Saturday, 26 January 2013

Holy Island trail run

I decided yesterday that I'd further explore the Northumberland coast. I had an early bed (after way too many beers it has to be said!) and set off at 6.30 for the seaside. We'd had quite a bit of snow through the night and the road was OK, if white and slippy. I got to Goswick beach, dressed myself and set off at 7.15. There was a light covering of snow so i could just see where I was going. I ran through the dunes the half mile that takes me onto the beach itself. The light was blueish and quite weird.
Unfortunately I cant work this blog thing very well, so the photos are in an odd order. The next three show the sun coming up as i crossed the causeway onto Holy Island. The view was stunning. I could see Bamburgh Castle as well

 Once across the causeway, I started to run around the island in a clockwise way. The beach on the east side was frozen at the high tide line. I imagine that this is rare.

 Oh and this is me!
 No idea what this is:-)
 Castle from the east
 Weird huts they have there, something to do with fishing?
 The castle from the west
 My foot tracks out and in, three hours apart.
These last two pics are from the start of my run but I cant shift them:-)

A mile or two down the coast, I started to see some lovely sights.

I enjoyed this run immensely. The first half was all about the sights, the light etc. The second half was all about me doing it. Am I allowed to swear in my blog? The last 8 miles hurt like f*ck. I was short on energy and running into a biting wind, but I took immense pleasure that I knew I was able to keep running until I got back to my car. Midlife crisis big style:-)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Bit of an extreme run in the snow

With no real intention, I set off for a run today with a fair bit of snow (4 inches say) on the ground and a blizzard blowing. Quite quickly I knew that it would be one of "those" runs. I tend to love or "just do" my runs with very little middle ground. Today was going to be a tip top affair. I felt OK physically, and the conditions were too big a challenge to resist. Here are some photos.

Setting off from home

Along the river bank

A modest few inches

Into my playground- Duns Castle woods

Whilst running up the Colonel's Walk I had

The long haul up the Hardens, only 2.5 miles to go!

Near the top, drifts hard to run through

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow on the beach run

I ran a section of the Northumberland Coastal path today. It was pretty unique in that very rarely is there snow here. Today there was, as well as ice. I nearly lost my sense of humour at one point when I went through the snow and ice into water up to my knee. Oh and I face planted too! But hey, no damage done. This is what I saw when I got to Spittal and on the first few miles.

The path is mostly fairly obvious but not always. This is what I had to keep looking for.
I dropped off the path onto the beach as I know (and love) this beach. I've never seen it like this.
I ran south for a mile or two into a headwind that was biting to be polite and then I cut inland again and came across these two old boys.

And then these two old boys!
I headed on south seeing these views, the second of which is Holy Island before turning for home.

The return journey had the benefit of a tail wind (oh yeah !) and the sun almost broke through occasionally to light up the landscape beautifully. I am no photographer, I just point and click at what i see. Here are some.

My run today was a truly great experience. I battled through the wind at times, slipped on the ice at times and was cold at times. But I got to see a beach that looked like the Tundra, I saw two people in 2.5 hours. A shepherd looking his sheep and a lady walking her dog. I did get a wee bit carried away and do the Mo-bot for the benefit of every train that passed on the east coast line:-)
I do like to run!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Southern Upland Way

I recently started to think that I should explore the Southern Upland Way as I live very near it. I began to run sections of it with the idea in mind that I could plan my own personal ultra (didnt Depeche Mode have a song called that:-) Maybe not! ).
I wanted to check out the route so that if I do run it, I dont get lost and to get an idea of the conditions and the terrain.
Yesterday I ran 11.5 miles from the Watch Water reservoir to Lauder, thus completing my recce from the east coast at Cockburnspath. The total distance is around 33 miles with many many feet of climb. The conditions are generally good with a lot of decent tracks, mixed in with utter bog and a tarmac section of about 3 miles from the Watch Water to Longformacus.
There is so much beautiful scenery that I'd love to do it on a clear day but that cant be guaranteed as we all know. At the moment my thinking is midsummers day, thus taking in the longestdayrun challenge.

Here are some pics from yesterday's run. The visibility was poor so the pics are not great. Please beware too that there is one of me that I took on the run showing far too much nasal hair:-(