This week’s Breakfast Club took us south to Guildford, to sample some of the North Downs. It was a bright sunny, slight humid morning as we congregated in the Shalford Park Car Park just before 7:30.
I was the first one there, closely followed by Karen, Mary, Ed, Rich, Norman, and Simon and a new runner Gemma (new to HR anyway).
There were so many arriving with their Lime Green shirts on, it was like a casting call for an electric Robin of Sherwood. Once we had assembled and clarified that the car park was indeed free on Saturdays, we set off. Here is the intended route. . .
Setting off south into the park and then a quick right to take us to the River Wey, we crossed over a wooden bridge and then blew a few cobwebs out by running up what felt like a 1 in 2 hill to meet the road, whilst watching an Ocado van driver regret the decision to turn down the hill.
Down to the Ye Old Ship Inn, we then crossed the road, and set off on Sandy Lane. I was reasonably confident about the route, except for the latter stages, so we ran on a slight gradient up Sandy Lane, and then onto the North Downs Way. We scampered along to reach Sandy Way and around farmers fields, all the while drinking in the landscape.
After about 1.5 miles we headed north up a bugger of a hill, on a chalk path lined with nettles, and reached the top in a sweaty mass (well I was anyway – did I mention the humidity?).
We then ran on a flat wide track to Farnham Road, a few yards on that and then down a footpath through a wood. This path turned left eventually and we started east along a set of paths which took us within sight of Loseley House, and a gaggle of geese on their lawns.
We ran on through a tiny place called Littleton, and then joined a path that led us to the Mount Brown Police training base. Over the A3100 and then under a railway line and then things started going a bit awry.
The pathway network that I had checked on runkeeper did not seem to exist in real-life, so after a bit of confusion, we retraced our steps and ran on the towpath north on the River Wey back to the wooden footbridge we had first encountered. A quick photo stop.
And then we cantered over the fields back to the car park. 6.92 miles in 1 hour 16 mins, and much fun had by all.
Things we learnt this week
1 – Car parks can be free sometimes
2 – Wearing any old lime green running top does not make you an Endurist
3 – Be careful with HP sauce bottles in the bathroom
4 – It’s much easier to round up the distance run than the altitude gained
5 – What other social media apart from tweeting do birds use?
See you all soon,