Climb Every Mountain
I don’t own a car so all my runs need to be nearby or I need to be able to run to them. Two years ago a run like this would not have been possible as I would not have been able to get to the trailhead. I wanted to run something different for this weeks longest run. A quick look at the map and I saw the trail that leads to the site of the Radio and TV transmitter. Around an 800ft fireroad climb. I’ve never been that way up before. I had a quick look on Geograph, which for those not in the know is a user generated site that contains pictures at map grid references in the U.K and Ireland. It’s useful to look at areas you don’t know. This planned run was going to have 8 or 9 miles of road and just 6 or so of this trail but looking at the images I was not going to get away with running the trail in Road shoes. So after some thinking decided that my INOV-8 Race Ultra’ s (which I discussed HERE) would be my best bet.
It was a shame that my Traildog isn’t back up to these sort of distances because seeing those sad brown eyes as I go out of the door is heartbreaking. Anyway soon and she’ll be back to her Ultra distance best. So I hit the road out of town, our roads are mainly winding country lanes with no footpaths so you need to be a little careful when running to make sure you can see any oncoming cars/tractors. As it was Sunday the amount of Traffic was pretty light. Even running the roads around here the view can be spectacular I could see the mast and my goal in the distance. I actually ran off too fast around 45s to a minute faster than I should have been running. I paid for this in the last few miles.
Click on the images to see them larger
So I ran the 4.5 miles to the base of the hill. A short climb on a narrow road takes you through the local riding stables and you hit a track that is wide enough for a maintenance vehicle but underfoot it had numerous apple sized pointed rocks making my choice not to risk road shoes correct. The hill is a grind beautiful views but it goes up and gives you false summits before the final part of the climb that hits 10% gradient. At the summit you see the Ariel, Dish’s and the large transmitters. A break and a clif bar to reward my effort. The descent with the large sharp surface is not as fast as you would hope. Past the wind turbines and through the stables and back to the road. It’s time for the final 4.5/5 miles home and the point where you realise that your initial pace was a little of the fast side ….