It was a year or two ago the last time I was tempted to dump the car and take off running. That was somewhere near Tebay. Sometimes the weather looks just too attractive. Yesterday, as I made my way up back from a long trip south, I pulled off the A19 and parked up in Sowerby. Its next to Thirsk. Thirsk town centre is quite an attractive place with cobbles (which they appear to be pulling up sadly) and plenty of folk weaving busily in and out of the shops.
I already had my running gear on and at four in the afternoon, I thought I might try a run up toward Sutton Bank. Its a mean, steep and winding climb that takes you up into the North York Moors.
After running through town and heading up along the side of the A170, I ditched the idea of running along a busy road and cut left to Felixkirk and then on to Boltby village, 4 miles further on. The road just climbs and climbs up to St. Johns Mount. It was quiet, with plenty of hedges and moss covered walls. After 2 or 3 miles of climbing the route then dropped down for a mile before I came to the sleepy hollow of Boltby itself. There was a sign to Thirlby (1.5 miles) which looked interesting, but it was almost five and the sun was dropping fast. Getting back was quicker than the outward route, with squirrels, rabbits and pheasant a plenty crossing the road or hiding below the hedges. The snowdrops were out and it had the feel of early spring. As I got back into Thirsk, the sun had turned big and bright red, bobbing just over the horizon and I could feel the cold creeping in. Nice 12 miles. I'll be back to tackle this lot (and more) on my bike.