Linkenholt & The Test Way

Another Sunday, another run.  This time we stayed closer to home and ran some of the Test Way.  Much hillier than last week and tricky terrain. The ground was dry but overgrown and very uneven. A nice challenge for the muscles!We started late in the evening, as it is still pretty warm (19 degrees). Dan had already got his mileage in first so I met him in Linkedholt for my start.

Feeling fresh and ready to go

Feeling fresh and ready to go at Linkedholt

It’s pretty much uphill from here, which is tough going when you’re warming up. I found my stride pretty quickly though and was enjoying it. It is quite an advantage meeting Dan when he has covered mileage beforehand. It makes us much more equal and means I can be in the lead now and then!

Linkedholt start

Linkedholt start

From Linkedholt we headed towards Combe. This is a gravel type track that leads you into Combe wood. Suddenly, you hit a short, sharp hill. It’s pretty hard going trying to run up this so it ended up being more of a hike.

Looking good - ready for the next 8 miles!

Looking good – ready for the next 8 miles!

Tonight was the first reminder of the downside to summer evenings – all the flies! They were everywhere. At one stage I resembled PigPen from Peanuts (if you replace the dirt with flies). Thankfully, I wasn’t as tasty looking as Dan. He got the Horsefly bite. Ouch.

Mile 3 to mile 5 was pretty much all uphill. We also got a bit lost. We were trying to find a way up to join the Test Way and ended up getting lost in a field and traversing back and forth, trying to find a way out. This was really tough on the feet but a better alternative to climbing through patches of stinking nettles!

Clearly, we were taking ages to find our way out as Dan was pretty sure the farmer let off a couple of warning shots at this point.

The view from the lost field.

The view from the lost field

We finally got out of this field and found the path we were looking for – a short, steep uphill! This takes you straight up to the Test Way, just past the Inkpen Beacon.

Views from the top

Views from the top

The other issue was the sun. It was setting and we still had another 3.5 miles to go (mostly downhill thankfully)

The sun setting over Combe

The sun setting over Combe

After the tough couple of miles, it was nice to have a bit of downhill and let the legs go. We were soon back on a path we recognised and heading back to Linkedholt.

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Back on the Test Way and making stupid faces

Back on the Test Way and making stupid faces

By mile 7 we were at the bottom of the decline and had just over a mile to go back to the car. Uphill of course!

We made it back just in time – we had a bit of light left before setting off home. A really good run again this Sunday. I think taking it easy in the week is resulting in much stronger longer runs. It’s nice not having the pressure of time and distance and just getting out for the fun of it!

Linkenholt at the end of the run

Linkenholt at the end of the run

 

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