Day three would see the first bit of the path I've recced before. A few weeks ago, I ran a section with Louise and it was a pretty awesome run that day. And because of yesterday's mess-up with the distance, today would be a really short day. It was supposed to be 27 miles, but with the extra 4 miles yesterday, it'd be 4 miles less today. Yay! (sort of)
This was one of the prettier sections of the Thames, with plenty of locks (with toilets and taps; see the fabulous National Trail website or Environment Agency website for full details of what is where). It was, however, another muddy section with plenty of nettles. Having slashed my thigh on the first day with brambles, I didn't really feel the nettle stings any more. The Romans had it right with nettles.
|Yay! Mud! And nettles!
|Nice, steep-sided track there for my ankles.
Except I was stopped by a local newspaper reporter asking me about "the murder". Eh!? What murder? Apparently someone had been stabbed to death along that section of the river the night before and the Police had cordoned off a section of land to investigate the scene.
When I got to the top of the steps, I was stopped again by a local BBC TV reporter, who I had to stop mid-flow to say I didn't live there and had only just then heard about the murder. I thought I'd pop straight back down onto the path on the other side of the river, not really knowing how big the taped off area was. The Police said; "no". And that I had to divert down the main road as far as Culham Lock.
|Diverted from the bridge at Abingdon to the lock at Culham. Plus detour due to lack of signs to the river.
River found again, I carried on.
Along the edges of fields again, where you really can't see the river at all.
Then along beautiful meadows with the river stretching out to one side of you.
Alley-ways between houses is another cute feature of the Thames Path.
It's more common than you might expect.
Weirs that stretch across hugely wide sections are pretty awesome and bear stopping for a few moments to watch and listen to the water rushing over.
|Hello there big fella!
Luckily, this is where I picked up the section I'd done previously with Louise and that meant I was close to the end of the day and the lovely Beetle & Wedge pub where I was staying. Of course, true to the previous two days it also meant that I was due a really muddy and wet section to make sure I had drenched feet as I came in for the day.
|And lo! There was more mud.
|The bar at the Beetle & Wedge
Third day done, half way through in terms of time but under half way in terms of distance I was a bit deflated and down. My ankles were sore and my feet were sore. I had amused myself by tidying up the final few bits of course marking the sweeper for the Centurion Winter 100 race had missed a couple of days earlier...
A short day, but an eventful one with a murder scene, wasp stings and seeing my family for dinner. But 3 more days and a smidge over 100 miles to go. I'd still stuck to the 8:2 mins of running vs. walking, but I was seriously wondering how I was going to get through the next two days at 35.5 miles each day before the last day of 31 miles.