Today’s run was quite mixed. I didn’t sleep too well, due to an evening coffee and muscle twinges in my feet, and woke up to light rain. The latter wasn’t entirely surprising as it had been forecast for the previous two days. I don’t mind light rain and it can be very refreshing to run in; what I don’t want is a deluge and no chance of getting dry. Luckily, it was more of the former, though fairly persistent. By the time I reached my destination, I was wet through.
It’s always difficult to dress for the rain, especially if you are wearing various gadgets on your body- you either have to put the rain jacket on first and the gadgetry over the top and hope that you don’t get too hot, or you put on the gadgets first and in the event of rain, the jacket over the top, leaving most of it undone , so as not to interfere with the devices, which renders it competely ineffective for the rain. I opted for the former. The temperature had cooled somewhat and I have a light waterproof trail running jacket that is breathable, so I figured it wouldn’t get hot with only a light teeshirt underneath it and it offered me the best protection,
The first 2 miles or so, were quite easy; the paths were quite soft on grassy land and kept close to the river’s edge. Just before mile 3 I had to cross a lock to the other side, which continued along grassy banks for about a mile and a half, until I had to divert up to a busy road, just after mile 4. I’m not sure why this was- I had thought about following an alternative footpath that appeared to continue for bit along the river, but on closer inspection, there would have been small water rivulets to cross. ther was also a farm, so I took it that these were the reasons for the diversion, which ended at Shillingford.
The path continued for the next couple of miles through glady paths and back close to the river, before there was another diversion, close to a marina and waterfront cafe. It was a little confusing, as the directions here weren’t terribly clear, but I managed to find my way through and back to the river, to cross the spectacular Benson Lock, which took me to the other side again. This was about half way, which is always a good point to reach as I can start counting down the miles..
The route kept close to the river again for the next mile, until Wallingford, where another diversion took me inland. There seemed to be no particular good reason for this other than this is clearly a well to do town with large houses bordering the river, but whose owners won’t allow public access. This kind of thing really bothers me as these people don’t own the river and access to it should be for all. The diversion however, did take me past a very old church, which I believe has some significance.
The diversion was quite short so i was soon by the river again. The rain had softened the ground, wheich made it much easier to run on as I started to tire. I saw a sign for Moulsford, which I knew was only a couple of miles from my destination. Much of this part runs through Cholsey Nature reserve. What I had forgotten was that once past this, there would be another diversion, first around the perimeter of Moulsford Prep School (why they can’t grant public access by the river I don’t know) and then again, some large properties that think they own the part of the Thames their property adjoins. They don’t. This diversion was for a good mile and a half, which did not please me greatly.
The last section was thankfully back close to the river. I spotted Goring Rowing Club on the other side, which meant i must be approaching my destination, but it was a good mile and a half, via another diversion around a lock, before a reached the bridge that separates Goring and Streatley from one another. I could have stopped as I came out onto Streatley high street, but I decided to cross the double bridge that takes you into Goring, where the Thames path continues. this will be my starting point tomorrow.