In a few months time I’ll be running 50 miles along the Thames in England. It’s not an organized ultramarathon (though there is an ultra that takes the same route in reverse) but instead a long run from Windsor Castle to the Tower Bridge.
My route is going to take me along the Thames Path which, by all accounts, is quite a pleasant route along the river and into the city. I’ve read that it is relatively easy to follow but to make sure I’m prepared I recently ordered a guidebook: Thames Path by James Newton.
I have only skimmed through it so far but it looks exactly like the sort of thing I was hoping to find. It was somewhat of a ‘blind buy’ on Amazon as there are a number of guides and none of them have previews available. I ended up choosing this one as it was clear from the cover and reviews that it described the Thames Path route from the source to the sea. Many of the other guides, including the main websites I have managed to find, trace the route from the sea back to the source. It just seemed easier to me to buy a book that followed the same direction as I was going to be running and so I took a chance on this book.
It’s a pretty complete guidebook from my quick scan. There’s plenty of information about all of the villages, towns, and sights along the way, and there are dozens of hand drawn maps that show bridge crossings, points of interest, and all the little things that can make a long hike along the river more comfortable.
Of course, as the guidebook starts at the source of the Thames instead of just at Windsor Castle there’s also a lot of information I don’t really need and maps I won’t use. That said, the general information about the route that I have read is good and will come in handy, and the detailed descriptions that I do need are all there.
I think I have lucked out with this guidebook and I’ll take a deeper dive into it as the months pass before the run. It’s set for a few days after my birthday in September and I am looking forward to the trip over, spending time with Mum and Dad, and running a 50 miler, even if it is all alone instead of in a race.