Running To Castleton
Running to Castleton is a joy, call it tough love if you prefer. The rain has lashed down and it’s been really cold these past few weeks. Ann and I had to review our usual run, which was over fields. Streams appeared where streams had never been. Mud started as clay paste and progressively turned to clinging syrup. Filthy socks and trainers became a routine. Then, it froze and the mud turned to ruts. Our feet began to hurt. We just had to find a better route. So, we fell back on hard tracks and minor roads, and slowly but surely, fell in love with the new route. How is it possible to love abstract roads and views? Don’t answer that. Perhaps its just the sheer convenience of harder surfaces.
Ode to joy
We now leave the village, uphill, past the orchard and turn right on Mich Low. A hard path meanders behind the Breedon Quarry. Then, we join a back road to Castleton. That is a steep climb, which I sprint in two sections. Out to the right, gorgeous views of Lose Hill. A massive lichen is seen, growing over a wet, limestone boulder. I photographed and reported that to the lichen recorder in Sheffield. Now downhill, through beech forest springing from a carpet of tawny leaves. The buzzard is here, disturbed by us tripping through its domain. Out into open country, the run into Castleton. Down through the village, an amazing view of Mam Tor, shivering from cold rather than eroding, downhill shifting shale. Past the Devil’s arse and climb to a gate. Views of dramatic Winnats Pass.
Running to Castleton
The same return is followed. I struggle to sprint up the hills as they come into view. That is eight sprints in all. We add a loop to cross to Smalldale and join the Roman Road and then a loop around Beggers Plot. It will be six miles and 580′ of climbing. This is freedom, me hitching a free ride on my body. It, meanwhile, doing what it can to keep going, to avoid the end of the road.