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50 grades of sod

Stunning morning for a run in preparation for the John Austin. The February frost was beginning to soften at 8 am meaning my multi-terrain personal challenge would take in at least 50 different grades of sod.
I have to run 2 miles to get onto our Western South Downs SplashMap(just because I run the business does not put me in the middle of the map!). Arriving in Otterbourne I did a quick navigation stop to check how I could connect with the Otter Way to make a beautiful 10 mile round trip (I prefer to discover on these runs rather than plan too much). 20 minutes run and I am inside the National Park.
Mud is something we don’t map (yet ;-)) and it was thick in the unfrosted wood and deep in the fields where the sun had weakened the hard earth. Along the banks of the Itchen River it was slippy. On Friday I discussed surface data content with iTo World they have nearly anything to cover the urban ground… But can they help me here?
It’s great to see Spring leaping out everywhere. Snow drops, the sounds of woodpeckers, the sharp low angled white light of the sun. My route is sandwiched between the rail line and the Itchen River and runs through Orchards, farms and fields before arriving at the Bridge pub in Shawford.
A steep climb onto South Down takes me above the 100m contour and out of the South Downs (interestingly!). Then my route via Compton takes me through a fabulously wealthy area ending in open fields and farm land once again.
I’m off the map again as I head home. And straight into trouble. I end up with a leg injury after pole-vaulting a stream to get back on the road.
The map stands up to the REALoutdoors! And I prove I can run for 1 hour at least without stopping. So there’s hope! I’ve also noted refinements for our next map. So a great use of a Sunday morning!

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