Saturday has rolled around again so it’s an early start to get a few miles in before parkrun.
As I am tapering this week in preparation for next weeks Charnwood Marathon, I had only eleven miles to do this morning.
Instead of the usual traipse around Sutton Park, I decided on starting at the park but going out towards Barr Beacon, Great Barr and Kingstanding.
It was still dark as I parked the car at Banners Gate and set off through the park to Streetly Gate some two miles distant.
The head torch was off before I had reached the park exit.
From the park, I crossed over, passing a sign for Little Aston in Staffordshire so I must have been on the Birmingham border.
The next mile was fairly flat before a steady rise along Foley Road which became Sutton Road. Presumably the Sutton Road goes to Sutton but I’m not sure where Foley is. A path led off and rose more steeply to the summit of Barr Beacon.
AT 774 feet, the Beacon is one of the highest points in the West Midlands and according to the Walsall Council website, visible landmarks include The Wrekin, Cannock Chase, the Lickey Hills, Lichfield Cathedral, Aldridge Airport, and Birmingham city centre, and at least eleven counties are visible, including Powys in Wales.
From the top of Barr Beacon, I followed the Beacon Way, a twenty five mile footpath which runs between Brownhills and Sandwell Valley Park. I followed it for all of a mile and a half until it branched off to Merrions Wood (which I’d visited a couple of weeks ago).
I crossed the Birmingham Road (which was the Walsall Road, in Birmingham) and descended along the interestingly named Wilderness Lane to pass under the M6 for the first time today.
After passing under the motorway, I entered Red Hall Park climbing steeply to said Red House.
I crossed the small park emerging on to Newton Road, turning left and in another half a mile was outside of The Scott Arms.
After crossing at the lights in Great Barr I discovered that Newton Road was now Queslett Road which dipped down to go under the M6 for a second time.
At the next roundabout dominated by a huge ASDA store, I ascendedAldridge Road before turning off that into Shady Lane.
A bit of twisting and turning but I was trying to fill in a few more lines on my Walk Brum map. On great road name that I did pass was …
BO SELECTA !!
I was nearly back at Sutton Park but at the top of Rough Road I noticed that I was in the vicinity of Perry Barr Reservoir which supplies drinking water to Birmingham from the Elan Valley, eighty six miles away in Wales.
I got back to the car with about half an hour before parkrun after covering 11.2 miles in 2:42.
Yet another PR of 37:22 🙂