The plan? I am never sure why I mention a plan when there normally isn't one but the arrangement was to meet at a local superstore car park for 7.00am to meet Andrea, Debbie and Tina then play it by ear as to how far people wanted to run. I was told 16 miles and the ladies were given the choice of "Left or Right" they went for Right when it was promised to be a very flat run along the River Cray to the Thames.
I had left home early to ran the 4 miles to the start with the idea that I wanted to run the whole distance wearing my Monkey Feet backed up with my Injinji Trail 2.0 socks, stepping from the door it was obvious I was going to need them as the weather was cold and small flakes of snow fluttered and mingled with my frozen breath as I took it easy through the woods.
Andrea, Debbie and Tina wanted a steady and careful pace and to tell you the truth I was happy to do just that as I calculated that I would have done 66 miles (106 km) in the past 7 days.
Today's choice was Cray Riverway, an unusual path to run but it takes you from Orpington to the River
Thames through meadows and suburban streets then into the outer industrial areas of the Cray Marshes, a section of reclaimed land which holds rubbish depots, wildlife reserves, motorcycle tracks and shooting ranges...none of that obvious today as we hit mile mile 8 (for Andrea, Debbie and Tina) turning around to return to the car.
The carrot today was billed as "The best Bacon Rolls in Bromley" as our minds switched to end mode and the thought of bacon rolls became a big part of the sporadic conversation and amazingly saw the pace pick up in the last 4 miles as we trundled to the end, my right foot beginning to hurt a bit from an over-use injury but nothing was going to stop the glorious bacon roll and black coffee moment waiting and fully deserved by all at the end.
Great run, great fun