Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rave Run - Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire UK

The canal a day later,
after the storm had passed
On day 3 of our trip we headed up to county Staffordshire for a motorcycle jumble (in American that means swap meet). We stayed in Stoke-on-Trent at a friendly Travelodge that included a carvery (in American that means tasty all meat buffet).

Since my marathon was less than a month away I very reluctantly decided to go for a run. Reluctantly because it was storming outside, and not showing any signs of letting up. And not some wimpy California storm, like a real "oh yes now I understand why this place is so green and they drink a lot of hot tea" English storm. I asked the desk clerk if she could recommend a place to run and she pointed me to a path along a canal less than a block away.

Those Brits sure do have nice manners
What an amazing running route. The Worcestershire Canal (commonly known as the Staffs & Worcs Canal) is 46 miles long, and includes views of wooded paths, quaint English backyard gardens, horses and these really cool live aboard narrowboats. 

The freezing rain pelted me from every direction, I had a terrible cold and had to stop more than once to cough up what felt like one if not both of my lungs, and not long into the run I could no longer feel my fingers. But it was one of the best runs I've ever had. The few brave souls that I encountered and the dogs they were walking looked at me like I was crazy. And of course I was, but the pain and agony was worth every crazy mile. 

Narrowboat tied up to someone's backyard.

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