Against all odds it wasn't raining at 7:00 this morning. However, Running Force were well under strength with Simon racing and David and Ken both no-shows.
Niall and I jogged over to 1,000 mile Ken's house in case he'd forgotten about the earlier start but there was no sign of life. I did consider setting his car alarm off, but given that he can now run quicker than me, I thought better of it.
The intention had been to head towards Brocket Hall and although we'd now gone half a mile in the wrong direction it was agreed to stick with the original plan. This meant traversing Topstreet Way and then heading out on Wheathampstead Road. Although initially wary of using footpaths due to the recent weather (did I mention we've had the odd spot of rain recently?) old habits die hard and we soon swapped the grey hard stuff for mud under foot.
Once in the grounds of Brocket Hall we were spoilt for choice with footpaths seemingly going off in all direction. We plotted an anti-clockwise loop that featured at one point a short, lung busting, crampon worthy, climb. However, it must be said the place is an absolute delight to run through. Kenny and David should be kicking themselves for missing such a treat.
Heading back along the Ayott Greenway we were basked in glorious sunshine - it must be a good while since I've been able to write that. I was irritatingly saying "Look there's Kenny!" every time we saw a runner in yellow when Niall promptly tripped on a rock. I had visions of having give him a piggyback home, however, much to my relief he was able to keep running although clearly in some discomfort. I did, however, surreptitiously check I had brought my emergency taxi money out with me just in case.
We got home over an hour fifty minutes after leaving having completed nearly fourteen miles at 8:15 pace. Never has a peanut butter bagel tasted better!