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Viewing single post of blog Thames Run: Source to Sea

I started a new strategy of uploading images first, so that there is something to look at, whilst I’m writing. I’m finding that the later I leave it the more tired and slower I get and the less I remember of the day. The last two nights have been a struggle as I was more tired than I thought, but I’m trying to keep to my promise of writing a blog entry every night, even if it’s not great. So here goes…

I wasn’t really looking forward to today’s run as at 21 miles, it was set to be the longest yet. That was not really by design but due to where the nearest campsite was. On top of that I knew that it was going to be a challenge weather-wise, with the temperature set to be even hotter than the previous 2 days and a thunder storm due in the afternoon. In the end, the latter didn’t happen, but for few welcome large drops, just as I had finished the run.

The rest of the day was pretty tough going. It was already very hot when I set off at 10.00 from Tadpole Bridge. Although the route was very pretty, directly beside the river, with the odd barge passing by, as on previous days, there was little shelter from the blazing sun. I felt pretty much recovered from the day before, with only a slight stiffness in my legs, so I didn’t start off too badly. however, the dry uneven ground soon started to weigh heavily underfoot. Due to the heat, I found myself taking more frequent sips from the sweet liquid inside the ‘bladder’ sac in my trail running bag, which as the day went on, whilst they kept me hydrated, really weren’t refreshing at all.

I was trying to make steady progress at least to the half-way point at Bablock Hythe, where there is a caravan park on the banks of the Thames and the official Thames Path makes a detour around it. I had hoped to persuade someone to let me take the route across the park, which was much shorter and was about to venture in, when I saw a sign that said in no uncertain terms, something¬† like ‘ this is NOT the route for the Thames path.’ This might not have deterred me normally, but I was mindful that we are still living under Covid restrictions, and it would seem disrespectful. Given I was on my longest run yet, I also didn’t want to get so far, only to be made to turn back. So I gritted my teeth and followed the official path.

This took me along a road and then into some fields with sheep and young lambs, so there was some pleasure in the process, but it would be almost 2 miles before I would rejoin the Thames proper. Here, it meanders quite a bit before reaching Pinkhill Lock, where I had to crossover to the south side of the river. It continued to wind its way, bar a short diversion onto the B4044, until a Glamping site at Swineford greeted me, where there were signs for 3.5 miles to Godstow and 5 miles to Oxford.

In normal circumstances these distances wouldn’t have seemed so far, but in the relentless heat of the day, they seemed almost insurmountable. This last stretch was the busiest with many people enjoying the heat, both inside and out of the water. By this time, I really wanted to join them, but ploughed relentlessly on. I was really struggling by the time I approached Oxford and I knew that the nearest stop-point for the campsite was another good couple of miles away. I saw a bridge ahead that I had to cross over, with the name Abington Road, which I remembered from the Campsite address. I decided this would be where I would stop for the day, as I had already reached 21 miles.

I later found out that I should have carried on at least another mile to the next bridge. this won’t make too much difference tomorrow, as it will thankfully be a much shorter run.

Tomorrow’s run will be to Clifton Hampden..


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