Trail Taster Session: Easter 2017

Towards the end of the Easter ‘holiday’, two trail team members headed for the Chiltern Hills to experience some thrilling downhills and challenging uphills.

We caught the Oxford tube at 9am from Shepherd’s bush and arrived at Lewknor less than an hour later, and immediately hit the hills. The route took us along much of the Watlington 10k and 10 mile race trails, as well as up alongside the iconic White Mark on Watlington Hill and the brow overlooking the ‘Stokenchurch Gap’, a gorge cut through the hills for the M40.

The route... In all its glory
The route… In all its glory

The hills definitely showed why the Chilterns are classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AOSB). Particularly when the sun came out, the views over the whole of Oxfordshire from a high vantage point were purely breathtaking. The bluebells were in full flower in the woods, resembling a purple carpet in between the trees.

Some lovely scenery
Some lovely scenery

On the way around Hartmoor wood, we spotted a herd of around 100 wild Muntjacs in the adjacent field. They then proceeded to bound right across our path and into the next copse, making for an impressive sight. Many squirrels and even a fox were also spotted on our travels.

 

On the way back, we popped into Ye Olde Leatherne Bottle in Lewknor for a refreshing pint. All in all, we managed to get a beautiful long effort of 25k with 650m of climb for £14 and just 5 hours of our precious revision time.

Rehydrating post-race
Rehydrating post-race

If you are an ICXC member, be sure to look out for the next outing to be posted soon on the facebook group! Pace and course are very negotiable.