steep slope and then back out into the open and alongside the racecourse towards Piercefield Park. The open sections are very reminiscent of a cross country race, just at night.

Approaching Piercefield Park again, I remembered the water feature but I can’t recall going through an additional one before you reach it! It caught me off guard but was prepared for the second one so ran straight through it gaining a couple of places.

A fast downhill section across PIercefield Park followed the water crossing which led back into the woods and the Wye Valley Walk. Whereas the first section on the Wye Valley Walk was a lot more congested which only increased the difficulty in picking up any speed, the field had thinned out by this point which meant I didn’t have anybody in front of me so could focus further ahead.

By this point in the race I was expected to have already encountered Tosh the photographer especially as he was positioned at the second water crossing last year. Around 4-and-a-half miles I had a call of “you’re going the wrong way!”. It was Tosh informing that I had missed the turning but luckily I hadn’t overshot it by much so retraced my steps for my photograph and the last uphill section to the finish.

I was a couple of minutes slower than last year but still enjoyed the finale to the Rogue Run Night Race Series and as a bonus the ladies from our club bagged 1st Team Prize – a great achievement considering the first two races were dominated by Forest of Dean AC.

The post Rogue Runs Night Race Series appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/02/14/rogue-runs-night-race-series/feed/ 0 2082
Newport Street Race https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/01/24/newport-street-race/ https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/01/24/newport-street-race/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 19:48:43 +0000 https://beerrunner.co.uk/?p=2065 Urban orienteering is a perfect way to explore the hidden parts of a city whether it’s your home city or a completely new one. As part of race it can be fast-paced requiring you to think quickly on your feet and navigate whilst running. Organised by the South Wales Orienteering Club, the Newport Street Race held at Pye Corner railway station and would involve 60 minutes of collecting as many control points as possible. Based on the heavy rain forecast for the race, the maps were handed out a few minutes earlier than usual so that you decide whether you were going to stick to the roads or take in a few trails. If you were going to head onto the trails you would have the opportunity to change your footwear before heading out. I […]

The post Newport Street Race appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>

Urban orienteering is a perfect way to explore the hidden parts of a city whether it’s your home city or a completely new one. As part of race it can be fast-paced requiring you to think quickly on your feet and navigate whilst running.

Organised by the South Wales Orienteering Club, the Newport Street Race held at Pye Corner railway station and would involve 60 minutes of collecting as many control points as possible.

Based on the heavy rain forecast for the race, the maps were handed out a few minutes earlier than usual so that you decide whether you were going to stick to the roads or take in a few trails. If you were going to head onto the trails you would have the opportunity to change your footwear before heading out. I had no plans to deviate from the roads but switched to ATR shoes just in case.

With 30 control points and a large area to cover it was impossible to get them all in an hour or less so I decided to head out to Bassaleg to collect some of the higher value control points. The risk was that I wasn’t familiar with the back streets of the area so would have to be almost completely reliant on the map.

On the signal at 1900* we all scattered in different directions with me following another running in the direction of Bassaleg. I knew the general direction that I had to head in but wanted to make sure I was on the right track and it wasn’t long before I was taking a wrong turning but luckily a path provided a route to the correct street and I was back in business.

Having only completed one urban orienteering race before it took a little while to get to grips with distances but eventually found the twin control points (telegraph poles) that I was looking for. There were 130 points on offer in the area but despite it taking a fair chunk of time it would probably be worth it.

I felt as though I was doing well thinking on my feet but looking back at the route the other runner took, I could have saved some time but utilising more of the minor paths between streets. And despite the map featuring contour lines, if you still can’t quite get to grips with them then those steep hills come as both a surprise (when heading up) and a relief (when heading down). 

Heading back towards the station there were was another high value control point to collect along with a couple of others including one outside Tiny Rebel Brewery. The distance between these control points was far enough to pick up some speed and having run a couple of times in the area I was familiar with the one shortcut that would lead to the Wern Industrial Estate and Tiny Rebel.

At Tiny Rebel Brewery I knew it was 0.9 miles back to the station and with about 9 minutes left I’d have just enough time to make it back to the station and not incur any penalties. When people didn’t start arriving until about 10 minutes after me I then realised that we didn’t start at 1900 but around 10 minutes after. A rookie mistake which meant I missed an opportunity to bag a couple more control points including a high value one on a dead-end street behind the station.

However, much like my first attempt at Urban Orienteering it was fantastic fun and a great way to add variety to your runs. Not only do you get a decent run but you’re also benefitting from mastering a new skill.

* It was more like 1910!

The post Newport Street Race appeared first on The Beer Runner.

]]>
https://beerrunner.co.uk/2018/01/24/newport-street-race/feed/ 0 2065