This morning I was again run leader for the 8.00am HEROS run and the usual brief was about 6 miles and to finish around 9.15am. Last evening I was seen pouring over maps to try out and get the distance and found the job pretty hard as the only way to get a guaranteed 6 miles is to do an out and back which is pretty boring for group runs so chose a "lollipop" run which is an out and back with a big loop at one end. These are quite nice runs as people who wish to have a race towards the end know the route back.
The weather overnight was heavy rain which blends in well with the people who like cross country and I was totally knocked off my feet when I drove into the car park and got out to find twelve other runners ready for the run with smiles and laughter.
I had decided the night before to take everyone on a route that they are not taken on usually and to get us on the other side of Biggin Hill airport to get into the Biggin Hill Valley via fields of horses munching happily on the wet grass oblivious to our laughter and chat. Joining a path that allowed us to run next to the airport we trudged up the long but shallow gradient through unripened corn which was at knee height, my Monkey Feet slipping slightly underfoot, it was here that the conversation dropped as the hill took its toll but was soon back to normal when we jumped into the valley. The wind was up as it blustered past us, the long grass flicking up and down like waves.
One of the more bizarre things that happened when I was busting for a wee and so asked Peter and Brian to take over until they reached Nash, a small village up ahead and then jumped to the side but had forgotten that the others hadn't heard and so all stopped and grouped around me probably expecting so beautiful view, after I had told them what I was up to the hooted with laughter and ran off!
No run in the country comes without its challenges when we came across some workmen re-seating a telegraph pole such that their two flatbeds completely blocked the road and so without any grumbles or moans we all clambered under the tail end of the flatbeds to continue on....these things happen on trail runs.
And so we returned on the trail past the airport just as private jet was readying itself for take off and as the wind blew it carried the stench of its fuel around us and then roared off into the low cloud as we slipped and skated along the path we had run before, my Monkey Feet had no real problems but the shoe wearers were saying they must have had their own weight in mud on each foot.
The run finished soon after but could have happily taken a few more miles and really pleased with my returning fitness.