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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Pork Scratching Dust , Dolphins, World War 2 Secret Bunkers and Hairy Fishnet Armpits

Lower Expectation to Prevent Disappointment

When you look at the Ordnance Survey map for the Greensand Way between Dorking and Reigate it looks...........frankly..........pants.

No epic hills, no interesting features and what looks like an urban run through a busy town.

I was hoping today wouldn't be a big steaming pile of doody on the Greensand Way

After last weeks epic run through amazing hills, towers, temples and waterfalls and having woken up Saturday to drizzle I was mentally ready for a dull days running.

I was wrong.

Dorking to Reigate Map 7 of the Greensand Way
Comfort Break

We parked up at the foot of the Nower where we left off last week. Its important on long runs to take any opportunity to take a 'wee break' where you can. This opportunity presented itself in Nower Rd so We took it.

What ?! No Toilet Roll

There's No Place Like Home

Just like Dorothy In the Wizard of Oz Claire had NEW TRAINERS on today. A very fetching pair of off road Ruby Red Shoes. Its possible that if you click the heals together and say "there's no place like home" three times you get transported back to Haslemere......

Leave the City Behind

After some very poorly signposted running through town and over a hill we ran through a tunnel under the railway and out into open rolling countryside. Much more like the Greensand Way we have come to know.

Jump For Joy ! on the Greensand Way near Brockham

World War 2 GHQ Bunkers

As we ran through Brockham we found 3 different GHQ Bunkers on the waterways near the Dolphin Pub. These were set up in World War 2 in case of a German invasion as a last stand barrier to protect London (GHQ stands for General Head Quarters). Around 20,000 of these obstructions and light gun implacements were built in strategic places running from the Kent all along the south coast to Somerset. We found 3 of the machine gun style bunkers. Most are by key waterways or bridges that an invading army heading for London would need to cross.

Type 22 Pill Box in Brockham on the Greensand Way

Inside they are rather dank and creepy and full of empty beer cans. One of the ones we looked up had been deliberately blocked up.

Looking into the Bunker at Brockham on the Greensand Way

Getting out of the bunker is harder for normal sized people

Pork Scratching Dust

Fed up with sweet jelly babies on our runs Claire and I have been experimenting with alternate running snacks. Last week we reduced Jaffa cakes to a crumbly mass with small orange gooey disks inside a cardboard tube so this week I opted for a savoury option ....Pork Scratchings! I love them and they are packed with carbs, protein and fat for energy. As we ran on past Brockham I really fancied some. I think the salt craving comes from all the salt lost in sweating.

I opened the pack to find nothing but a fine pig dust. The running had totally disintegrated them. I tried eating the porky dust but my body went into shock and i had to drink about half a litre of water to combat the salt shock. It felt like I had drunk Seawater. Ill mark this up to another snack disaster. Next week we are trying Doritos.....or Dustritos.......

Pork Dust
Bird Feeders and Windmills

I'm a regular Greensand Way Sign spotter nerd so I was amused to see this sign converted into a bird feeder at a small cottage as we ran towards Reigate Heath.

Greensand Way Sign with bird feeders

As you get closer towards the Golf Course at Reigate Heath you can see the windmill in the distance.

The Windmill at Reigate Heath marking the Golf Course on the Greensand Way

When we got to the Golf Course Club House (our halfway point for a 14 mile run return run) we found convenient signs marking our arrival.

Lady Captain

El Presidente

The Return Route

After a traditional 'exposed hill top cold windy snack break' to leave us cold and stiff we started the run back. It was a good chance to look back on what we had learned today as I continued to cough up Pig Dust through my nose.

Snowdrops on the Greensand Way

We have both noticed that in the past a 14 mile run like the run to Gibbet Hill the first time was an EPIC RUN and now 14 miles is..........just 14 miles. I'm starting to get pain in my hips and bum from what I think is carrying weight in a badly fitting rucksack and so its time to consider buying the Osprey rucksack I have my eye on before next weekends first 'off road Greensand way marathon'

When we got back to the van Claire was all smug that she had a Chocolate flavour recovery drink (these "For Goodness Shakes" are really good after a long run for stopping the delayed fatigue you get a few hours after).

SHOCKOLATE gives you ABS !

I could only get my hands on yukky vanilla and so in protest waved my hairy fishnet armpit in full reckless view.

Hairy Fishnet Armpit

Next weekend is our first off road marathon and the weekend after is our first 2 day running event covering 55 miles (Half !) of the Greensand Way and with an overnight camping stop in tents. We also have some exciting news coming soon about a fourth member joining the group......

Photogenic on the Greensand Way


  1. Just a thought, but have you been doing any core strength exercises? I always get problems in my lower back and hips as I head towards marathon distance and it's because my core is weak. It might, of course, just be the rucksack :)

  2. its possible. ill change rucksack this week then see what happens. Generally un Ultra marathon training EVERYTHING is uncharted territory! If i still get th epain after changing rucksack then i guess itll be time to roll out the purple mat and start some yoga :)

  3. I know hiking and running aren't -quite- the same thing, but when I went hiking up in the Lake District I made some of the cheese cookies from this site:

    They made a great, quick pick-me-up snack on the way, kept their shape (I wrapped them in paper towel and a ziplock bag!) and even my friend ate them and he's damn well picky.

    They lasted for days, too, and one batch made about 20 cookies.

    Oh, and I didn't use soy milk! Just normal milk works fine.

  4. Amazing. Just the thought of cheese cookies is making me salivate. If they're quite stodge I think that might be the way to go.... If I get a chance before this weekend's marathon or next weekend's 55-miler I will be on it like a car bonnet!

  5. They were really simple to make! Good luck with the running, and let me know if you get the chance to try the cookies! :)