Monday, 2 August 2010


At this time of year, when the so many people are on holiday,  it's often a case of competing for space with pairs or groups of walkers on the running trails.  Consequently,  today I drove on past my usual starting point for the Strid run , past the very congested tourist magnet that is Bolton Abbey and journeyed on briefly towards Barden. Turning left towards Embsay I planned a new approach on a trail run up to the Upper Barden reservoir.
  This view, check out  shows the Lower reservoir which I would be running back down to on the way back after 5 or so miles.

 As I park up near Holton Heights a couple I talk to inform me that I won't be able to do the run next week as grouse shooting starts on the 12th.  They also inform me that the helicopter  operating over the area is spraying the "green bracken"  which  they also inform me...."is no good to man nor beast".  I just hope it doesn't spray me from above on my run;  fortunately I always carry my inhaler!   I must say it's presence did rather detract from the peace and solitude of the morning.
  The first mile is reasonably kind on the legs but as desired, to get a bit of hill work in, it then climbs gradually for another mile.  I can see Rylstone Cross  on the skyline.  The views all around are fabulous and possibly because  dogs are banned from this area,  I only see one couple in the first 3 miles.  The track is typical.  Good enough for the Landrover set to drive grouse shooters and beaters out to where "the action is" with a nice grassy bit in between.  Ideal for cushioned trail shoe.  No fell shoe necessary here.

 The trail turns me down towards the Upper Barden Reservoir and along the dam shown here towards the Yorkshire Water building which I reach having covered about 3.5 miles.  A good fastish descent to enjoy now.  The helicopter passes overhead. The   aspect is particularly good at this point. Over to Simon's Seat to the left,  Wharfedale laid out in front in all its finery sandwiched by Beamsley Beacon and Ilkley Moor. Fantastic!   Minutes later I turn down to the Lower Barden reservoir.  I look up and pick up a hint of blue high up on the hill ahead and realising it's the car,  know this run will finish with a bit more hillwork.   A toughish half a mile to bring the outing to 6.3 miles. 

I haven't seen anyone at all on the descent.
 I cross the road onto a grassy bridleway and bring the total up to 7.
So if you are a local runner reading this and haven't run on these tracks before you'll find good, fast underfoot conditions, spectacular views and most importantly  peace and solitude...except on "spraying" days.  A great start to a new week.

With a departure time of 7.30 a.m. we thought we might just make the start of the Sale 10 at 9.00a.m. As it was made it for 8.40a.m. and I could have had a run around after all.  Our start and finish banners were already in place so having helped put the finishers' mugs we settled for a jog on the 4 lap course. A calm day,  cloud cover and a pan flat course made for fast times.  Kenyan EDWIN KIPORIR skipped around in 47.42 with one SIMON TONUI second in 49.01.   ANNE KIBOR again entered as "KENYA" was first lady in 58.12 followed by JULIE BRISCOE in 58.29 (pictured here).  250 finished. 42 under the hour including KEITH WILLIAMS (Rotherham) who as first M60(!) ran 59.34. The host club's first runner was 45th in 60.36 which was rather disappointing and caused  a few eyebrows to be raised. Anyway those that managed the early start no doubt enjoy the fast course and kind conditions.  As GB chief CHARLES VAN COMMENEE said last night,  athletics is all essentially supposed to be FUN !..............................


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