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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Late for Breakfast

Those that know me will be aware that I live up to the hobbit analogy of enjoying a good breakfast. For me to miss a breakfast or be late for it would take a pretty amazing run.

The run I did on Sunday was one of those runs that you only do a few times a year. Perfect weather, perfect fitness and amazing views. My only regret was I didnt share the run with anyone.

We pick up with this blog where we left off with  Dave and I at a most excellent Labyrinth party. It was a chance for merriment and fun times and also for Dave and I to 'carb load' on sports drink again.

Carb load we did.......a lot

Sports drink we did........a lot.

I woke up feeling unaturally OK at about 8.30 am on the sunday morning. No one else of the 20 or so guests were awake and I thought I'd do a run before breakfast and be back in time to have some eggs and shower and pack before leaving by midday (when we all had to be out of the farmhouse) I hadnt specifically agreed to do a run with Dave that morning so thought Id go on my own.

The view across the hills from Burcombe
The sun was shining in a clear blue sky and it was very cold and fresh. I set off on my own intending to do about 5 or 6 miles of a different route to the day before and be back by 10am.

I ran up through the South Poorton Nature Reserve through some beautiful scenery and realised with cold hands that I had made my first mistake of the day not bringing a camera. My smart phone does a sterling job with pics but I do like my 14MP compact for good shots.

I love the quaint names of Dorset villages

I used my ordnance survey app on my phone to plan a rough circular route that would take about an hour. As I got to North Poorton I  came across a disused church .

disused church at North Poorton

From there I headed north for a clearly marked trail on the map (which turned out to be a jubilee trail) . This was where the scenery became really spectacular.

Jubilee Trail near North Poorton

Petrol pump near the disused church at North Poorton

I ran up a very steep hill path which led me on to a wide ridge with views in all directions. The thing about the West Country is just how rolling and STEEP the hills are and yet whenever I take a photo it never looks as STEEP and epic as it does in real life.

The steep ridge on the Jubilee Trail near Burcombe

The path wasnt clearly marked here and I made my second mistake of the day. I ran along some of the strip lynchetts ( strips in the hills leftover from medieval ploughing techniques on steep hills)  and came to the peak of the ridge and down the hill looking to take a minor path off the Jubilee trail back towards Loscombe.

one of the 'footbridges' in Burcombe Wood.

I got lost. very lost.

Even for an experienced Greensand Way navigator I ballsed up on a really large scale. I ran through a gate at the bottom of the hill that clearly wasnt a path. I ran through various fields littered with shotgun cartridges used on previous tresspassers trying desperately to find a route through to the jubilee trail. Nothing worked. I couldnt get across the streams and high fences at any point.

My stress levels went up because -

  • I had no signal on my mobile to call for help or look properly on my ordnance survey map app on my phone

  • There were shotgun cartdridges everywhere so this area MUST be owned by a gun toting townie hating maniac

  • I had to be back within a certain amount of time so that I could pack and leave on time

  • worst of all.....I might miss breakfast !

After running round in most directions like a stupid pheasant I retraced part of my route and found the jubilee trail again. The 'minor' paths on the map were non existant, which meant I had to stay on the jubilee trail and use the roads to run back to the farmhouse in West Milton. Although I knew it would take quite a while to get back I was relieved that I wasnt lost anymore. Also now the sun was up fully it was much warmer and pleasant.

The joy of finding the Jubilee Trail again near Mapperton.

I popped out on the road near Mapperton having had no time to look at the amazing Mapperton House properly .

Mapperton House
Once on the roads the route was much more obvious and I started a fast hard run down towards Loscombe

Loscombe Sign
In the far distance to the south and Bridport i could just make out the sea as I ran along the narrow high sided lanes. In this part of the country I saw no cars at all, but did see 2 road legal quad bikes zipping past. ( I wonder what the hash call would be to warn of an approaching quad bike?)

looking from Loscombe towards Bridport with the sea in the distance

With a final burst of speed through Loscombe I made it back to the farmhouse about 5 minutes later to loud applause and relief from everyone eating breakfast. It was 2 hours and 15 minutes after I started and I had run just short of a half mistake. But what a great mistake it had been.

My favourite photo of the day near Loscombe
I visit Devon and Dorset each year usually to go diving so it was great to have had such a wonderful 2 days running instead. As we drove back to Surrey later that day I commented to Dr G that it was the first time Ive ever driven back not covered in sea salt on my face from diving.....but still with a huge smile on my face, This was one of the best Sunday Rundays Ive done in a long time.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! Makes me want to get out there and see some of the countryside now...also makes me think that maybe my short run to work and back isnt as impressive as i had thought. Good luck to yourself, Claire and the guys. Chris