FKT: Hannah Rickman - Wychwood Way (United Kingdom) - 2020-12-24

Route variation
Standard loop
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
7h 0m 36s
GPS track(s)

Beautiful solo Christmas Eve on the Wychwood Way. Unconventional taper as had run 54km of the Oxford Greenbelt Way four days prior, but legs felt OK and the weather was too good to be inside. Set out from Woodstock carrying all food and fluids and ran anticlockwise.

Very very very VERY muddy/saturated underfoot in places and the Evenlode was extremely flooded (see pictures). This necessitated 1) multiple bouts of careful wading/mid-run ice baths, and 2) a couple of diversions where the path was river and unsafe to pass. Both of these added distance (and faffing time), which along with one out-and-back navigation error is why the distance travelled was ~5k further than other attempts. It was flooded near Catsham Bridge so I ran up to the parallel path via Greenend and Pudlicote House, which added about 1.4k of muddy track. Grintleyhill bridge was under a fast-flowing lake, so I ran three sides of the square, heading back uphill through the woods to Long Hanborough and then down to the road bridge (still pretty flooded), then back West via Combe station to avoid cutting the corner and join the path as close as possible to where I came off. This added about 2.7k. 

Absolutely stunning route - would recommend to anyone in the area looking for a challenge or to run their first ultra distance. On a good day the trails would be perfect, road segments were quiet, lovely scenery and the Roman Road was a dream.

Christmas Eve run = perfect refuel opportunity. Merry Christmas!