I got a message from Crazy Walt earlier today. Not content with sitting beside a pool somewhere in the Balearics sipping rum and coke, he was clearly pining for home and the wooded hills that surround our quiet home in the shire. He wished us well on our run this evening, and made a specific request that we wouldn’t be too enthusiastic and speedy come his return to club on Thursday. The run we embarked on was one of the three he prescribed on his departure, and fortunately for Walter, we had saved the the most challenging route until tonight…
There were a lot of people at club tonight: The fast bunch were doing 8 x 800m reps and others were doing time trials… The beginners were also out in force (always great to see) and there was the usual 15 or so of us mid-paced crew itching for the off. We followed the fast runners out of the lane and headed off towards the countryside. It’s a mile or so to the edge of the city, then another to the other side of the motorway… but once we’re past the backbone of Britain. the hills kick in. As we ran around Hanchurch pools, several of the team told me how much they disliked this particular run, and how Walter was a sadist. In support of my illustrious leader, I joined in and agreed wholeheartedly.
Once we entered the tree line, the climb to the woodcutters lodge began. It’s a pig of a hill, more like a dried up stream bed underfoot, but it’s become a standard feature of several of our routes. We got to the top and had a quick breather, before turning left and running along the rubble path that lines the top of the ridge. To get back to the lane, we had to descend through a thicket of rhododendrons and then through a field of wheat. This was a public right of way, but the path was narrow, the crops brushed past our legs as we ran past, and was tricky to navigate at pace.
Once on the road, there was a hairy half a mile or so to the back entrance to the Trentham Estate. The Eccleshall road is 60mph, and most drivers are surprisingly unwilling to move over for pedestrians in the road. It was a relief to cross back over the M6, head into the safety of the woods and climb over the hill and back to Trentham village. Once we were back, several of us noticed that out legs were on fire. Clearly whatever was sprayed on the wheat had been deposited onto our skin and was making us come out in itchy blotches… we eat this stuff, right?
Tonight’s #Juneathon was a mixture of horrid hills, freaky roads, pesticides and downhill pleasure. Everyone did really well (#Runkeeper), and Walter is back on Thursday to face the music… and you can forget ‘take it easy Tuesdays’, ‘revenge Thursdays’ are on the cards!
Juneathon 2013 Stats
Total Miles = 148.09
Total KM = 238.33
Total Calories = 17,985
Big Macs = 36.7
Pints of Strongbow = 74.9
Days Worth Calories = 9.0
Journeys to Work = 10.65