02 October 2021

Run from the other side of town

It happens all the time that several members of staff are involved in marking one piece of work. Normally, all of that happens online. (I say normally; that is only true since a few years for coursework, and only true for exams since lockdown, but I suppose that feels normal by now.) But our fieldwork involved field notebooks, and these are actual pieces of paper. It had been unusual to mark them, but a nice change. And then I was done, and the next member of staff needed to do their part. Martin had decided he was next, so I could just deliver the books on bike. I was done at about 2:30; basically time to go for a run! And then I thought of something clever. I have recently been running the same route again and again; it is very beautiful, it isn't too long for a workday, and it starts at the front door. I had chosen this particular route as it is off-road for most of the way, and I expect autumn to stop me from running there. It will get too muddy and slippery! And I wanted to enjoy it while I could.

Martin lives so far east if you start running uphill from his house, you end up on the next leg of the Carneddau. I don't normally run there! There are pretty much two ways of getting there: one is over the road (how I cycle), and the other one is running sideways out of the village, and then just turning right until you get to that next foothill. I don't like the first option as I actively try to avoid the village when I run, and I don't like the second option as it involves public footpaths that are rarely used, and the least pleasant part of that is a river crossing that isn't practically there. So you end up fighting your way through hostile vegetation, and then crossing a river that is really difficult to cross without getting wet feet. And I do sometimes bike to a starting point of a run, but I generally prefer to just run from the front door and not having to think about a helmet, keys, clothes to wear biking back downhill, et cetera.

This time I was going to bike anyway. So I put on my running clothes, strapped the box with the notebooks to my pannier rack, and set off. All went well; the box was safely delivered into Martin's hands, and he had no problem at all with me leaning my bike against his house and then going for a run. So I was off!

The two obvious options from there were either to go up through the valley (that leads to Ffynnon Caseg) or over the ridge, towards y Drosgl. I chose the second option as I didn't think path through the valley was very good for running. And over the ridge is quite steep in places but that's okay. And it was quite windy! I didn't intend to go particularly far, but once I was on my way I was enjoying myself immensely and was tempted to go all the way to top of y Drosgl, but there is no clear path there, as the main route skirts around. I didn't feel like bushwhacking so when I encountered the main path I turned around. And with the several steep bits that took a while as well! All in all I was gone for about an hour. All my cobwebs had been blown away.

When I got back to my bike Martin offered me a cup of tea. That was gratefully accepted! Maybe I should do things like this more often. Yes there is the faff of first getting on your bike, but it sure is nice to run in a slightly different environment!

View through Cwm Caseg to yr Elen

It was windy up there!

Gyrn Wigau

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