When I saw there was an FKT for a route right on my doorstep I knew I had to give it a go! Especially as I knew much of the route, having done many a training run on parts of it. It was only the part around Cubbington and Offchurch that I knew less well.
I decided to start and finish on Rouncil Lane, near Leek Wootton, partly because it was nearest home and partly because I knew the muddiest part of the route would be around the edge of The Warwickshire golf course in Leek Wootton, which would therefore be right at the end of my route.
So, I set off across the fields to Kenilworth Castle, a regular training route for me, then through Kenilworth town and onto the Coventry Way as far as Stareton. It was here that I was unfamiliar with the route. I managed to find my way around the HS2 diversions around Cubbington Wood, but missed a right-hand turn of the path, carrying straight ahead on a different path instead! After a couple of fields I realised my mistake, so backtracked and took the correct path towards Offchurch. Unfortunately, though, I discovered that the footbridge over the River Leam was closed and the path had been blocked off! I had no choice but to retrace my steps all the way back to where I’d gone wrong before! I had to take a rather lengthy diversion through Weston-under-Wetherley and Hunningham, to re-join the path just the other side of the river at the bridge that had been closed off! It’s a good job I had a map with me!
Once I got to Offchurch the path was obvious through to Newbold Comyn in Leamington. After that the route was again very familiar to me – through Leamington and into Warwick via the canal and river walk to St. Nicholas Park. Then through Warwick town centre (passing one of my landscape design schemes!) and out across the fields. As I suspected, the last part on the Centenary Way, through the woods around the edge of The Warwickshire golf course, was by far the muddiest – wading through ankle deep mud in places! Then across one more field and I was back on Rouncil Lane, where I’d started.
The diversion due to the closed footpath added at least 4 miles to the run, and cost me well over an hour, so hopefully I’ll have another go once the bridge is repaired and open again.