Friday, 18 December 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

The opportunities for running in snow are few and far between so I was hardly likely to let this one pass.

It must have dumped a good six inches overnight, however, thanks to a howling wind the snowdrifts were far deeper. I didn't make any attempt at getting to work and so was looking forward to getting in some local white-carpet off-road miles. Kenny was also up for an outing, but had to drop a hire car off in St. Albans so a point-to-point run it was.

After a couple of false starts we finally headed south in what seemed like little more than an over sized matchbox car. Still, given the running clothes we were wearing, embarrassment was hardly an issue.

Fuelled up with a complimentary Quality Street we finally left the warmth of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car office and set-off for Sandridge. From there it was a left turn onto the path up to Heartwood Forest and our first taste of real snow. At first it was no more than a sprinkling, but we soon came to snow drifts with a single file path cut through by earlier walkers. It seemed like quite an effort at the time but turned out to be but a warm-up for what lay ahead.

Up past Langley Wood the path levelled off and the terrain became easier as we crossed the wind-swept open ground covered with just a few inches of snow. But once past Wells Wood the fun really began. The snow that had blown across the fields to the right had deposited itself on our footpath - and no one had been through to clear a path. I know I'm not particularly tall but the soft powder snow must have been about two foot deep as it went well past my knee and half-way up my thigh.

Kenny, with his extra-long legs, took to the front and not wanting to be left behind (left my avalanche transmitter at home) followed employing a Niall-style skipping action. It was without doubt huge fun - a real "I can't believe Niall is missing this" moment. I can't remember the last time I smiled so much while running.

Once at Ayres End Lane I suggested heading for the Three Horseshoes and Mud Lane, which delivered more deep snow delight.

Down at the junction of Pipers Lane we turned right with the intention of turning left onto the footpath halfway up the hill. However, I had the brain wave of carrying on to the top and taking the footpath down to Leasey Bridge and then the Lea Valley Walk home. Kenny agreed.

Tiredness finally set in around half a mile from home. We hadn't run all that far but it had been hard work. Enormous fun but hard work. I wouldn't have missed it for the world...

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