The dawn of the day shone forth to produce a gloriously sunny morning, the recent rains withdrawing to the east, the air crisp and clear such that an extra running shirt was needed.
As I stepped onto the road at 6.30 am I also noticed not a person or car could be heard or seen all there was, was the odd wood pigeon, urban fox or squirrel. I had 5.5 miles (9km) to run as I was meeting Liz at 7.20 am, not a hard task but I was going up the "big" hill and cross country first.
Still amazed that there was nobody around I carried on up the hill and to a long alleyway , by now I was warming up and deep in thought when from just up ahead I heard a scrabbling and then the small head of a squirrel pop up and chatter loudly at me such that I jumped out of my skin and squealed like a little girl!
Still aware of nobody around (where were they all?) I continued out to a woodland area and was happily bombing along when I turned a corner to then get another shock of my life as 10 wood pigeons flapped into the air sounding like a thunder clap in the still air, no squeals this time.
Meeting up with Liz further down the path we had about 1 mile of chatting as we darted to the second meeting point to join up with Rob and Emma but as we did so....
As we vaulted out of a side path to join the main one Liz and I came across the most enormous Wolf (Later described as a Husky) which chose to run with us for a little while. I am not sure if we were being chased or whether we were leading it but it soon got called away by its owner "Don't worry, It's only a puppy!" As it leapt from a 6 foot embankment and bounded off, got knows what it would be like in few years time when fully grown. This will be forever called Wolf Ravine.
The main run
What a great run, with a lovely gentle pace, beautiful views and the four of us catching up with gossip and general news. I was quiet (unusually) for a good part of the run but I was just enjoying the company and the general conversation.
As we darted up another alleyway I was telling the others that I called it Mouse Alley but was going to call if Flying Squirrel Alley because of the low flying squirrels that tend to leap from one side to the other.....and if on cue, a squirrel leapt across the fences just in front of me. I am unsure if this was the same one from Attack 1 but it was spooky.
The Zombies withdraw
Now in the thrusts of our run we soon came to our first proper downhill but as we did, we noticed that this was probably where all the people were for spread out below us in the field below were about 15 people wandering around it aimlessly. This could be tricky, never trust a zombie so we ran down the field happily out pacing a few of the closer ones who distracted by the phone stuck to their ear or reading Zombie alerts from their smart phones
The run went with a blur from now on, we were in the groove and on reaching the highest point knew it was all down hill from there, that is until I got to my 15 mile mark, when the final animal attack took place which put all others of the day into shade.
Totally out of the blue and on a suburban street, from out of a driveway came the most ENORMOUS fluffy black cat who stopped, went back on his back paws in a crouch and yowled, hissed then sprinted off. I yowled back and the others laughed at the cat's feckless attempt, I not too sure, black fluffy cats can be monsters (if my childhood memories served me right)
So with lots of goodbyes and everyone happy with their runs I just had the small matter of another 5 miles home the long way happy that I got back in one piece after the animal and zombie attacks :-)