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 80º 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)|
|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!