And so amidst a little grumbling that we were outside the 10 mile territorial limit (and a little discussion as to whether 10 miles applied to the starting point or anywhere on the trail) we set off on what was billed as a flat, multi-surface, shiggy free run of about 5.5 miles for the longs and 3 miles the shorts. We were also promised a point of interest en route marked with a double bar (and a word of warning that questions would be asked later).
True to the promise the course was flat and wide and beautifully marked with loads of flour (no further than fifty paces from a check), that had been neither washed nor blown away (not that I am in the least bit jealous you understand). We cantered down through Denham Country Park and onto the banks of the Grand Union Canal. And here we had the long / short split. The longs turned left along the tow path while the shorts were told to hold station for a few minutes. Cynical voices were heard to mutter "Hmmph, so this is where the shorts turn back then."
Once we got past the guard dogs at Denham Lock we had a lovely long run along the canal with plenty of on-backs. Suddenly though, the abundant flour dried up. "Have we gone the right way?" "Well I haven't seen a check for ages!" "There hasn't been any flour for ages!" "Rrrrrrree-grrrrouppp!"
We were assured, by the those entrusted with map, that we were indeed on-on. Suitably encouraged, we carried on along the path and with our eagle eyes (no Hawkeyes with the longs tonight) even managed to spot a bit of flour now and then. We do rather hope we hadn't disturbed those out for a solitary walk or a sneaky beer or ..errr .. well .. whatever else they might have been up to in the woods.
Now for the next of the mixed surfaces; we had a long run down the side of a mainish road before turning left into Savay Lane. This was not the point of interest, but it did prove that this run had everything, including a kitchen sink. Following a suburban laneway we emerged at Denham station where Mike and Judy very kindly gave us all the opportunity to exercise our inner child by seeing who got the best echo.
The next stop was the promised point of interest - a double bar was spotted in the churchyard opposite a cluster of nine war graves (from both First and Second World Wars). Moving as this was, the promised quiz failed to materialise so I am still not sure if we missed anything more significant .. Mike?
After that it was a trot through the very pretty Denham Village, with some looks of bemusement from pub goers adding to the atmosphere. Before we knew it, we were On-Inn, and according to my tracker (no I wasn't texting anyone Roger!) we had done just over 5 miles in a super speedy 1 hr 7 mins.(click for route) No wonder, regardless of whether we were longs wearing shorts or shorts wearing longs, we were all well and truly worn out by the time a steady stream of chips came from the kitchen.