Strangely found myself transported to the very rainy north west today. Well, hardly; driving 3 hours south then west can't be the north west, can it...?
Me and my chief navigator were 2 of several hundred parents who had made the trip to the English Schools Cross Country Championships held this year at Heaton Park in North Manchester. Our young 'un made the squad and was putting in a debut appearance.
It was reassuring to witness hundreds of young lads and lassies ripping up the course in a demonstration of impossible energy, strength and ...what's the word.....athleticism. Clearly none of them had taken a leaf out of my ragged and tatty book of training.
Having never been to Heaton Park before I was impressed at the size of the park and the rolling landscape and will certainly drop in for a run when next in the vicinity on work duty.
On this occasion the rain got the better of everyone and although the course held up well, the tent village was a mud bath. Good for the complexion they tell me (although the complexion of one tent is much the same as another to me..!).
I managed a 30 minute jog around the grass in my fell shoes; its about as much open country as I've experienced this year. Nearly April and I haven't managed up on the moors. Now I know how Heathcliffe felt. A pot of tea and a bowl of chips served by a girl called Heather at the nearby supermarche was as close as I've got.