Sunday, 18 December 2011

Ruddy Cheeks

The white snow, icy and crisp lay high and thick like a blanket of snowy down on the Cheviot Hills.  I felt the embrace of the winter queen and her cool kiss on my ruddy cheeks. I heard the pheasants little teeth chattering as they hugged themselves and bobbed up and down to keep their feathery plumage icicle free.  

Strangely, however,  I was nowhere near the Cheviots. Instead I was 30 miles away wandering through the tracks and bridleways of Buckshaw and Coalhouse Wood and over the heathery moorland around Beacon Hill with the lads and lassies chatting about all things Christmassy while gulping in lungfuls of clean, ice cold Northumbrian air. What a glorious 14 miles. I bored everyone stupid with more crazy camera antics as I ran, stopped and ran and it was bang on 2 hours when we got back to base.  It was a lovely run out. 

Getting home,  I re-heated the saucepan of homemade vegetable lentil soup and ladled the piping hot liquor generously into my eager,  hungry bowl and then sprinkled some of the parsley that I picked yesterday into it. As I sat dipping my bread into the broth, I sketched out next years running plan.  It's called Jura on the 26th May...
The Isle of Jura Fell Race is undoubtedly a 'classic' in every sense of the word - being a true test of mountain craft, athleticism and fell running technique. It is one of the toughest challenges in British hill racing.   
Later I might pick up Glen Rosa and Borrowdale or Nevis. and not to forget my burgeoning cycling career which has been smoking patiently on the launchpad. Yep, a couple of audax's or sportives. Sounds good.  So much to do, so little soup.

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