Friday, 21 January 2011

Solo Over Bowland - Winter Running

Even at weekends the Bowland fells are quiet, midweek you can go for miles without seeing anyone. Today was such a day. It was over 25kms before I saw another person. Another perfect day for running with a hard frost overnight and incredibly clear skies. Snowdonia just peeping up above the sea of cloud to the SW and the Pennines beyond Manchester to the South meant visibility was well over 60 miles.

Looking South from the tracks above Tarnbrook

Only the occaisional startled Grouse disturbed the solitude and the hard frost meant the ground was not its normal boggy consistancy when eventually heading off the tracks and onto the rough fell.

Ingleborough with the steep track encountered at the 25km point in the foreground
 Solo running can be tough, but at least you choose the pace to run at. Unlike the Bob Graham  route the relatively gentle terrain in Bowland means 95% plus of the running routes are runable, so you are running for much longer than you would be on legs of the BG. With legs feeling tired still from Mondays long cycle/run/cycle  I was careful to keep a very steady pace which settled to 7 minutes per kilometer. Returning Westward Morecambe Bay was gradually filling with cloud and Lancaster was to be engulfed by the freezing fog in the late afternoon.  

1km to go - view towards Lancaster

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