It looked good on paper. A 16 mile loop taking in bits of three of the Bromley Circular Walks. The profiles looked relatively benign, the bumph promised clear waymarking and it was within the M25. What could possibly go wrong?
Quite a bit, apparently.
For starters, it rained. Heavily. For the full four hours of my run. Drowned rat doesn’t cover it. The paths turned into rivers, the puddles into lakes and my trail shoes into miniature portable paddling pools.
The waymarking was clear…just absent at about every fifth decision point. Which in these GPS blessed days would be surmountable if “within the M25” translated into “will have mobile phone reception”. Which it apparently doesn’t.
So my route had one or two (or three or four) diversions. Which were either along narrow country lanes with no pavements, or down underused and overgrown foot paths. The former meant that I got sprayed with puddle juice by every passing car. The latter that my legs got lacerated and stung by brambles and nettles.
And yet, the scenery was beautiful, the frequent “where the heck am I now?” stops meant that I didn’t get too tired, and once you’re wet, you can’t really get any wetter.
So my overall impression of the run was that it was strangely enjoyable. And I might even try it again. Because what could possibly go wrong?