Waking up on Sunday with a few hours left in the New Forest it was good to know we’d got another route planned and 10 miles of forest fun ahead of us, but it turned out even better than we’d hoped.
We secured use of the hostel showers for after our run despite being checked out etc – kudos to YHA New Forest, the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in and the friendliest staff anywhere – strapped on the trail shoes and headed out the door. We checked the first few points on the route before starting so we could cover a decent distance before stopping, but made it all of 200 metres before we skidded to a halt. It’s not every day you see a golfer on the first tee fighting off two giant pigs who are chasing him around the golf course!
We sprinted to assist, successfully distracting the animals which meant we’d just made ourselves targets! Luckily the golfer was able get his tee shot away and leg it down the fairway while the bacon on legs chased us back on to the path and away. As we were leaving I watched the biggest pig wandering over the 18th green leaving giant trotter prints in the grass. I won’t be taking my golf clubs to Burley any time soon!
Once we were back on our way we easily started eating in to the miles. The route guide was another beauty with fantastic detail so navigation was a simple enough challenge…didn’t stop us taking the occasional wrong turn though. I was amazed at how strong I felt after the exertions of the previous two days and the distance fell away beneath our feet. Not only were we moving well but there was an abundance of energy for banter and bouncing around having fun! So much so that Greg had another go at mastering the most elusive of running photos, the both feet off the ground shot that shows how quick you were moving and how wonderful your technique is. I don’t think he’s mastered it yet!
Then we played at running up walls and around puddles; a proper Matrix moment, in our heads at least! Grown men playing about in the mud, and laughing like children…the joys of trail running!
Running some of Saturday’s parkrun course in reverse, we then disappeared in to the heath land and skipped over muddy puddles and slipped our way over idyllic bridges and loved every minute of it, getting back to the hostel 10 miles later with big smiles, sore legs and plans in place for lunch when we got back to Cheltenham.
The perfect end to a fantastic weekend of running in the New Forest, I can’t recommend it enough and I’ll definitely be heading back for more of the same, but hopefully a little drier and a little further! Coming with me?