Manifested my very best Main Character Energy, nabbed a local FKT* on the North Worcestershire Path 🎉
(*pending verification from the lovely folks at @fastestknowntime )
Setting out from Solihull was a real reminder about the importance of maintaining the trails and signage, since the lack of signs, rerouted and disrepair meant I got lost about 6 times in the first 5 miles 😑
Kept the spirits high by saying hello to all the lovely horses out in the fields and putting on my epic adventure playlist, right in time to get into the really good stuff, running through cornfields and up into the Lickey Hills 🙌 Tough work climbing up to the visitor centre, and was happy to be waylaid by some kids doing their DofE asking about how to connect up a couple of locations.
Once the route hit Wasely I got to enjoy one of my favourite views out - lovely clear day so you could see the Malverns, Long Mynd and even Wales 🏴 from the top, before making a quick pitstop to fill up my water at the visitor centre. From there it just keeps getting better, hooking up onto the Clent Hills and Four Stones (where disdain-for-me-walking man was 🖕) for more fab views and then descending into Hagley.
Not gonna lie, the stretch from Hagley to Kinver Edge was just a swathe of nettles and brambles and easily the slowest section of the lot. I think my face is the only bit of me that DIDN'T end up covered in stings, and if I don't get super powers from that I'm declaring a wasted few miles 🤣 But, made it to Caunsell and popped into the Anchor for water before tackling the next stretch.
Kinver Edge and the Kingsford Forest is always a blooming delight to run through, even if it meant climbing the "oh $#^! noooo" staircase 🙈 I may have been less than thrilled at that stage, but the bouncy forest tracks are like crack for my legs, so that was the only bit where I didn't have a massive happy grin on my face 😁 Paused at the Kingsford pub in the local caravan park to fill up water and get a coke (and got my first "I don't even drive that far!" from the barmaid 🤣)
Descending into Eymore Woods will forever be a treat, and I will hear no arguments. When I hit the Severn footbridge I did a little happy dance knowing I was almost done and the hardest parts were over.
From there the river bank path was smooth running, hardly any people and thanks to actually fuelling properly I was feeling great! I think the last 5 miles were actually my fastest and certainly the most consistent 😂 The tarmac was a bit of a nasty shock to the system when I got towards Bewdley proper - my poor legs did not love the change from bouncy trail to hard concrete, but made it through, dodged the dog walkers and Saturday night strollers, snapped a photo of the end signpost and then carried on to the bridge to make absolutely 100% sure I had completed it 👍
And that was it! Utterly delighted with how in control and strong I felt throughout today's run, and blooming delighted with the time and result 😀 As for tonight, I have faceplanted a burger and plan to become one with my sofa for tomorrow!