Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thursday February 13th

A morning helping children with reading in the Primary school, my weekly task [I am a volunteer], its great to see them making progress. Drive over the Blackdowns first thing was through a snow storm – but it didn’t last, much to the disappointment of the children!
A foot of snow!!!
A quick lunch, then trainers on and headed to Staple Hill car park, just in time for a hail shower, but like the snow it didn’t last. BUT! There was a foot of snow! Well that’s a foot in length rather than a foot deep, small patches around he car park [see photos].
Set off at a slow jog to warm up the shins, today’s run was minus the neoprene sleeve but plus some compression socks, that seemed to do the trick and I felt comfortable the whole run, great to be injury free!
The run started round the main dog walk route, the beginning of the Herepath Trail and through the trees [hail shower at this point],  good views over Taunton Vale and the floods on the levels, patches of snow in places, before heading off down hill towards Mount Fancy Farm and then onto Britty Common, not too wet, trying to step between stones to avoid really wet feet. Crossing the fields was slippery in the mud, but the Salamon Speed Cross 3’s were really good and grippy. Down the forest track to the ‘River B3170’ I drove up yesterday, only this time no river. A pull up and round Neroche Castle continuing to follow the Herepath Trail until a sharp right uphill, I have decided to call the ‘stairway to heaven’ because of its steepness, narrowness and position in the run [I am always tired and achy legs by this point]. Into Neroche Castle car park, to check on ‘crims’ breaking into cars [my friend PC Ruthi would be proud of me], had a word with a person in a van about leaving van unattended after my break in. Leaving the car park the sky turned very dark over the Vale, luckily the squall was moving up the valley rather than over the top of the Blackdowns. A return route the way I came, but decided to finish with an extra muddy run through the woods giving me a total of 6.94 miles [why didn’t I run round the cp to clock up 7 miles!]. A really enjoyable run, no pains, felt ok, glad to see I can run 7miles – so I am on the way to building up the miles. What is amazing is how it was much easier running on soft ground rather than tarmac, much more interesting, much less pressure on the legs, I am not a road runner.  I managed to take a few photos of the route [photos below]. so a good steady run. Perhaps I will be able to manage Tim’s Stroud to Gloucester 18 mile run soon.  

Link to Herepath Trail information

My Jimny at Staple Hill car park and a 'foot of snow' in the background
Start of run
3 spots of hail as I enter the woods
Nice single track
Into the dark woods
A squall over Taunton Vale and a 'sprinkle' of snow in the foreground
Down the hill
Down to Mount Fancy farm
Through the gate towards Britty Common
Across the fields
A muddy bit! through a previously fallen tree
Down to the road crossing to Neroche
                        A selfie!!!!
Entering the Neroche tracks
Start of the stairway to heaven and Neroche castle summit
Steepening stairway with roots to help the grip
Entering the final gully of the stairway

Near top of Neroche castle

The top!
Start of the way back from the top of Neroche
Heading down a muddy bit, quite steep here
Track back to the junction before turning left back to Staple Hill

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