The Summer Streetmate Challenge

10 September 2017

Dull, dismal September Sunday afternoons are made for snuggling up with a good book. This is especially true if you have spent Sunday morning out on a long run, maybe another practice circuit of the Winchester Half Marathon course. Even if you’ve had the first lie in you can remember for ages wind, thick grey cloud and a forecast of rain later doesn’t exactly entice you outside. This Sunday afternoon though, despite all of the above, Commando and I were huddled on the Woolston waterfront looking up at the Itchen Bridge and we weren’t alone. A group of intrepid Spitfire explorers were slowly gathering. Continue reading The Summer Streetmate Challenge

Winchester mills and flowers in the rain

3 September 2017

Sitting on a bench by the river in the rain is not the best of ideas. When I noticed mosquitoes buzzing round my legs I thought it was probably time to move, even though I hadn’t really thought of anywhere else to go. The nettle stings were enough to contend with without mosquito bites adding to the itching. Besides, sitting still was making me cold as well as damp so I began to march towards the entrance to the park. As I passed the last of the trees and came to the area of cut grass that had tempted me right at the start I found myself face to face with a deer.  Continue reading Winchester mills and flowers in the rain

Winnall Moors, giants, runners and walking in circles

3 September 2017

In the end I couldn’t resist going through the gate although I did stop to check the strange sculpture of the man from the other side just in case he held some kind of notice. He didn’t because he was actually the giant from the Winnall Moors Story Book not a guard at all but, of course, I didn’t know that at the time.  Continue reading Winnall Moors, giants, runners and walking in circles

Winnal Moors, otters, water voles and swan steps

3 September 2017

Back on the main trail again and trying hard not to scratch my itchy ankles and make them worse, I carried on. Google Maps told me the Winchester School of Art was somewhere behind the trees to my left but I couldn’t see it.  There was water too, part of a network of streams and canals running off the Itchen to drown the water meadows, but this too was invisible to me from the path. what I did see was another rustic bench, this one carved like the little totem poles I’d passed earlier. Continue reading Winnal Moors, otters, water voles and swan steps

Winnall Moors, a missing Pond and some nettles

3 September 2017

The Winchester Half Marathon route is particularly hilly. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem for Commando but these are not normal times by any stretch of the imagination. He wasn’t satisfied with his performance at the last pacer’s training run. Worried he was going to let down the people who’d be running with him hoping for a PB he decided to give it one more try on his own. This meant another chance for me to wander around Winchester on a Sunday morning.  Continue reading Winnall Moors, a missing Pond and some nettles

The rain continues at Itchen Valley

2 August 2017

After a day spent painting my living room ceiling while the rain teemed down outside I can’t say I was much looking forward to the RR10 at Itchen valley Country Park tonight. For one, I was tired. Painting ceilings is surprisingly hard work and this one looked as if it might still need another coat. On top of this I’d been struggling with a trapped nerve in my leg. Apparently this is due to my stupidly high arches, at least according to my GP it is. Who’d have thought having high arches could cause so much pain all of a sudden? There was a great temptation to stay at home, take some painkillers and go to bed, especially as it was still raining.  Continue reading The rain continues at Itchen Valley

You thought it was all over

A few days ago I shared the last of the posts published on my hacked blog. It was written when I had no idea what was about to happen. It wasn’t quite the last ever post though. There was one more post waiting in the wings to be published that never saw the light of day. It was filled with all the little triumphs and disasters that would seem so unimportant later, when it seemed all was lost. While it may not be the most exiting of posts, in the interests of being thorough, I’m sharing it now, almost three years late.  Continue reading You thought it was all over

Wet, muddy and probably hallucinating

23 July 2017

The rain just kept on falling. There were a few slight lulls when Commando prepared for his first night lap. Each time he pinned on his race number, checked out his head torch and pulled on his trainers it pelted down again though. Rob went out with Kim on her evening lap because he was so worried about the conditions and two torches are better than one. The gloom, the rain and most of all the mud meant it took a ridiculously long time. The woods were especially bad, tree roots hidden under water and slippery mud. After a conflab everyone agreed it was just too dangerous, not worth the risk of a broken ankle or worse.  Continue reading Wet, muddy and probably hallucinating

The legendary Solo Dave

22 July 2017

When I got back to the tent Mark was already back and Tamsyn had set off on the next team lap. So far neither Rob or Commando had run along the final part of the course in front of our tents so I settled down in my garden chair to watch and wait. Runners were coming past all the time. My eyes were firmly fixed on the race numbers as they approached, white numbers were team runners red were solo. We cheered everyone who passed but the red numbers got the loudest cheers. A pair of solo runners dressed as a bride and groom came past together. Maybe they’d just got married? If so it seemed an odd kind of honeymoon.  Continue reading The legendary Solo Dave

Rain and the Thunder Run

22 July 2017

The rain didn’t stop. In fact it got worse and worse as the evening wore on. There was a brief interlude of almost dryness, just long enough for Pete the Meat to cook burgers and sausages on a couple of reluctant portable barbecues under the awning of Rob and Kim’s tent then it got so bad everyone retired to their respective shelters. We slept on our new air bed inside our new sleeping bags with the sound of rain pounding on canvas as a lullaby. It was a sleep broken by worries about floods washing us away. The name Trent is Celtic for strongly flooding and the river is renowned for it.  Continue reading Rain and the Thunder Run