Saturday, 23 June 2012

Running between borders

In between feeling sick, I sometimes have these great moments. So even though Friday I had fever ache I decided to try and do my scheduled 14 mile run the next day. The starting point was a place called Greenfield, which sounds really nice but actually appears to be a giant Tesco. But the spot was chosen as it allowed Jon to get up to his Dovestone Devil on Horseback Diamond Calf Killing trail while he sent me on the long and industrial but flat road to Manchester.

Jon was doing a 20 mile run ahead of Coniston trail marathon so he was off like the hare while I plodded gently behind, forgetting his first direction to Manchester Rd the moment he was out of sight. Also telling a Londoner things like, turn at the big roundabout, is only useful if you both have the same definition of big. Anyway in what will soon be a tradition, I ignored what he said and ducked into a Bridleway. I'm not sure if people who aren't brides are allowed to be a Bridleway but everyone was very friendly - all that top of the morning business. I scampered around the Bridleways for a bit and then found they spat me back out at the Tesco, so I followed the river Tame along a route I had run with Jon last time I was coming down from a fever. The canal path was pretty muddy but I run through puddles and there's nothing like the cling of a cold damp merino sock to make you feel like a runner.

The canal path peters out fairly quickly so I ran back along it and kept going and found the Oldham Way, a great little path in the mud, past some old industrial looking chimney stacks (really exciting for a foreigner like me) and stone buildings marked "cooperative". Some locals started talking to me and I could sort of understand what they were saying but not:
Me: [admiring ducklings]
Man with beard: They be garrrrn darrrn
Woman: Itsurn
Me: I'm not from these parts.

I also came across a long tunnel - which turned out to be Scout Tunnel - as discovered by Jon Crooks, not me, sadly - thought unlike him I didn't run through it. Cmon being alone in Yorkshire Lancashire Oldham Metrropolitan borders is scary enough for a city girl. You can't trust a place that can't work out what shire it's in...

Running back to the start I passed Jon - who was on his 17th mile (I was on about my 17th km) and we high fived. I thought he looked annoyingly strong - but it turns out that he made good of that chance encounter. I went to complete my 23km goal by going back to the Bridalway trails. My ITB had been hurting from 10km so I was often taking a moment to stretch out the surrounding muscles which helped a lot (and let me take photos). But at 21km the ligament alongside my knee relaxed too much and my patella shifted (I laterally displaced my patella a lot as a kid so I know about this!) and the pain was pretty mega. A man had to cover the ears of his small child as they walked past. I pretty much ran on one leg to the end with enough time to stretch, eat and be talked at by more locals before the boy emerged, triumphantly having done 22+ miles (such a boy thing) and needing four cheeseburgers.

A good morning all round.

More pics

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