Having sat on my drive under a blanket of snow for a couple of weeks, it was probably expecting a little too much of my car to fire up properly this morning. Which is a real shame because I was looking forward to driving it… and now the guys at the garage are probably practising sucking breath in through their teeth!
Kim kindly lent me her car and I set off into the first gorgeous sunny morning for ages: destination Falmer. It felt mild, despite the layer of ice on the pond that suggested otherwise.
The stalwarts, Andy, Nikki, Cliff and myself, were joined by Neil who had finally bowed under pressure from Cliff to come out with us. BIG mistake!
It was really hard work to start with. I had expected the first hill to be waterlogged, but I was pleasantly surprised… it was still probably frozen and to make it more interesting, there were mini snow-drifts set at irregular intervals. I managed to reach the top of the first rise with the Clifford vanguard but I was also very pleased to be able to stand and catch my breath until Neil caught up.
We ran out to the Newmarket Copse and then Cliff announced that he would rather like to have a closer look at a white blob (half way up the photo below and one third in from the right) on the edge of Lewes in the distance. As a result we ran up to the top of the ridge and headed East.
It was a great day to be out, with only the occasional snow-drift and the ice on the path down into Kingston to remind us that it wasn’t yet Spring. When we got to the blob, it was (as Cliff had suspected), a rather lovely windmill in the making.
This section was Cliff’s treat to us… a path I’ve not been down before, with some stunning vistas.
We dropped down into Lewes and jostled up the sharp hill to the prison, before heading on up to Lewes Racecourse, where there were yet more views to be had… as well as a different view of the new windmill.
Poor Neil had already not been this far on a run for an age, so we had the luxury of stopping to catch our breath on more than one occasion. The photos below show the others trying to emulate Superman at one of these breaks and… well… captions are welcome!
Our route then took us up to the top of Blackcap, before we started to descend back down the first path back to Falmer. I got back to the cars again at 2 hours 18 minutes, followed closely by Nikki. Andy limped in shortly afterwards, but it took Cliff another ten minutes to catch up… sign of advancing ears, probably… and Neil had very kindly hung back to keep him company.
Neil may have looked knackered, but he did good indeed to be able to cover 10.95 miles.
You’d have thought from the time taken and all the photos that I’ve posted that it would be a greater distance than that, but hey! Not such a hot speed for me (4.76mph!), but a hugely enjoyable run nevertheless… or maybe that should read ‘as a result!’