Always loved the tunnels under the Thames. Years ago I even did a run that went through all 3 [yes three] in one long run. One is obviously well known? Another is well known to locals. The third, many don’t even realise you can legally travel through [not that it is entirely pleasant] on foot. I have been through Rotherhithe Tunnel three times [Feb, Aug 2015 and July 2018] and wanted to again this morning but I missed the turn, on the way to the train station [London Bridge]. A nice little 14 mile run.
I have three tunnel runs. One that goes through all three tunnels in one long run, and the other two are marathons that use each tunnel continuously till that distance [26.219 miles or 138,435 ft] is covered.
Three Tunnels Run
20 miles [start/finish at Greenwich]
Greenwich Foot Tunnel Marathon [1,215ft]
114 lengths or 57 return trips.
Woolwich Foot Tunnel Marathon [1,654ft]
84 lengths or 42 return trips.
The latter two would be great for training when it is really bad weather and/or when it is dark out. With the gradual incline at either end they won’t be as easy as might be expected? I wouldn’t run more than once through Rotherhithe tunnel even early morning though!
After hoping on the train [after jumping over gates to get across a closed Tower Bridge] I set off on the second part of the day; an adventure to Box Hill! First ‘out of London’ hills. Lovely long delayed train meant a very late start, but didn’t end up mattering too much.
Decided straight away to merely walk the elevations [up and down] as I was unable to do what I had actually wanted to do; run up zig zag road. By the o’ clock I arrived that hill was too dangerous with bicycles, cars and motorbikes. Immediately I realised I have run up and down part of this route before [and hated it].
The bike, horse bridle way is a horrible gravel path, that whilst it was the most gradual climb and descent of the day, was also very painful on the old worn out shoes’ feet. Good footing practice for BGR though? I next tried the most direct grassy climb; interesting; especially the nasty steep steps on the way down. On the third ascent I stuck to the main grass route, which was very comfortable [and even runnable another time]. By the fourth to thirteenth reps I decided to stay on the steepest part of Box Hill only. I no longer went all the way up to the summit National Trust café [too busy with bikes anyway], as the gradient drops after the first 650 metres. I reasoned 270ft over 0.4 mile repeatedly was better value than 450ft over 1 mile [as adds only another 180ft over the extra 0.6 mile] repeatedly.
Nearly went for another 1,000ft of climb [another hour], but it started to rain [legs were getting a little tired too] and I didn’t want to take chances even on wet grass with ‘no tread’ shoes. A cool down walk back to Dorking topped up to the 50K for the day.
BGR31 1941 miles