Friday, 23 December 2011

Glossopdale Solstice run

I realise that I am writing about one run after another here, and I really don't intent to write about every single run I do, however, recently we have had some interesting stuff going on, snowy runs, wet runs, and last night, the solstice run. Marking an end to the ever-shortening nights, and welcoming the (somewhat slow) return to longer daylight hours.
along Kinder edge with Manchester in the Background
My introduction to the solstice run was in the summer when we happened to be out on the Summer solstice, and halfway round, John got out some home-made rocket fuel and some shot glasses, and we toasted the longest day. This year, the Winter solstice also conveniently fell on a club run night as well, and a group of 9 of us gathered at Bowden Bridge carpark in order to head up to Kinder Downfall to toast the coming lightening of days.

At Bowden bridge there was another gaggle of runners- our Pennine Breathren were out in force, just off on their club run for the week. I never realised they had so many members... a fair few more of them on a fairly average club night than we had for the end of year social. Still- its great to be in a small and cosy club like Glossopdale. Lynne was also out this evening, but was off on her own for a slightly more sedate night run around the lower reaches of Kinder.
Pennine headed off up toward Sandy Heys, and there was a brief moment where we had to make sure we didn't lose any of our runners (or the dog) off with a different club (yes, it has happened before), and set off up to Kinder Low end. Halfway up I did a quick audit and we were one member down.
Hang on guys... where's Chris?! A short stop enabled him to catch up with ease- nothing about losing way, just faffage at the carpark, pure and simple.
After a ridiculously fast start we trundled up and over toward Low End, but with a bit of a breeze coming in, opted to run along the side, and then upward from there. We spread out quite considerably, from Julien out in front to John, who had already been in the pub earlier on in the day, and was carrying 500ml of sherry and a tub of mince pies...
I took the opportunity to take a few pictures (having been inspired by my attempts on the previous snowy run), but only took a point and shoot- SLRs being a bit too big and fragile to be taking night running- and besides, its not actually my camera to break...

mmmm. Mince pies. In bits.
After scrambling up and over through Red Brook, we regathered and forged along the top path, and across to the Downfall. The wind, by this point had changed direction, and we had a bit of an issue finding a sheltered area, and, in hindsight, probably chose the worst possible place to gather for the feast.
bilberry vodka
The mince pies came out, as did the sherry, and once that was all gone, (John insisted that he wasn't going to carry it down with him), Julien produced a bottle of home-made bilbery vodka- which smelled of aniseed and had quite a kick.
After a we had toasted various versions of days getting longer etc, we packed the bits and pieces away and headed off along the path and split at the top of Sandy Heys, one group coming straight down, and the others continuing along for a while before dropping down a rather delightful grassy descent.

I took the shorter route- partially because I was a little concerned for my Phantom Toe Injury, and partially because I was taking my new Inov8 Mudclaw 333's out for their first taste of mud. On the way down conversation inevitably turned to the subject of the coming decisions to be made about the club championships for 2012. There are a lot of opinions, and no matter what the final decision, some people will be happy, some will be annoyed, but you can't please everyone.
However it turns out, I suspect we will all be out for the races, enjoying the cameraderie and banter of being in a club, and although it does matter who wins, part of the pleasure of racing against your friends in the club is that you are having a good time while doing it. (or maybe not WHILE you're racing, its more likely to be afterward, but thats another thing...)

Post run we dropped into the Star in Glossop, where they had the locally brewed Dark Peak ale (thanks to Howard Town brewery). Excellent stuff, though quite strong at about 6.4%. Last to leave the pub and a bit of a stagger home. What a delightful evening.
My toe appears to be better, to a point, well, there were other bits of my foot that hurt more than my phantom toe due to hot spots from the shoes... but thats for another blog.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Tim.

    All the best for Xmas and new year