Alan Cox, 65, is retired and has lived in Bath all his life. He got into running with his grandson and now helps marshal running events with Relish Running. He lives less than half a mile from the Two Tunnels Greenway (National Route 244), and regularly uses it for training.
Alan (right) running a race on the Two Tunnels. Image © Stuart Lessels/1000th.co.uk
Here he tells us how his local traffic-free path helps him lead a more active life.
“I used to play football up until I was about 35, then I ran a kid’s team for a few years, but after that I stopped and didn’t do anything.
“Then I started running about four years ago. My grandson was entered into the Bath Half Family Fun Run. The person who was going to run with him was ill, so I said, ‘I’m reasonably fit, I can do it’.
“I then started doing parkrun, and things went from there to getting involved with Relish Running, and doing races through the Two Tunnels.”
A car-free running path
“The Two Tunnels is an enjoyable place to run. There’s no traffic, so you don’t have to worry about crossing any roads. Just this morning I ran seven miles on it. You can plan your distance and decide how long you want to go.
“It’s important to me that it’s away from cars, because some motorists don’t take too kindly to runners trying to cross a road.
“I remember when Sustrans started to open it up. Now it has turned into a nice place, especially the Linear Park.”
“It can be a social place. A lot of people speak to you. If you see people having problems with their bikes you can help them out. And there are a lot of people walking their dogs, or just walking on their own.
“It’s also a lovely place to go for a ride on your bike: I’ve walked it, I’ve ran it, I’ve ridden it. There are even people who are up and down with little ones in the summer, teaching them to ride – it’s a good place for things like that. My two grandsons love going up and down it.
“I’ve also ran the other way, out to Saltford and Keynsham (on the Bristol and Bath Path), and that’s equally as good. So you’ve got lots of options for general leisure things on the Network. Rather than leaving it to decay and grow over, it’s been turned into something that’s useful for people.”