Today I walked the Harry Green Way, a 22 mile path through the villages around Southam. I did the eastern half (Bascote to Ladbroke) a few days ago, but had to abort the trek to get to work. Today the full circuit, adding a couple of miles with a different start and some other alternatives to the official route, taking Pudding Bag Lane at Bascote to reach the canal and not taking the small diversion to Long Itchington.
I do really enjoy this wandering through the countryside. It’s a real privilege. While I (almost) always walk alone, I’ll try to chat with at least one person along the way. Today it was a man leaning on his bicycle by the canal at Long Itchington. He turned out to be an ex-‘ultra runner’. Athritis prevents this now, but he still likes to attend events. He was there because today was the ‘Grand Union Canal Race‘, 98 competitors running the 145 miles from Birmingham to London. A handful loped past while we stood there, all very polite and saying ‘thank you’ every time someone stepped aside for them. The record is 22 hours, although most take up to 2 days.
This puts my little stroll into perspective, but there are parallels – doing something one enjoys, the planning and preparing, the problem-solving along the way. I enjoyed studying the race website although I have absolutely no intention of doing any running. I particularly liked Vicky Skelton’s advice, which includes not underestimating the cold in the morning (we live in a country where it can snow in June) and absolutely “Don’t fall in the canal”.
Backpack issues solved – I’ve been making do with a cheap, little thing which is already looking rather shabby. Went into Lockwoods in Leamington Spa hoping for something, and found tucked away at the back of the shop an OverBoard 20 litre backpack at factory price. A miracle! I bought the same backpack a couple of years ago on Ebay, used it once then sold it off thinking I’d get too little use out of it. Regretted giving it up immediately – funny how one gets attached to things. Now have a brand new one! It’s looks neat, tough as nails, comfortable, light and by clever design is 100% waterproof, meaning I can risk my better camera, not the rather second-rate one I’ve been using.
Today’s statistics: 24 miles in 10 hrs 20 min, averaging 2.3 mph. Started 04:55, finished 15:20.
My sponsored walk at the end of June is in support of the Galanos House Amenities Fund. Please visit my JustGiving page for more details about the walk and how to make a donation.