It rained all day Saturday, making it a miserable day for the first of Grassington's four Dickensian events. Then it rained all night. It was forecast to rain all day Sunday too but when I sneaked out of bed at 7am, although I could hardly see across the road, there were no raindrops on any of our windows.
Half an hour later we were driving through thick mist to Grimwith Reservoir scattering hundreds of soddened pheasants and partridges that don't look plump enough yet for the annual slaughter.
|Strangely, we were enjoying it!|
We parked, donned our waterproofs and set off into the gloom. We'd discussed whether or not to take cameras with us for in wet or misty conditions pictures are rarely in focus. We decided to risk it and were fairly happy with the atmospheric results.
|By the bridge over Blea Beck - and it's raining|
After days of rain we'd anticipated a sea of mud on parts of the route, causing us to return home with black feet, but were surprised to find that although quite wet in parts it hasn't yet deteriorated into its usual winter state.
Par for the course, mist turned to rain as we approached the point of no return, but after very little running during the past four weeks I really didn't mind. It felt good to be out and building up fitness again.
|At the half way point, and it's raining heavier|
Other than the local pheasant population we saw little other bird life. A family of mallard in a huddled line by the waters edge looked rather sorry fot themselves. A gaggle of greylags materialized from the mist and disappeared just as quickly.
|Tall tree, tiny figure|
We'd seen another car on the car park when we arrived and half expected to pass other runners on our way round. We didn't and surmised they'd set off in the same direction as us.
And much faster!
Unusually, after many days of heavy rain, water level in the reservoir is quite low. It's normal capacity is in the region of 22 million cubic metres, making it Yorkshire Water's largest reservoir, but it's now vastly depleted and showing wide margins of stony banking.
|Grimwith Lodge on its broadening shoreline|
|Come on, another two hundred yards and we've cracked it...|
Into our last ½ mile, a stretch of gentle uphill. The old legs were beginning to feel strong again and the ascent was easy.
We wouldn't normally venture out running in suchlike conditions but were glad we did. In a masochistic way we really enjoyed it. We were glad we'd taken our cameras too, to record the conditions,
|Finished ......and happy|
or we might never have believed it!