Running off the M4 in Swindon (better than it sounds!)

posted in: Coffee, Running | 0

Last weekend we were in Swindon for a wedding. The wedding itself was in the Cotswolds – a lovely picturesque area – but since it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, we all stayed in the Premier Inn. Just on the M4 motorway near Swindon. Yeah, perhaps not the most scenic location. I had low hopes of even being able to do a proper run, much less it being any good. Then I looked at a map.

Is that a giant park I see just behind the hotel? Why yes it is!

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The friend who’s getting married then separately told me this is a beautiful park and worth a visit. Consider it done!

As with all hotel visits, breakfast posed a massive issue. I want to eat all the food vs. I shouldn’t eat all the food. As I was planning on doing a decent-length run, I made sure I was properly fueled, without eating all the pastries (my major downfall).

Given that the immediate surroundings of our hotel looked like this…

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…I didn’t have overly high hopes. Pretty quickly though, I found a network of paths which run away from the road.

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Once I got to the park, I could immediately tell my friend was right. Amazing running territory!

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The only downside was getting lost. Oh so lost.

At one point I was faced with this decision…

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My phone offered no help whatsoever. Ha, I just noticed that in the below screen shot. Google Maps has offered me “taxi” as something to search for. Thanks for having faith in me Maps.

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Added to this, there was the constant threat of a Cancer Research “Race For Life” which was obviously happening at some point. No matter where I ran, I seemed to be on their course but in the wrong direction and I kept expecting a stampede to come round the corner. Fortunately, it started at 10am and I was ready to leave by then.

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Overall, this was a fantastic run. It’s just a shame I didn’t get out there again on Sunday as I finally got my bearings by the time I finished the run. The scenery was diverse and beautiful, and it was completely traffic free.

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10 miles done in total, which was what I’d hoped for.

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Fortunately our hotel had a Costa (a drive through – I have never seen one of these in the UK!) to get my fix. In an environment that is so car focused that people can order coffee without leaving it, I thought I did pretty well with this beautiful rural run!

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