Sunday, 1 November 2009

Primordial

That was the word that sprang to mind during this morning's run...primordial!

The day started early with a car journey to Knowle Park, Sevenoaks, Kent an area of outstanding beauty our objective for the morning was to join the Greensand Way and follow it through the wealds of Kent to have a look at the beautiful autumnal colours and also to take on a very tough run over the undulating paths and bye-ways of the area.

The morning started dry with a low lying fog covering Knowle Park as we travelled east to join the Greensand Way, it was obvious at this point that the weather was going to get worse as the run went on but we were prepared with jackets, hats and gloves in our packs. The initial look in Knowle Park proved us right with a fantastic view of autumn colours with deers peering through the mist at us.

We soon joined the wealds and had to take care of roots and chalk hiding in the leaves beneath us and was really pleased I had my trail shoes on as they provided just that bit of extra grip. The wealds were out of this world, Chestnut, Oak and Birch woodland made the ground underfoot a miriad of orange, yellows and reds.

The woods soon behind us we found ourselves crossing paths to open farmland with the Greensand Way becoming a mixture of bridle way, permissive path and fields. It was decided that we would run out for about 100 minutes and then turn back as we had to keep our wives happy and then turn back.

At about 45 minutes into the run the misty views began to disappear and the rain and strong winds blew in, the paths became muddier and the trails wetter...perfect weather for us extreme runners and we were heard to comment that we would prefer this weather in a few weeks then a warm and barmy day.

We turned and retraced our steps, the weather now turning for the worst, water forming great puddles on the path and the leaves falling from the trees as the wind gusted and buffeted at every step as we went back up onto the escarpment back into the wealds. The path in some areas was quite dangerous as the hillside dropped off by 300 feet so we trod carefully pulling our speed right back to negotiate the steeper areas. I stopped at one point, the wind in my face, arms outstretched and screamed "WOO HHHOOOOO" fantastic stuff.

We were soon about 3 miles from the car, the water pouring from the sky and with no respect for the puddles we stumped through them, water over our ankles to run through the park to the car. A brilliant, hard 16 mile run both wet, cold and hungry, all a run should be and more.




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