After a really lovely meal with my school friends on Saturday (aka a late night, for me), meeting Daren at 8.30 on Sunday morning at Jack & Jill was a bit of a stretch. I got up at 7am to make sure I was fully awake by the time I left the house… though I very nearly fell asleep again whilst imbibing a quadspresso!
The weather forecast was for gusts of 40 mph, but that wasn’t quite right… it was a steady 40 mph wind and it kindly blew us up the hill, across to Ditchling Beacon and then on to Streat Bostall with barely a chance to get Daren’s new runners dirty. Running down the bostall was also easy, but then we had to run back along the main road as far as Westmeston.
The current breed of (nameless and faceless) UK road planners like to slow cars down by reducing the sight-line at the apex of corners… once you know this, you tend to notice the way that hedges, trees etc are allowed to grow out just where it would be helpful to be able to see ahead. This obviously means that runners (or walkers, cyclists etc) are effectively hidden from view along roads like this one. Cars also can’t see if there’s anything coming the other way, so they are forced to stay right in (& justifiably so), close and personal, when they come across pedestrians. Not nice for either party, but better than crashing into someone driving the other way.
In the scheme of things, however, it was of little consequence. We were soon onto a quiet narrow lane and enjoying ourselves again. In the lee of the Downs, the wind was barely a breeze and we trundled gently along until we reached the bottom of the tank tracks.
Then the really hard work began… the path goes directly up the scarp slope, which makes it steep, added to which we have a rule that we’re not allowed to stop until we get to the gate at the top. I think that we were on comparatively good form and we made good progress right up until the ground flattened out at the top… and we got the full force of the wind against us!
From the gate at the top it’s downhill all the way back to the cars, which allowed us to really enjoy the wind blowing any remaining cobwebs from our heads!
According to Strava, we ran 7.7 miles in just under 80 minutes, an average of 5.8mph. Despite having had only one early drink the night before, I then spent the rest of the day recovering on the sofa as if I had a hangover! Oh the joys of getting older!