Monday 2 March 2015

Racing the sun.....

For the past few months I've been racing the sun up Castle Hill, on each occasion getting to the top before the sun peeped over the eastern horizon.  As I mentioned in a previous posting, it's a habit formed last September whilst on holiday on the Mediterranean island of Menorca. With morning temperatures quickly rising towards 80ยบ we were up at crack of dawn and out running the Cami de Cavalls, looking for wild tortoises, before the broiling sun rose over the parched landscape. In 28 years of running, prior to that holiday, nothing on earth would have lured me out of bed to go running at that unearthly hour, though my wonderful partner has been known to do so - before she met me!
Sunrise at 7am last Friday.....  (Click to enlarge)
 However. I reckon this practice may shortly come to an end as sunrise becomes progressively earlier. Last Friday, I'd hardly reached the perimeter path before the sun shed it's light upon me. It was spot on 7am. I could imagine it saying "Aha, nearly caught you that time, you'll have to get up 2 or 3 minutes earlier every day from now on if you want to beat me to the top".  It's a prospect I don't really relish, especially when the mid-summer sun is up at 4am.... 
The bridge at Howgill on Saturday's run......
Something else happened that morning that's never occurred before on the hill. I actually met a runner who was sociable enough to stop and exchange a few words before galloping off to continue his marathon training. I've met several over the years but none of them ever gave more than a grunt before going their way with hardly a glance. This latest one was different. We even got so far as exchanging names before I continued my clockwise circuits and he his anti-clockwise ones. He was being pulled along by a beautiful Alsatian dog which I suggested he should let off the lead.  "No way" he said, "he hates all other dogs, can't stand men, or my mother, or my two sons. He's not growling at you because you're dressed like a runner!"  Now, on Castle Hill that's fairly unusual too, a dog that likes runners...    
....and the path back through the wood by the River Wharfe
     Weather was pretty diabolical again last week. I managed two 5 milers, on Wednesday and Friday when it was half decent, and a cold 8 mile run to Howgill and back on Saturday morning before the weekend deteriorated. A vicious wind blasted our windows with heavy rain all Saturday night. On Sunday it turned to sleet, then to driven snow by late afternoon, turning the village a ghostly white. So, after stocking up with fuel, our hardest exercise throughout Sunday consisted of getting up from our easy chairs to throw another log on the fire. Even that proved strenuous. We both fell asleep! 


  1. There are those who do enjoy getting up early, alas, I've never been too keen on that. Like you I certainly wouldn't relish getting up in time to catch the mid -summer sun rising before 4am !

    Now we are in March perhaps the weather will get that little bit kinder - I think the cold biting winds mixed in with rain are the worse.

    All the best Jan

    1. Cold biting wind, rain sleet and snow, we'd all of that on Sunday, very unpleasant. But my crocuses are flowering and I'm told it will warm up a bit by weekend, so fingers crossed.
      Cheers Jan.....

  2. I plan to race to sun up some time soon... but like you the very morning starts aren't easy!

    1. Isn't sunrise getting later now where you are Coach? You should soon be able to have a longer lie in each morning and still beat the sun to the top of that mountain of yours.......

  3. Racing the sun's an interesting idea! I suppose if you're getting up just that bit earlier every morning, you'll be used to it come the summer. (rather you than me, though!)

    1. Wont be racing the sun much longer but will maybe continue running before breakfast which, funnily enough, I've quite enjoyed.
      Everywhere was frozen solid this morning Paul, not a patch of mud anywhere. You wouldn't have enjoyed it at all......