I am writing this the night before the start of the start of this epic running journey along the length of the Thames. I’m feeling a mixture of apprehension, nervousness and excitement as I always do when I start these projects, but this one over a period of 14 consecutive days is the longest by far, so it has a sense of the unknown and this is what drives me.
Glad to get here at a reasonable time so I could check out exactly where I will be starting fom tomorrow. I am accompanied by my partner, Richard Allen, who will be driving our hired campervan from location to location, to ensure I have a place to rest and stay after a day’s run. This was planned so near to the reopening of hopitality venues, that it was the only way I could ensure this project could take place. I am indebted to him to agreeing to come on this adventure with me, as much for safety, as for moral support. I will be out running on my own, but I know he won’t be far away, should I get into any difficulty. He, of course can pass the time, whilst I am running, as he likes…
We picked up our trusty high-end hired campervan, Nolan, from Stoke Newington this afternoon. He will be home for the next 14 days, until I complete the run. Where I have been able to, I have booked ouselves into campsites enroute, mainly for security, comfort and hygiene. Tonight however, we have booked into the Thameshead Inn, near Cirencester and about 1/2 a mile from the source, for a bit of additional comfort before the start (and also because their campsite was full- I had fortgotten about the Bank Holiday).
Just before dinner, we took a stroll along a footpath through some meadows just off the busy A429, to the stone that is said to mark the source, at Trewsbery Mead, which has the just about legible inscription: ” The conservators of the River Thames 1856-1974. This stone was placed here to mark the source of the River Thames.”
It is of course a disputed source and other accounts place the true source, 11 miles further north at Seven Springs, at the source of the River Churn. However, this is also identified as a tributary of the Thames, so it is difficult to say with any authority that it is a truer source, than the ‘official’ more popularly known one that we saw this evening.
It was a beautiful warm, sunny evening, quite a change from the relentless rain of a week ago. Let’s hope this bodes well for these next 14 days. I can’t expect it to stay dry for all of that time and I am prepared for all weathers, but I hope there will be some balance in the weather. I hope it won’t be too hot either…
The stroll to the start this evening mainly was to set up the Locatoweb GPS track in the location, so that there is a direct link and it is easier to find. This will take you directly to the live tracking map and page:
This will be an active live track, as long as I am running. To preserve energy and to make it more interesting, I have decided on a strategy of uploading a photograph of my view in the direction of the river, every mile.
Alongside this, I will be streaming live from my facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/veronique.chance.7
I hope to start as near to 10 am as I can. Next stop is Castle Eaton, approximately 16 miles away, down river…