Sunday, 13 November 2011

A run in a thousand

I awoke at 5.52 am this morning with the real need to roll over and have another 4 hours in bed. With great effort I pulled myself from under the duvet with the promise that in an hour I would be rewarded by the North Downs in its full autumnal glory, I was soon to realise that this was the right choice.

This week we had planned to run about 20 miles and had no route in mind but after some umming and arring we had parked the car in Knockholt and got kitted up in the pre-dawn light. I was feeling a little nervous having to run in my new Adidas Kanadia TR4 shoes as they were offering support in places I was not used to but really pleased they were low cut around the ankle and heel, I was not to be disappointed with them.

We jogged off slowly with me wolfing down a banana and carrying a full backpack of kit comprising the required equipment I needed for the Brecon Beacons Ultra weighing in at about 7 lbs.

There was a general plan that we would climb the scarp twice but I was keen to investigate some untrodden paths if we came across them but first we had to navigate some old friends too and as we descended the 400 feet towards Chevening my jaw dropped to the floor to see the sun rising over Kent and showing its head above the fog which was hugging the valley floor below. We were even seen chasing the fog as it dropped from higher ground as the tops of the clouds warmed up.

This joy was to continue for the next 19 miles as every turn, every ascent or descent opened its doors to yet another amazing view, such that we "wanted" to run and ascend the sides of the scarp to show us what it had to show us. Even run within the fog in the valley started to present fantastic sights almost ghostly as the hazy sunshine cast long shadows and created silhouettes of the trees. Cows stared at the ghostly sight of two fluorescent clad runners appearing from the mist, horses bolted and dog walkers said the gleeful good mornings as they too were enjoying the glory of Kent on an autumnal day.

This was not to say we were not taking our training seriously and were still running the hills, hauling our sorry arses through ploughed fields, my yellow shoes now looking a little more like trail shoes as the mud clung to their agressive tread.

As the morning went on the fog slowly started to burn off leaving a fine mist which again gave an ethereal feel to the world around us as farm animals appeared through the mist and ate the dew drenched grass, accentuated by the cobwebs.

Our journey was interrupted when we met a fellow traveller, well actually it was a local getting his morning newspaper, who I asked directions to a road where my great aunt used to live and the last time I was there was 40 years ago. It was here that George recognised hsi accent being from "The Old Country" and they reminisced about various towns in Ireland, we asked directions and we were pointed to the wrong road which found us running in a complete loop, laughing we got back on track and I was able to find the house and was just amazed how little it had changed and being fed carrots cooked for 12 hours and eating packets of Smash potato.

We continued and were soon back on the trail and running through yet more muddy fields and trails but soon had to turn around and try to get back to our starting point planning our route from where we were at that time.

In all this run was a run in a thousand, full of the beauties of Kent and as George mentioned on a number of occasions is what makes the weekend that little better as we can carry the memories of the run to our dull business desks in the week.

Sometimes running is not stupid

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such a wonderful run - thanks for sharing :) It's days like that, that make all the difficult runs, early mornings, late nights and aches and pains worth it! I hope I get a run like that one of these days...