Tuesday 30 January 2018


I was pottering around the local cemetery immersed in my own thoughts, doing my own thing, a few downhill jogs and short walks interspersed by fast uphill reps while watching the dawn break; an easy, comfortable workout I often do before breakfast, if it's not raining.  Sounds of padding feet, a fair bit faster than mine, disturbed my reverie and a runner materialised from the gloom.  
Dave Watson, Holmfirth Harrier in flight   (Click to enlarge pictures)
"Just my luck", I thought, "I come out for an easy run and who should I meet but probably the fastest runner in Huddersfield, a guy who's lost count of his Parkrun wins, has a 15.02 5K to his name, not to mention a sub 51 minute 10 miles".  He's also very good at talking.  In fact, he rarely stops!
Our route
Slowly and imperceptibly, the pace must have been increasing for I didn't seem to be breathing quite so freely.  He chattered on.  "I've fallen out with Parkruns, they slow me down, I'm much better training on my own".  And I was secretly thinking, I wish he would!
I wasn't surprised..
"Right" I said, "I'm heading home, my stomach says it's breakfast time". He didn't seem to hear this and kept up his endless diatribe as we left the cemetery and jogged through the fields to where I live.  Yards from my door we parted company as he carried on for an extended run over Castle Hill - and all went blissfully quiet. It didn't surprise me when TomTom said it was my fastest short run to date...
That bloody eye
Four hours later, I was laid on an operating table at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for another cortico-steroid injection to my Rt eye.  It was sore and I felt ill after it so there was no way I was going to subject it to all the wind and rain that lashed Hebden at the weekend.  Even if my wonderful partner had allowed it!
Another glorious sunrise
But away from her, back in Huddersfield, Castle Hill was beckoning through my kitchen window.  "OK TomTom, let's go" I said, and stepped out into a breaking dawn to slosh through muddy fields to greet the sunrise..
They were very muddy fields
I was almost at the top, reaching for my camera to capture the blazing light on the eastern horizon, when I realized I wasn't alone. Approaching rapidly behind me were those phantom footsteps 
of Watson.
My guardian angel?  Watson on Castle Hill
We ran together briefly until he realised my photographic interludes were probably interfering too much with his training.  After a few circuits I jogged home wondering on the way down whether Watson was some sort of guardian angel sent to keep an eye on this old codger in case I might need help sometime.
Whether, in fact, I may be 'entertaining an angel unawares'.
Who knows....


  1. Who knows, maybe so!! : )
    My eyes water looking at the picture of your eye. It looks so very sore.

    1. ...and that's my good eye Karen. I really must look after it better. (The hymn 'Be Thou my Vision' seemed particularly relevant last Sunday).
      Enjoy your walks in the snow.... Cheers!

  2. 15:02...
    I think you need to kick him into shape this winter and push him under 15! I think a couple more runs with you and he'll be there!

    1. Believe me Coach, he's deceptively fast, trains every day, rain or shine. But one of my claims to fame is I once beat him - in the 24 mile Three Peaks of Yorkshire race. I'm resting on my laurels!