The Millennium Way

By The Long Trail on 2014.03.23 In Runs Ultras

On 2nd March I completed an event new this year, running the Millennium Way from Newport on the Shropshire border to Burton-Upon-Trent.  A total of 38 miles.  My wife stumbled across this event and suggested I entered, it fitted perfectly into my training plan for longer events later in the year so off I went.


Gathering at the start


First of all I have to say the organisation of this by Beyond Marathon was excellent.  You were taken by coach from Burton to the start and then ran back to the finish.  The route was easy to follow, good instructions, well stocked checkpoints, friendly volunteers and a welcome pasty and beans at the end of the event.  Spot on!

So if it was that good why has it taken me three weeks to write about it?  This part of the country is one that I haven’t particularly spent much time in.  It’s one of those places that you know where it is but you always bypass it either on the M6 or the West Coast Main Line, and after spending 8 hours covering 38 miles of middle England’s finest I now know why.


This was the view for 70% of the course


I thought after three weeks I may have felt differently but there was something about the countryside the route covered that I just didn’t connect with.  I can’t put my finger on it either.  Was it because it was flat?  No, I grew up in the Fens one of the flattest places in England so I can appreciate that.

The best explanation I can give is that it was 38 miles of blandness, it bored me.  Not pretty enough to be appreciated but not ugly enough to be memorable either.  It was middle of the road, cutesy canal boats, perfectly boxed hedges, precisely ploughed fields and flag poles in gardens with St George’s adorned on them.  In this part of the country an Englishman’s home really is his castle.


The most interesting thing spotted on the route


So would I do it again?  Well if I needed to do that kind of distance again at that time of year then maybe.  I would recommend it to anyone looking to complete their first ultra, just don’t expect a picture postcard day out in the countryside!

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About Me

This blog is an average guy's tales from, among other things, long distance walks, treks and running events. 

My name is Nick and I enjoy a fairly active and busy life. As well as being dad, husband and running club organiser I also like a challenge. 2013 was my year of Marathons and now 2014 is the year of long distance events.