Saturday, 14 November 2009

Sodbury Slog

The 'Slog'. It's a regional institution, and every year lots of members from our running cub take part in the 8.5mile run that is infamous for its muddy conditions. It's a multi-terrain race, but the emphasis is very much on the taking part and fun running.

The race is held on Rememberance Sunday, and the idea of getting over a thousand people together to enjoy a laugh and a healthy event is a fitting way to appreciate the sacrifice made by all those people. In a way, it reminded me of setting off early to walk up Great Gable on another Rememberance Snday too many years ago to calculate.

A two minute silence was observed and then, after a shuffle along the way for a bit, Mike, Nikki and I stood on the start line feeling the cold and breathing in the exhaust fumes of two Vespa mopeds that would lead the race along the road section of the run through the town. It didn't feel like fun running as I tried to keep up with Mike who had set off - shall we say - briskly in order to beat the bottlenecks that would form further back in the field.

The course wound its way across fields, through ditches, and along a purpose made slop trench before returning to the town.

The high volume support from the Almosts just before the finish line was a real spur to sprint over the line!

Mike and I were the first Almosts home - clearly a bad day for the club...

Monday, 2 November 2009

Easing back into it

Post viral fatigue or something similar had struck me low. My whole body ached and a chest infection that was the legacy of a wet week in the lakes lingered on. I was short of breath and without drive.

The clocks went back and, as always seems to be the way, my enthusiasms waned.

Another 5.45am alarm call from the boys and as I blunder to their needs sounds of wind-lashed rain on windows permeate a soup of still half asleep thoughts.

Tentatively I ease my stiff limbs out through the sleeping estate and onto the fields, following the footpaths up to Lecky Hill.

On the top the rain comes in sheets, each stinging droplet travelling parallel to the ground. I take a photograph, just about touching the moment, before cutting the planned route short and running for home.

High Raise


The best part of a week in the spiritual home that I share with several million others: the lakes. It rained a lot, but no matter, we had a fine family time in our rented house in Clappersgate.

One evening I had an hour to myself and headed up the footpath by the house for some gentle orienteering practice on the hummocky tops of Loughrigg.

Another morning I set off early to run out from the Dungeon Gill. I made my way up to angle tarn, failed to find a path that should have been very obvious according to the OS, and then, aiming off a little bit, followed a bearing to connect with the footpath at the top of High Raise. I cut my planned route short and headed back over Thunacar Knott on another bearing and got satisfyingly disorientated trying to find the summit. I remember the wind moaning with depth as it came up and over the top of Pavey Ark and later a party of schoolchildren emptying water out of their wellies whilst tired-looking teachers/instructors looked on.

Photos and route