Running From Bradwell

 In Bradwell, Running

As winter ends, so the desire to run further builds. I always think of Wordsworth in March. His poem, The First Mild Day of March is one I memorised many years ago. I use it to lull me to sleep some nights. So, Monday the 4th of March saw me wake up full of the joys of spring. A blue sky and light winds and I suggested to Ann we run a new route. Wearing two layers and not three, off we jogged to Dale End. It was then up narrow footpaths, steeply. We passed the goat, then the massive sinkhole in a field. Up the schools outdoor classroom, birds tweeting, to the quarry. A section of road and then a green track. We met Peter coming the other way, one of few fell runners in this village. We crossed the unseen Roman Road, joyful in our running from Bradwell.


A squeeze stile into a field and then field after field, still climbing. More awkward stiles, none of the sheep, cows or bull usual in this area. I listened for curlews, anticipated that trilling sound, but none. The summit, a bump on a stony track, after perhaps 3 miles of climbing, about 800 feet. The descent to Castleton, avoiding slippery Cavedale. However, the wet grass and mud makes it difficult to stay vertical. Into stone bound Castleton, few people about. Back into the sun, warmer after the slightly chilly high ground. We run the lane eastwards, up and down, through woods, past our favourite lichen. This dresses a mass of limestone on the left of the road, a ancient plant, a symbiosis. The quarry, back across the Roman road, and the descent into Bradwell.

Running from Bradwell

We are back home, warm and pretty tired. The garden thermometer tells me it’s only 6C, colder than I expected. Neither of us expected to be able to run in our late 70’s. To be able to run 8 miles and climb over 1000 feet is exhilaration itself at our age. With a run like that in the bag, the day is made. We can fill up with tea, toast and porridge, and put some energy back. I can relax, running through my talk on funerals and the environment. Life is about the tension betwixt movement and demise. Consequently, the one holds back the other, pushing old father time back, just a little!

PS: Winter photo of Mam Tor over Castleton chimneys

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The Romans in Bradwell