Running the Eleven Bus Route

Well that’s that done then. You’ll need to see my previous post for the context but I’ve now run both halves of the number 11 bus route in Birmingham.

The map below takes the raw track data (separated from lap data via Google Earth) from both halves and uses GPS Visualiser to map the routes on to Open Street Map. What looks like a single line in the middle is two lines, one for each time I ran it.

Click here for the map on a page of its own

About the Left Half
It surprised me that it was a shorter run. From the start point in Bournville round to the point I got to last time in Stockland Green, was only 12 miles (I realise now that I should have turned at Erdington last time).

That resulted in a 20.5 run overall which makes the number 11 bus route 25.5 miles in total if you’re running it. I didn’t cut corners but didn’t religiously stick to one side of the pavement and always took the inside route at the bigger junctions.

I was a bit head down when I ran it as I was trying for a good pace so I can’t offer a commentary on the visual highlights of this side of the route. There was a prison and a very long, straight road (City Road in Rotton park which is also the highest point on the route at 625ft, Kings Heath is second at 526ft).

Training update
In general the marathon training is going well. I run a 20 mile race this coming Sunday and I’m hoping the undulations on the 11 route will help me put in a good time (again, thanks for the idea Pete). The marathon is under five weeks away so for at least three of those I’ve still got lots of mileage to do. For the most part I’m enjoying it, even though my right leg still hurts a bit and it is sometimes boring as hell. It is though, terrific thinking time. I have thought a lot, about lots of stuff.

Half a Number 11 – the right half

So he was probably just joking, but in response to me saying I might run the 27-mile number 11 bus route in Birmingham (and then realising I shouldn’t, cos it’s too long for marathon training) I took an idea Pete Ashton had and, erm, ran with it.

Running long distances is very boring indeed, so having a focus is good. I live close to the 11 route so the starting point was near to home and my only plan was to run anti-clockwise from Bournville for approximately 13.5 miles and then turn left towards the City Centre and home.

In my mind I didn’t really want to run more than 20-22 miles but I did no pre-planning to see where the 13.5 mark would be or how long it would take from there back to Bournville.

As it turns out, my fancy GPS watch told me Stockland Green is 13.5 miles from Bournville on the 11 route and a straightish line back to home is 8.5 miles. A lovely 22 mile run overall then in 2 hours 51 minutes.

So we’ve got one half of Birmingham encompassed by my run – the right brain of Brum if you like, or the Yang (or Yin?). Next Sunday I go clockwise from home to the same point – I only hope it’s no more than 13.5 to Stockland Green miles by going that way round.

Here’s the raw data if you fancy it (KML format or GPX format).

And here’s a movie-like, Google Earth, run-through (may take a while to load) of the run via the Run Saturday site.

By the way, the elevation profile tells me the fascinating fact that Kings Heath is the highest point on the right hand side of the 11 route – fascinating.

Did I miss anything?

And I’m back

As promised, I’ve now given my £40 to St Basils – happy to have you do the same if you wish. Although I do appreciate that giving up twitter is hardly some kind of great sacrifice so will understand if you’re not inclined to hand over a few pennies. It was generally harder than I realised though.

Oh and it is good to be back. I’ve been on so many ‘awesome runs’ and have been gagging to tell you all about them…