Monday 5 December 2011


Raging River Wharfe
    After a couple of short steady runs during the week, come Saturday I decided it was time to lay the ghost by repeating the 10 mile route on which I came to grief some eight weeks ago.  Time has healed the damaged ribs, the pain has gone, I can take deep breaths again, I can even sing and do press-ups - though not all at the same time, you understand.
    It was cold, windy and showery as I set off alongside a raging River Wharfe en route for the five mile turn-around point at Barden Bridge. The path was slippery and slutchy and at one point my feet went flying from under me - yet again - but luckily no harm was done. I sprang up and continued running with nothing more than a bruised ego. I was back in Hebden (just as my wonderful partner was setting out to look for me!) in two hours and two minutes. My Garmin registered 10.47 miles, so I was happy with that. After all there are 28 gates to open and shut on the path to Barden Bridge and the same to be repeated on the way back. Plus, I'd stopped to take photographs of various interesting features en route, as I do, to illustrate my Blog. I ached a little, particularly my Rt knee, but it felt wonderful to be back up to ten miles again. From henceforth it will be a matter of build, build, build all through the winter, getting strength back into the old body ready for racing again next year.
Pico Deseada, on the volcanic island of La Palma
    Talking of next year we recently decided that, God willing, we'll celebrate my 80th birthday on the beautiful island of La Palma, off the north west coast of Africa, staying at the same wonderful hotel that fed and watered us so well last February. So, we were a little concerned on reading a news report yesterday which said that just across the water beside a neighbouring island, El Hierro, a volcano has been continuously erupting under the sea for over a month. According to the report, it could even form a new island, or add new territory to the south coast of El Hierro. In spite of around 11,000 tremors over the last four months most of the islanders are not too concerned, though some have suitcases standing by the door packed with emergency food, blankets, changes of clothing, battery radios and torches. The worst scenario, one supposes, is that it could eventually rise out of the water and start spewing volcanic ash all over the place. May God forbid!
First snow of winter
    In total contrast, we awoke this morning to the first snows of winter, blizzarding across the landscape forcing sheep and other livestock to cower under walls for shelter while on the roads traffic was brought to a virtual standstill or, in the case of a local coach we suspected should be crossing the Pennines with a group of geologists, sliding backwards down the hill in front of us! Could make for some interesting running!


  1. Well done on the 10 miles - that's my goal at the moment too. I got up to 8 miles, but the last couple of weeks I haven't run as far. Don't go slipping in that snow now!

  2. Yes, congrats on getting back up to 10 miles. You must be chuffed!

    My plan, if the snow comes back and settles this year, is to invest in a pair of Yaktrax. You just attach them to the bottom of your running shoes and enjoy superior grip and stability on snow and ice, apparently.

    I can't vouch for them yet as I haven't bought my pair (depends whether we get enough snow to warrant it), but you can take a look by searching for them on Amazon or Google, etc. Quite a neat invention!

  3. Neil, I have a pair of Yaktrax I used quite a lot last year in snowy and icy conditions. They served me well. I did a short piece about them in my Blog last December if you look back.
    Even better than Yaktrax, but slightly more expensive, are Kahtoola microspikes which you can buy from a firm called Rough gear.

  4. Ah, excellent. Thanks for the tip about Kahtoola. They look far more sturdy, but as with your thawing experience when you first got your Yaktrax, I dare say that I'll guarantee a snow-free Winter if I get my credit card out and buy a pair of either of these traction devices!

    By the way, I *love* those photos you took for your December 2010 blogposts. A really beautiful time of year.

  5. First snows we have wind and sun, summer is here!!!

  6. Fair to you for getting back to the scene of the crime, running a good ten miles. There's just no way of stopping you and I don't fancy the volcano's chances of halting your 80th celebrations!