I had to scrape the ice off the car on Sunday morning but by the time we had reached Beaulieu Road station for the start of the third “Run the Pubs” it was a balmy five degrees. The route for this annual event takes in all the New Forest pubs that we have visited for our Tuesday night runs in the preceding summer. This year, this meant the High Corner Inn was replaced by the Fighting Cocks at Godshill.
The distance being long enough as it is (some 26km) I wasn’t leaving the navigation to chance and had both map and pre-programmed GPS. The leg across to the Oak Inn at Bank was straightforward enough and it’s only a short hop from there to the New Forest Inn at Emery Down. The latter had some impressive flames licking out of the chimney and the landlord was on the phone to the fire brigade as we arrived! Darren dropped out at this point, to be picked up by Christine in the support car.
Next stop was an improvised drinks station in Minstead courtesy of Mike Yeo. From there we headed North to the Sir Walter Tyrrell where legs were starting to tire. Santa was there to greet us at the Royal Oak, Fritham along with Christine and the Adamses (who just happened to be there for a run). Unfortunately Martin Yeo had to drop out at this point but the other Martin and Alex are old enough and ugly enough for us to bully them in to continuing.
Peter Smith, Alex Thompson and myself arrived at the final destination first in around three and a quarter hours with Martin and Alex not far behind. The spectators and support team had already made themselves comfortable inside the pub. With Darren (the original instigator) still yet to stay the course there’s no excuse not to run again next year, particularly as it adds an extra edge to the choice of summer venues!