Run (Touring) 1:10:00  6.5 mi (10:46 / mi)
I'm in Oxford, visiting my sister who is a Research fellow here for a year, writing a law book about the miners in the California Gold Rush. She loves Oxford, would live here forever if she could, and it has been a big part of her life. But it has been my first trip here... a lot of the trip is walking through the city, seeing her favorite places, and getting great descriptions and eating good food. Also, finding some time for runs which is always one of my favorite ways to get a feel for a new place. I like to run at my "touring pace" which means that I am not pushing hard, observe my surroundings, stop to look at things along the way. It's not really about the run... it's about taking advantage of the vacation. Great great runs.
From downtown Oxford --Canal tow path to Wolvecote, a small town just North of Oxford. In Wolvecote, found a small entrance between buildings with the sign "Footpath to Wolvecote Commons". The footpath wound between sheds and buildings, very narrow, before coming to a latched gate and a big wide expanse of field. Big. 1.5 miles long big-. Thames (for some odd reason called the Isis here ) winding alongside the Commons. With about 30 horses in it, a person walking two dogs. I really wondered if I was allowed to run on this amazing big expanse. So, I ran up to the man walking two dogs and asked "Am I allowed to run here?"
He seemed startled that I asked "What?" Oh, he also reeked a bit of alcohol. "What, why couldn't you run here?" and so I asked again if it were permitted, "Well, it's Britain" he said, waving his arm across the expanse, "of course it's permitted". And then he thought perhaps I was asking because I might be afraid that it wasn't safe, but once we got the conversation sorted out (with one drunk and one foreigner, it took a bit), he was kind enough to point out the key bridges, towns to be seen from a distance, asked if I would rather run on the Isis towpath or on the other edge... very helpful.
Great run after that, since I knew I was well within my rights to run alongside the horses and geese and other people.
I am definitely going back tomorrow. Loved it.
Question on England and maybe other parts of the world: Why don't other runners say "Hi?" They look kind of funny at me when I do. I noticed that in London, but thought maybe it was a city thing. Tested it on about 6 other people today. Got one good "hello" back. If I stop and ask a real question, people are pretty friendly. But no passing-runners greetings, apparently. Afton is very friendly, on those rare occasions that I see someone.. and most of the rest of Minnesota is too. Just wondering.