Top Threes – Best Runs

Currently I write more than I run, strava knows my shame, so I decided to review my top three of all things running.

So to kick off – my top three favourite runs,  life to date:

Innnnnn One) Grane Reservoir trail to Helmshore (Musberry Fabrics)

  

Is this Rossendale’s best kept running secret? Maybe it found me on the best of days but I had an absolute blast. Gentle warm up as you jog up and round Ogden Reservoir anti-clockwise from the car park. Dropping down after the ruins, head immediately off road once you go through the gate. Hold a line left, take every opportunity to climb and after stomping through the heather, you quickly break the tree line. 

Now your on top! So enjoy the rough narrow trail that runs parallel to the hillside, the excellent view and the ruins of some long lost but well preserved village before falling down into Helmshore. 

Nice stand alone loop or could be combined with Tor, Peel Tower, Buckden Wood or a pint at The Robin Hood.

A Rossendalian’s Rossendale Favourite.

2) Kurrawa to Duranbah

  
This 50km beasty takes you from the GC to just inside the NSW boarder. They say it’s scenic and you do rarely lose sight of the beach/ocean but I like to see those things with my thongs on and a beer in my hand. Through the veils of sweat and fatigue, the three or feet in front of you is suburban concrete most of the way. What I did love however was:

  • Sahara and the team know how to run an event – aid stations, conveniences, stewards and ice baths!
  • It was cool and overcast
  • First 25km were tough as were the last five but I bossed the 25 – 45km and beat the speed walker who was threatening to show me up for the first half. I had hoped he was only doing 25km but he spun at the turn around looking fresh as a daisy so I dropped it into 2nd gear burnt off up the hill and said a silent but heartfelt prayer to the running Gods that I would never see him again. Breaking with convention they answered!

 3) Headtorch Run Down Whinberry Naze
You could pretty much pick any of the midweek winter fell runs with the Rossy Harriers. I particularly like the steep descents on this one, be brave, and what you lose in views by night you make up for in the experience. 

  
 
Looking forward to many more that may knock these off the podium.

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Training equations

When I run off road I get all that zen, the stuff folks all talk about, until I get hungry. Sure if you hit a few false summits it can be in the trenches, muck and bullets stuff where you just have to dig in, but there is always a certain freedom to it.

On the roads I am much more calculated, sure I drift into day dreams about spending my future lotto millions and smooth away work/life irritations. For my sins however I do become somewhat of a human calculator, looking at my time and distance, projecting finishing times and lamenting days when I could run faster splits (marginally).

One equation I didn’t bank on this weekend was – baby not sleeping X  cranky wife = daddy day care. However the 16km worth of carbs I took in on Friday night would be put to good use. 

So in place of the early morning run, we watched Giggle & Hoot (Jimmy Giggle is far too positive a person to see first thing in the morning and has made my hate list), Dorothy the Dinosaur (who in fairness I have a bit of time for) plus those fun loving cats The Teletubbies. 
  We did get a chance to travel out for a bit reccy of Eungella, after a long winding road the Top Gear fellas would have loved, we were greated by an old friend – cool air. It wrapped itself around us and I fell instantly and completely in love with the place. Looking forward to this one!
  
By Sunday 5pm I was like a caged animal and was released upon that hot, flat track that is Mackay’s Bluewater Trail. It was pedestrian, but I got round.

  

Kids RUN your life

And they do and it’s amazing, it really is. I can unashamedly tell you that my son is the greatest out there.

BUT (it’s a big one) he just doesn’t seem to care about my passion for running. I’ve tried talking about it but he just ignores me or mumbles something incoherent in response.

He’s only 6 months old though so I suppose he might grow into it.

4 hour training runs, well they are out – replaced by ill fated attempts to read books together. Seriously ‘1000 books before kindergarten’ suggested by some sadistic spinster.

Nightly tempo run anyone? well I’m now as likely to back winners at the Unicorn Derby.

YET I must make this work! So like many a brave/foolhardy runner before me I have taken that bold step of entering an event, only to realise it is very soon and then started desperately training.

For me this next adventure will be the Eungella Trail Run. Tres excited for this, as I have just moved to Mackay in Tropical North QLD, and this appears to be one of few organised trail runs in the region.

A 21k lovely, it’s a champion distance. Long enough to at some point during the event make me question whether I have prepared enough and to regret every recent beer; but short enough not to swallow an entire day in run/recovery. However, Houston we do have a problem, or two:

  • my aforementioned selfish son doesn’t support a pre determined training schedule, evidenced by the replacement activities of weeks past.

  • Mackay is hotter than the sun. Quite the shift from frosty fell runs in the UK!


More on beating the heat next time.