A (Muddy) Coventry Way

The Start
Up at 4:30 in the very a.m. and out of the house by 5, en route to Meriden for the start of A Coventry Way. I checked in and was sent on my way at 05:28 – it’s been a long time since I’ve walked out of a pub at that time in the morning !
It was dark (obviously) and lightly drizzling as I headed up the first hill towards Berkswell.
In Night Mode
The sun was up by the time I reached the Kenilworth Greenway so it was off with the head-torch and on with the walk. The flat, ex-railway track, allowed a speedy stroll until reaching checkpoint 1 in Kenilworth.

On the Right Track
A golf course was traversed before crossing over the A46 and hitting the fields, most of which were dry and grassy but some definitely were not. 

Checkpoint 2 was passed in Bubbenhall and at 18 miles, checkpoint 3. A brief walk along the scenic high street in Wolston was terminated with a left turn pausing for a photo at the old priory on the outskirts of Wolston. Some decent footpaths lead to Bretford from where a hideous squelchy bridleway wound it’s muddy way uphill for a mile or so before reaching terra-firma near Brinklow.

Wolston 
The Priory, Wolston

Someone with an evil streak must have chosen the path of A Coventry Way into Brinklow as instead of heading straight up the high street goes out of town, up a hill, down the same hill and then along the high street to checkpoint 4 at 22.6 miles. At least we’re on the home leg !

A decent few miles across the fields eventually put us on the Coventry Canal, which was followed through increasingly gloopy mud. After a mile and a half, the canal was left behind (for now) for one solid field before encountering the most evil field imaginable.

Or maybe it can be imagined. Think of a grassless field. Add a load of cows. The cows then add their contribution and the whole lot is mixed by a hundred hoofs. The concoction is allowed to crust over – slightly. It was 500 metres of hell !!!

The Canal was crossed and a fleeting visit made of Ansty. The, muddy, Coventry Canal was followed for a few hundred metres before heading cross-country and over the M69. A couple more miles of fields and we were in Bedworth, or as the locals call it, Beduff (2 Fs).

The Water Tower, Bedworth

After checkpoint 5, at 30 miles, there was a couple of miles of tarmac before heading up through a few soggy bits to Corley, passing checkpoint 6 on the way. In fact the section just before Windmill Lane is best described as swamp.

The final checkpoint was reached on the way out of Corley Moor with only 3 miles to go.

A few muddy bits were thrown in just to keep the theme going before an easy, downhill, road section back to The Queen’s Head in Meriden.

I finished at 15:53 – ten hours and twenty five minutes after starting.

I did the same walk in 2014 and the time then was 10:37 so, at least, I’d beaten my time by 12 minutes – a PB – Woohoo !!!

At only 40 miles, this seemed a lot harder than the Round Rotherham 50. The GPS track says that I ascended over 300 metres but I think what did it was the mud – Did I mention the mud?

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