Monday 26 September 2016

Fortune Favours the Bold......

      My old club, Longwood Harriers, held their annual point to point race last Saturday.  It starts with a long steady climb onto Castle Hill where runners circle Victoria Tower before shooting off through fields and over walls in as direct a line as possible to the Church at Farnley Tyas. From there on it's mainly roadwork to the Finish point in the village of Newsome.
Arms of Sir John William Ramsden    Click pictures to enlarge)
      Although I'd already run up there earlier in the morning I walked up again to cheer them on and take a few photographs of them rounding the tower. As I waited I happened to notice an old Coat of Arms in the weathered stonework that bore the motto AUDACES FORTUNA JUVAT which translates to Fortune favours the Bold.  
The leader setting a hot pace...
      How true, I thought, as the leader boldly mounted the 160 steps to the tower, boldly knocked off the brakes as he careered back down, boldly vaulted or climbed all obstacles blocking his beeline to Farnley, then boldly pulled out all the stops to stay ahead of rivals in the long run for home.  Yeah, old Virgil knew what he was talking about.   It had clouded over for the race and a cold, near gale force wind had got up. I'd difficulty holding the camera still but it kept the runners cool.
....and another hot on his heels, leaning into the wind

      Conditions had been totally different three hours before, not a breath of wind and clear overhead as I set out along the dark lane. A sickle moon hung high in the sky, an early buzzard mewed in the distance, a narrow strip of red lined the eastern horizon, cattle rested in the dark field contentedly chewing cud with nary a movement as I ploughed through them.
One of my friends, though he probably doesn't know it..

In breaking light one of the hill's resident crows cawed a welcome (or maybe a beggar off) as I circled the hill the first time. Surprisingly, there were no rabbits and I wondered if that calling          buzzard had sent them underground?  
More likely some earlier dog walkers. 
7am, and the world comes alight

      Then all at once the sky turned a wondrous red, prelude to the fiery eruption about to take place across the valley just left of Yorkshire's tallest building, Emley Moor transmitter.  It's always the same. I just want to stay there as the pageant unfolds, clicking away, trying to capture it all on camera before it disappears. No matter how many shots I get, I always want more, never satisfied with the ones I've got because none can faithfully capture all the magic of that blazing sky.  Then all too soon it's gone. 
Running in the sun, feeling the fire...
      How do artists cope, I wonder, when they try to capture some beautiful landscape?  By the time they've set up their easels and charged their palettes it could all have changed, the cadmiums to alizarins, or some colour they haven't got.
More wild food
      Mushrooms were dotting one of the fields I ran through and I rued the fact I hadn't a bag with me. They'd be worth stopping a couple of minutes for to supplement my meagre diet while my wonderful partner is basking in the land of the giants...
Giants at a Barcelona Festival
      A lady 'taking her dog into the field' at Clough Hall stared open mouthed as I sped past.  She knows me, knows how old I am, and perhaps didn't expect me to be running so fast. If race organisers would extend their prize lists to include an over 80 category I might even start racing again. I'd show 'em...
... in my dreams!


  1. Hi There, You are amazing --and such an inspiration to us. We don't run--but we certainly do our share of walking and getting exercise... Hubby and I are 74...

    Thanks for visiting... I hope you come back again.. We travel quite a bit taking pictures everywhere we go --and then sharing them. We love hiking and searching for waterfalls. We also enjoy gardening (growing flowers) --and that also keeps us busy...

    Keep on staying active as long as you can... You will live longer and enjoy life more. You obviously live and run in a gorgeous area.. WOW.

    Betsy (from Tennessee)

    1. I don't always feel amazing Betsy but try to stay active and make the best of my declining years - as I'm sure you both do.
      Gardening is a 'necessary evil' for me but like things to look tidy and colorful. I get beautiful birds on the feeders outside the dining room window.
      Yorkshire is often referred to as 'God's own county' so yes, there are really lovely places to walk or run. I never tire of it.
      Thanks for dropping by...

  2. Those two photo's showing the sun are lovely, what gorgeous views.

    Hope your week has been good, I can't believe this weekend we will be into October!

    All the best Jan

  3. Those sunrises charge my batteries wonderfully Jan, my morning fix!
    All the best to you......

  4. Every race should have an over 80 category, of course! How much I envy you running in the sunlight, Gordon :) I rarely get a chance to see sunrises or sunsets from anything other than my patio at the moment. I am so hoping that, in a few months, things will change - even if it's to see them from the uncomfortable seat of a swanky bicycle!

    1. With all the problems I've had with my eyes Julie (another syringeful of steroid pumped into my Rt one yesterday) I'm lucky to be able to see those energizing sunrises. I'm making the most of it before I become an old man!
      Good luck with that forthcoming operation and look forward to a post with a big YIPPEE indicating you've become active again. A swanky bicycle could be a lot safer than being whizzed around in a wheelchair by someone who's had one over the eight! All the best to you...