At around 10am this morning I will leave London Liverpool St Station on foot, to begin the first stage of a four-day running artwork/ performance, following as near as I can, the rail route of my commute to Cambridge, where I teach. Covering an average of 16 miles a day, I aim to complete the journey in 4 days, arriving in Cambridge on Thursday 1st February.
The journey will be continuous; I will not go home at the end of each day, but will stay en route, close to the railway. Each stage will be as follows:
Stage 1: Liverpool st to Cheshunt YHA
Stage 2: Cheshunt YHA to Little Hallingbury Mill,(Sawbridgeworth)
Stage 3: Little Hallingbury Mill to Littlebury (Audley End)
Stage 4: Littlebury to Cambridge

The journey will be live tracked in RealTime via the website and app and anyone who wishes to can follow me as I run. (on the home page go to Tracks and key in my username Vero_350 in the search).

This will also be relayed to the Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, as part of an installation work in the exhibition PLACE, curated by Art Language Location. For more info go to:

I am being interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire at 7.50am before I start and there is also an article here:

My next post will be this evening from Cheshunt Youth Hostel.



I was tickled by an article I found in the ‘i’ newspaper, which I bought from the WH Smith on the station platform last Thursday, having just completed the run.

The headline read: ‘Briton pulled over for trying motorway jog’. It told the story of a British long distance runner, who having completed the demanding Spartan Race at Valmorel,  had attempted to run on the hard shoulder of the 109 mile stretch of motorway connecting the ski resort with Lyon airport. Apparently, he made it 25 miles down the A43 before being picked up by the local gendarmes, who said that it wasn’t the first time that this had happened and that ‘it’s usually British nationals’, who attempt such feats, before continuing: ‘It’s strange to run on a motorway. Maybe in the UK it’s a national sport.’ As someone who previously ran round the boundary of the M25 London Orbital (without running on the hard shoulder) for a previous artwork, this particularly amused me. The article ended with the words: ‘Efforts have been made, unsuccessfully, to establish the man’s identity and to find out whether he caught his plane.’ (With thanks to Luke Rix-Standing, who wrote the piece).

I complete this post with some images of the work from the exhibition ‘PLACE: Relinking, Relating, Relaying’ that continues at the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge until the 17th February. With thanks to Robert Good and the ALL team for all their support.

(Incidentally the route can still be viewed from the website or app. Choose ‘Tracks’ from the menu, type Vero_350 in the search and click on the track).


Adding some images of Stage 4 (final stage) to give me time to write this last post. One day on I’m still feeling pretty tired, through pleased the journey is completed and I am still in one piece (just!)

It’s taken me several days to vaguely recuperate and be able to feel rested enough both physically and emotionally to continue writing this post. It’s been a strange feeling to be back in the buzz of the city and to see people after being largely on my own in the countryside and caught up in my own thoughts for the best part of the week.

The last stage of the run last Thursday 1st February began from the Queen’s Head pub in Littlebury, near Audley End, where I had stayed the night before. I had been told by one of the marketing people at Anglia Ruskin University that ITV Anglia were going to turn up to film me setting off. I couldn’t remember the time they had said they would arrive and eager to set off at my prescribed time of 10am, I decided not to wait around when they had not turned up by then. I’m not terribly comfortable with media attention, especially at the time of setting off, when I need to be in a very particular kind of head-space. I was quite anxious about this route, as even though this last section should have been the shortest, having not previously tested it out, it was also unpredictable so anything could happen. However, the weather was cool and sunny, ideal conditions for running in.

I found a little detour on a minor road that would take me right beside the railway and a crossing, before joining the B1383 road to Great Chesterford, which also followed the railway on one side and the River Cam on the other. Crossing back over the railway took me onto a smaller road and into the pretty ‘chocolate-box’ village of Ickleton. One thing that has been remarkable about making this journey is the discovery of these small places that I would otherwise not have encountered. Although not strickly on the rail route, Ickleton is one of these places that due to the particularity of the landscape around it (in the waterways and small tributaries that separate it from the railway), I found myself detouring into as a means of navigating through. I would never have seen it otherwise.

The same could almost be said for the Wetlands Nature Reserve, also the site of the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. I had spotted the footpath through it when trying to formulate a navigable route using Google Earth Pro prior to starting this stage and I was particularly drawn to it as an off road route close to the rail track, but I couldn’t tell quite how far it would take me or if I would get caught out by a waterway I would be unable to cross. As it was, it proved perfectly negotiable and a welcome retreat into nature. This place was set up to ‘provide a range of habitats for local plant and animal species’ and also acts as a ‘natural flood relief mechanism’. What’s more, it is a conservation resource that anyone can enjoy for free. The sunny weather by contrast to the previous day made it all the more special.
A bonus to this route, was the chance encounter at the end of a ‘permissive footpath’, which took me further along the trajectory of the River Cam, instead of along the road through the village of Hinxton that I had planned to take. Not only was it nearer to the path of the railway, but it allowed me to continue my foray into nature and to have a more solitary, (albeit muddy) experience. I had never come across a ‘permissive’ footpath before and assumed it was another kind of public footpath, until I came across a notice that told me otherwise. Apparently, ‘only persons who have a permanent place of residence in the Parish of Hinxton and their bona fide invitees, who shall at all times be accompanied by a Hinxton resident, are allowed to use this permissive footpath.’ I found this rather baffling: apart from discovering this notice some way along the footpath, I wondered quite how this ruling could be policed. I carried on until I reached the Hinxton road at the path’s end.

Turning left, this would take me back across to the other side of the railway into Duxford, a strange place that on the one hand is steeped in history and is perhaps better known as being the home of RAF Duxford (and the 2nd site of the Imperial War Museum) and which on the other hand houses two large industrial units / factories and a sewage treatment plant. The existence of the latter close to the railway meant quite a wide detour using the main road through the village, coming out at Whittelesford and then Whittlesford Parkway startion, where I crossed back over the line…

From there, again to avoid the myriad of tributaries from the River Cam and the likelihood of getting stuck the otherside of a stretch of water I would be unable to cross, I took a busy section of the A505 to join the A1301. This was a long straight road into Shelford, that followed the path of the river and would at times also run close to the side of the railway.  An initial useful cycle/walking path diverted further out towards Sawston so I decided not to take it and to keep going on the A1301. This road was not made for pedestrians of any kind: although the grass verges were wide, they were unkempt, lumpy and hard. Trying to run on them was like running in thick, heavy sand, only worse and I risked twisting my ankle. I walked for the most part; the busy road with constantly oncoming traffic meant that I couldn’t easy divert onto it, but I did where I could, until the next car came along. It wasn’t much fun and I was pleased when I finally arrived on the edge of Great Shelford, where I could also see a cycle route sign that told me there were only 4 miles to Cambridge.

I knew that from here, not far from the Shelford railway crossing, that there is a path that aligns the railway as far as the new development at Addenbrookes, where you have to cross over to join the path alongside the guided bus route that takes you to Cambridge Rail Station. I see this every time I take the train from London to Cambridge and I have longed to run along it. Now was my chance and although I was beginning to feel the effects of the past 4 days, I was determined to find a last burst of energy that would see me through along the home strait. This last stretch was quite an effort but I felt strangely exhilarated by the knowledge that the end of this run was almost in sight and somehow I managed to pick up and run at a slightly faster pace.

I arrived at Cambridge Station shortly before 2pm, earlier than anticipated, although, at just short of 15 miles, this had been the shortest stage of the run. I knew that I was supposed to make a ‘grand entrance’ into the exhibition drinks reception at around 5.30, so I had some time to kill. I made my way to the AMT coffee stall and combined waiting room on the station platform, a suitable place to recuperate for a bit and to have some much needed sustenance. After about an hour and a half I felt that I had outstayed my welcome so moved on to the coffee lounge at the Ibis. Another coffee, bottle of water and a portuguese custard tart kept me going for another hour and a half before it was time to get going to make my entrance at the Ruskin Gallery. Feeling replete and rested, the short run was a breeze in the dark, spoiled only by the recent onset of wind and rain. As I entered the gallery, speeches were being made and there was a brief pause for a grand applause. I felt slightly overwhelmed and embarrassed by the attention and when asked if I wanted to say anything, couldn’t find the breath or words to speak. It didn’t matter, as my colleague smiled and handed me a bottle of Prosecco to congratulate me… It was good to have finally arrived.



Feeling exhausted after the longest run yet at about 20 miles, amazingly I arrived around the same time as before,

The day started with the worst weather imaginable: tipping down with rain, a high wind and a chill in the air. Resolute to the task in hand, I boldly set off across a field to join the river path along the Stort, towards Bishop’s Stortford. Due to the field being waterlogged in many parts, my feet were soaked in minutes. The going was slow and precarious as the path was very muddy (despite wearing trail shoes, they weren’t really up to the task). As I approached Bishop’s Stortford the rain had eased off and I took a shorter route via a small lane that ran closer to the railway line and brought me into the town, close to the station.

From there I was able to follow a footpath through a park near the Castle Gardens. This carried on for quite  while, following the railway line quite closely, through other fields and open land. A sign told me I was on a public footpath called the Hertfordshire Way (or at least part of it), which is apparently a circular route within the county of some 195 miles, The section I took was pretty handy as it took me off road for quite a while and would have continued further, had a whole section not been closed off due to ‘re-landscaping’. It really annoys me that they feel they have to close it off and deny access to do something that is probably completely unnecessary.

This left no option but to take the busy B1383, which I had tried to avoid. At least there was a pavement and it was a pretty straight run to Stansted Mountfitchet. There, I thought I could cut across some fields near the Castle gardens and Toy Museum, which were closed. I managed to disappear into some woods at the end of the station car park and clamber over a wire fence. So far, so good… As I made my way across I noticed a couple of people wearing orange vests and another guy in the distance. As I headed over towards them I had already decided I would say i was lost if they asked what I was doing. As it was, only the other guy headed towards me and he seemed friendly enough. He said that actually, there was another path the other side of the railway that went right alongside it and that was my best bet or to head up to the B road. I decided on the quickest option, which unfortunately, was the road and made my way up the side of the field. At least it ws going in the right direction.Although it was not as close to the railway, as I would had liked, it got me to Elsenham relatively quickly. At about 10 miles, it was my halfway stage.

I crossed at the station crossing and a small B road took me close to the railway on the other side. there were a few opportunities cross to the other side, but they were unknown quantities, so I decided against them. I’m finding that I’m having to weigh up preserving my energy and running on faster more direct roads and taking risks and maybe having to turn back and make longer detours.

That said, I’m really struggling this evening now with completing this post. Exhaustion has got the better of me and I’m going to have to pause this for now- I can barely type and my nose is streaming. I need to have a good night’s sleep ahead of tomorrow’s final leg, and I still need to do a final check of a possible route…

Adding to this now retrospectively, having completed the run (more about that in the next post). I clearly hit a wall of extreme tiredness above when I had to temporarily abandon it.  I’ll try to continue from here.

The road to Newport was a small B road that followed the railway and the trajectory of the river Cam pretty much all the way. I am finding that this journey is becoming one that follows the waterways as much as it does the railway. A sit down on the bridge at the station allowed me a moment of brief recuperation before I was on my way again for the final stretch to Audley End and Littlebury, my stop for the night. Part of the route took me a little further away from the railway than I would have liked but it was worth it to see the spectacular view of Audey End House just before the home straight into Littlebury.

Amazed that this was my longest stretch yet at about 20 miles and yet I arrived at around the same time as the previous day when I had run 4 mils less. No wonder I was exhausted! Thanks to everyone who boosted my morale by regularly posting messages on the locatoweb site.


It’s amazing what a good 8 hours sleep can do for you: a much better day today aided by some glorious weather and a much easier and more scenic route. I was also confident of the route as I had done a practice run of this section about 10 days ago. I tried to redo it from memory, but it’s surprising what you forget in a short amount of time.

The first part continued through the Lea Valley park, adjoining the railway until Broxbourne. This part was the easiest and a great way to start. the ground was thrawing from the frost so neither too hard nor too soft- ideal conditions for running. Added to that the joy of being in green space, even if by the railway. The place is quite popular with dog walkers and I was tickled to see a couple of dogs wearing fluorescent onesies as I passed. I do prefer though to be on my and not see anyone- it’s the best way to keep focussed and to remain in the moment.

The next section was a foray into disobedience: a section of the park was closed off seemingly due to ‘contaminated land’, but it was hardly inaccessible and I had tried it previously and survived. It’s just that it is not landscaped and quite rough ground, but quite exhilirating to be completely on my own and a joy to see a couple of roe deer run across my path in the distance. In any case there was no other way to go without taking a huge detour and it did join a legimate path (as least so the map said) towards the end. This came out at the only industrial plant I had to make my way round: pretty huge and belonging it seems to Scottish Power. Why this is in Essex, I’ve no idea.

From this to a towpath along the River Stort all the way to Roydon. Some interesting boats and people seemingly living off-grid -seems really idealistic, particularly when the sun’s out. A far cry from yesterday and much easier on my feet to be running on softer ground. From here it’s pretty much a straight run (forgive the pun) along the Stort path, all the way to Sawbridgeworth. I tried a section on the other side near Harlow Town to have a bit more of a sense of discovery and got a bit lost for a while before rejoining the path near Harlow Mill. Nothing too worrying and I tried to see whether the river path would take me to where I’m staying tonight. I should have trusted myself: it does. I was worried and cut across some fields too early only to find myself having to precariously cross some water along an overhanging tree. Alot of unnecessary time and effort, but I was tired and not thinking straight. Even though the route was straight forward, 16 plus miles does take its toll

I arrived at my destination too early for check in and had to wait in the cold for a while until the owners appeared. But it’s a lovely place and it’s a shame I’ll be off in the morning.

This next one is a bit of an unknown quantity: the first part continues the Stort until Bishop’s Stortford and then I’m trying to figure out when I can continue at least until Standsted Mountfitchet. From then on it’ll be a case of working things out with what I can access without resorting to too many roads or getting stuck the oterside of some water…

It’s also probably the longest stretch so I can’t afford too many detours… I’ll write the next blog post from the other side…

On the up side, it’s been heartening seeing some messages come through via the site and good to see that the tracking is appears to be working,


Feeling pretty exhausted after this first stage. I arrived at Cheshunt youth hostel just before 3pm, later than I expected. A late night last night with only a few hours sleep took its toll, and a heavier than expected backpack, meant slow sluggish running; after 10miles or so I was really struggling. The last 7 miles were intermittently running and walking  (with more walking than running) and my energy levels were really low, despite being well-prepared and topping up with fluid and various protein-based nourishment. It might also have been something to do with the getting out of London and the relentless urban concrete and induxtrial estates I had to go through that never seemed to end. The section after Tottenham Hale until beyond Waltham Cross, was a particularly relentless greyness that went on for ever (well for more than half the route). As if to mark this there was a spectacular downpour just outside Waltham Cross station as I arrived. So pleased to have invested in proper trail-running clothing that keeps me super dry. I couldn’t have done without it.

Nothing spectacular happened en route, apart from needing a pee and having to wait far too long before finding anywhere until I passed ‘The Range’ in Enfield.

The end was in sight when I entered the Lee Valley Park after Watham Cross for the last mile and a half of the journey. Apart from being a very pretty and welcome respite to the concrete, it runs right next to the railway. It’s nice to know that tomorrow this will be where I continue for Stage 2. In fact, tomorrow’s run will be a far cry from today’s: much of the route follows the railway along the river, towpaths, and beside nature reserves. Really looking forward to it and to a good night’s sleep.

A note on the live tracking: this seems to be working well from what I’ve heard. Do check it out via (go to Tracks an key in Vero_350 in the search and click on the track). I’ve been able to post a few photos along the way that appear in the location they’re taken in, though it does slow me down a little.