Monday 7 August 2017

Dawn runs......

Last week marked a return to early morning runs, up at 5am and a quick cup of coffee before running to some vantage point just as the sun came peeping over the horizon.   The vantage point was, of course, Castle Hill, just one mile and a couple hundred feet of ascent from my garden gate to the landmark tower.
I'd forgotten how good it felt.
A new dawn    (Click pictures to enlarge)
So good in fact I maybe got a little carried away and ran it on three consecutive mornings before deciding it might be a good idea to save some of my energy for weekend.
Up, up and away
Running came easy as I powered non-stop up the steep bits in a cool morning breeze, racing the sun to the summit.  It beat me. I shall have to get up earlier!
Sun - shining upon the righteous!
Surprisingly, as I stood admiring the view and taking the above picture by the tower, another runner came pounding up the steps, hooded with ear phones rammed into his lug-oles.  He touched the wall of the tower and made off before I'd time to accost him.
A young pretender on my patch!
Friday was a rest day as I travelled to the Dales, stopping in Ilkley to do an extra large weekend shop, before the arrival of my wonderful partner's sister-in-law.  Sue arrived later in the afternoon by some devious route all the way from Carp in Ontario.
Bare House route
Saturday dawned bright and sunny, pleasant enough to lure us up the ghyll on a 700ft climb to Bare House.
A bit of colour on the moor
Heather was coming to its best as we ran up the lane beyond Yarnbury. Keepers, with their dogs, were out assessing the state of the grouse moor prior to next Saturday's so called glorious twelfth.
 Prelude to the annual slaughter.
Running towards Bare House, above left in the picture
From the end of the lane we'd a little respite, chance to catch our breath on a short downhill stretch towards Bare House, known locally as Barras. The landscape was bare too, and silent.  Curlews and lapwings have all finished breeding and returned to their seaside haunts.
Closing the gate at Bare House.
After closing the gate at Bare House there's a wonderful two miles of turfy trail down into Grassington. It undulates slightly in parts but one gathers enough momentum on the downhills to cruise over the uphills.
Downhill to Grassington
It's a popular trail for walkers as well as runners, so much so that indigenous sheep and cattle seem quite used to us all and hardly bat an eyelid as we sweep past.  It's wonderful, wild country and one of our favourite runs.
Ancient but still in good running order
Returning to Hebden through meadows of scabious and meadowsweet we popped out onto the road to find an ancient old wagon parked on the green, a relic of Longthorne's, the village hauliers, with an equally ancient tractor strapped on its back.
A glance at my Garmin told us we'd exceeded 7 miles as we closed the door just when it began to rain.
Ha ha, you missed us that time!
Heather by Grimwith reservoir
After that illustrious effort we'd a lie in on Sunday morning, till 6am.  After a quick coffee we were soon scattering the hundreds of partridge and pheasant poults along the road to Grimwith. Apart from those we saw just one solitary lapwing.
A dreich, misty morning
It was a driech morning, cloudy and misty but with very little wind.  A gentleman walking three beautiful Staffordshire Bull terriers was the only other person we met as we set off to run our circuit.
Running up that hill...back o' Grimwith
Two miles in, I tripped and fell heavily on the gravel track, bashing my elbow, bending a finger and knocking the wind out of my sails.
 I was hauled to my feet after a couple of minutes and was so mad that I set off to do some 5.50 pace reps - just for spite!
End of run - with bent finger
It had been a good 22 mile week, my highest mileage for some time, but with several imminent commitments it's doubtful if I'll achieve similar mileages in the coming two weeks.
Happy running everyone.


  1. Certainly looks and sounds a good 22 mile week.
    Lovely photo's again, always nice to see the heather ...

    All the best Jan

    1. It was a very good week Jan and the heather is at its best. Shame it heralds the start of the annual slaughter....

  2. enjoy the sun and rack up the miles while the summer days are here... because I know summer is heading to Cape Town and it will soon be my turn!

    1. Ah yes Coach, but I can sleep longer because the sun doesn't get up so early.... Winter will be my rest and catching up season.

  3. I've not run for two weeks (due to busy-ness), reading this has given me the kick in the pants I I'm just off out of the door.

    1. Ah, you'll be back by now JJ. Hope you enjoyed it...