This is the big one… Been a bit nervous but also looking forward to it.
Running the complete length of the Flitch Way, from Braintree to just before the M11 (pretty near Stansted Airport)
I had eaten lots of pasta the evening before, glad I love pasta!
Filled my CamelBak, put some gels in my pocket, headphones in and hit the trail.
(The location of photos are on the OS maps below)
1. Braintree Station, where the railway line ends and the Flitch Way Starts
I missed taking a photo of Rayne Station, perhaps next time
2. Bannister Green Halt
3 Little Dunmow Station
Pity the state it’s in, bet it used to be a lovely building in it’s day
Little Dunmow is the origin of the name Flitch Way.
If a couple can prove that they have not argued for a year they can win a Flitch of bacon (half a pig).
4. Dunmow, the original route of the Flitch is behind the sign (I investigated a little, silly really as that slowed me down, too overgrown to go far), the route is diverted to take you under the A120
5. Lovely old railway bridge, as you can see it’s hard to go further so I turned back to get back onto the route.
6. Under the A120 we go
7. Mud, mud and more mud. The parts either side of Dunmow were very muddy, had to slow down quite a bit to stay upright
8. Formidable police station
9. Out of the town and back into the woods, a lovey tree sheltered part
10. Into Oak Spring woods, muddy and slippery but beautiful
11. A little clearing
12. Leaving the woods and heading back to the Flitch.
13. Dunmow Cutting
14. The Flich Way is home to quite a bit of wildlife, most of it’s length is a country pack. Dotted along the route were many nature reserves. All I saw were bunnies though.
15. After crossing the bridge over the A120, there was a short run along side of it.
17. Sign for the Takeley 10k, I’ll be running that next weekend, my first race!
I’m so excited about it, going to run with my friend Clare
Named after the old Roman road that connected Hertfordshire to Colchester, some of it still exists today.
Stane Street is what traditionally divided Braintree and Bocking. Braintree to the South and Bocking to the North.
An interesting quote from Wikipedia on this matter:
H. G. Wells, in his What Is Coming? A European Forecast (1916), in the fourth chapter, “Braintree, Bocking, and the Future of the World,” uses the differences between Bocking and Braintree, divided, he says, by a single road, to explain the difficulties he expects in establishing World Peace through a World State.
||“If the curious enquirer will take pick and shovel he will find at any rate one corresponding dualism below the surface. He will find a Bocking water main supplying the houses on the north side and a Braintree water main supplying the south. I rather suspect that the drains are also in duplicate. The total population of Bocking and Braintree is probably little more than thirteen thousand souls altogether, but for that there are two water supplies, two sets of schools, two administrations. To the passing observer the rurality of the Bocking side is indistinguishable from the urbanity of the Braintree side; it is just a little muddier.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braintree,_Essex#Source_materials_on_Bocking)
20. Here it is! The end of the Flitch Way, kinda anticlimactic really after all that time and effort.
21. The path up to the Flitch, the aptly named Start Hill
22. Waiting for Hannah and Norman to pick me up
During the run I completed a few Zombies, Run! missions
Times New Roaming “You’re caught in the middle as a journalist in pursuit of a hot story meets a horde of zombies in pursuit of fresh brains.” – This one was quite funny but also makes you think about how important journalists are, and the risks they take to bring news to us.
Electric Dreams “Archie and Runner 5 peel off from a large group of decoy runners in order to explore a small plant and lab facility believed to belong to Van Ark” – Woah, scary and reveals some very interesting information.
The Object Is A Hungry Wolf “Jamie joins Runner 5 on a mission to plant transponders in order to triangulate Archie’s position and save her from Van Ark.” – Tense and moving
Top 40 “A pop princess is mobbed by adoring undead fans. You might be the hero she’s holding out for.” – A much needed bit of comic relief. Brilliant singing from the crew :-s
Dark And Long “Having triangulated Archie’s whereabouts, Sam, Janine, Maxine, Jamie and Runner 5 work together to save her from Van Ark.” – Made me swear out loud… eep
As you could guess, lots of changes in Abel Township. I now have a lab, and upgraded it to level 2. Upgraded my Training Ground to level 3, Janine’s Farmhouse to level 3, Armoury to level 3, Communications to level 3, Hospital to level 2, Playground to level 2, some of the farms to level 3 and some housing to 2. The township is shaping up quite well now, life is getting a bit more comfortable in the fight against the grey plague.
Silver Linings is turning out to be a great story, really dragged into it and can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
The run went pretty well and I really enjoyed it, the mud and terrain slowed me quite a bit so brought down my half marathon time. Still pleased with the 2 hours 22 mins though, hoping to get 2 hours for the race in October though. The last bit was very hard, a few places I had to walk until I got to 2.5 km away, I got a second wind and managed to run to the end, even through all the stinging nettles at Start hill!
The timings for the run were:
5 km 28:29
10 km 58:59
21.1 km 2:22:26
27.3 km 3:09:11
Shortly before finishing the run I got a text from Norman letting me know they’re on the way, gave me time to stretch and cool down. Hannah and Norman came to pick me up which was so lovely of them, I was mega grateful that they’d been extra thoughtful and brought me water, a banana and some sweets. Water had never tasted so good! (well other then the time I got dehydrated coming down from Snowdon). Enjoyed chatting with them both on the way back, marvelling a little at the distance covered.
We got home and hung out for a bit, catching up with each others news. Michelle handed me a maßkrug squash which went down well. As Hannah and Norman were getting to leave my Mum and Dad popped in for a cuppa, was lovely to see them and I bored them with the tales of the running whilst Michelle was being busy in the kitchen, after smelling some lovely smells Michelle presented me with a post run feat. Cheese toasties, applewood cheddar, on a tomato puree base with some sriracha hot sauce with a box of veggie samosas. Was a wonderful meal and helped me feel human again, just lovely as well to get so much support, especially as Michelle had done the shopping to get those treats while I was out running.
So that’s it, another 27 km put on my trainers, 10 km tomorrow.