Day 345 Mile 345: #InternationalMountainDay and a Published Article :)

IMG_20171211_134131_148.jpgDay 345 Mile 345: #InternationalMountainDay and a Published Article 🙂 It’s International Mountain Day today, so that seemed a bit like too good a running opportunity to miss, in-spite of it being very cold and my being in work all day. However while checking emails before going out over lunch I also discovered a wonderful surprise.

I am running a mile everyday this year for the Cleft Lip and Palate Association. This is not something that they have organised, rather it is something I have taken upon myself to do, so it was an amazing revelation to find that there is a two page article in their annual magazine (pages 8 & 9) about what I am doing. It’s out in print but if you cant find one you can read it online here. Thank you so much guys!

Today’s run takes me along the Ffrancon Valley below the snow covered slopes of Carnedd Y Filiast and Foel Goch, the most northerly peaks of the Glyder mountain range of Snowdonia. It is a real privilege to live and work on the edge of the national park but it is easy to forget how delicate these titanic spaces are.

International Mountain Day has its roots in 1992, when the UN adopted of Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 highlighting the facts that ‘mountains provide freshwater, energy and food – resources that will be increasingly scarce in coming decades. However, mountains also have a high incidence of poverty and are extremely vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, land degradation and natural disasters… 1 out of 3 mountain people in developing countries is vulnerable to food insecurity and faces poverty and isolation’.

20171211_130021-01.jpegThese are delicate and important places that provide nourishment for both body and soul. Aside from the obvious benefits of water and land and climate that the hills bring history is peppered with people finding a deeper and more spiritual side to this landscape. Whether it is from approach Taoism, or extreme sports, or anywhere in between; the mountains continue to exert a significant pull in the imaginations of many people. For me they have always been places of great stillness, even when at their most violent and chaotic; where you are temporarily removed from many of the external factors of society. The mind ranges out in the wider space and folds back in upon itself, the outward freedom and expanse in which to experience and be, in turn affords a greater capacity and space to consider one’s own thoughts.

Today the valley and mountains are spectacular. There is snow everywhere, but at lower levels it is thin enough to still make out details; and grass stems, moss, trees and gates punctuate the landscape. Where the cloud parts the sky is a bright blue, and the sun cauterizes through the haze. It is a magical environment, like something you would picture in your head reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I bet Aslan never had to dodge into the snow out of the way of the Parcel Force van!

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1634.9 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

In keeping with the general Narnia theme, I got earwormed by the opening music from the old BBC production….

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Day 344 Mile 344: Three Weeks To Go – Sand, Sea and… Snow!

20171210_084449-01.jpegDay 344 Mile 344: Three Weeks To Go – Sand, Sea and… Snow! Wow, the weather forecast for today predicted snow, but I don’t think that anyone quite believed it. I mean, the BBC gave it a full house of snow on their weather app but we live right by the sea… in Wales! OK I was wrong, I woke up, took one look out of the window and grabbed my stuff to go out for a run.

Screenshot_2017-12-10-08-23-44.pngIt’s a slippy-slidy chaotic sort of affair, with several inches of snow in place and the village has turned white. What really drove my curiosity and was if there was any snow actually on the beach, so I slithered my way down the road, cycle track and the (well named) slipway to find out.

THERE IS SNOW ON THE SAND!!!!

The sea at this point is powered by the gulf-stream so is warmer than you could reasonably expect it to be this far north, and brings with it gusts of warm salt air. That, combined with the fact that the sand will have recently been covered in salt water and the fact that there is only a slim chance of my waking up around low tide, means that it is nothing short of a miracle to find snow there.

It almost feels alien, like something you would expect to see on Mars, not in North Wales!

20171210_083032.jpgThe rest of the run was a picturesque jaunt around the village with feet “crump”-ing and “squelch”-ing in equal measure. The intrepid handful of people that were out all waved a cheery hello and carried on about their chilly businesses.
What a wonderful micro adventure 🙂

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1928.2 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

The earworm for today is strangely not a piece of music but the feel of the village in the snow brought this to mind, something I have not listened to for many years.

Day 343 Mile 343: Parky Parkrun

Day 343 Mile 343: Parky Parkrun. Last night it snowed, it hasn’t stuck at lower levels but on the hills there is a deep covering, roads have turned to ice while I, at the age of 37, actually dreamed about snowball fights.

As a result of the drop in temperature several outdoor events have been cancelled, the result of which was that an eclectic mix of people turned out for the 5km parkrun which goes along the Conwy estuary. None the less numbers did seem to be down somewhat compared to normal as it seems that only the dedicated or slightly mad would consider being outside at 9am in anything less than a jumper and long trousers on a morning like this!

As I drove up it was hailing, but by the start time the weather had cleared and a quarter of an hour in the sky had cleared and the snow covered mountains stood out against the stone of the castle and the blue of the sky… this didn’t make running through the puddles feel appreciably warmer though… brrrrrr!

ewconwy
Photo courtesy of SJ Photography and Conwy Parkrun

I’m feeling tired today, whether it is the slight cold I seem to have, or the fine food and wine consumed this week as part of my better half’s birthday, the stresses of life taking their toll or just being lazy but it felt like hard work. That doesn’t detract from it being an amazing place on what turned out be a beautiful (if chilly) day. Thanks especially to Pete who was not running today, but turned up to shout supporting heckles from the warmth and safety of his bright orange waterproof, cheers 🙂

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 4975.7 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 342 Mile 342: Snowing in the Mountains

20171208_130027-01.jpegDay 342 Mile 342: Snowing in the Mountains. Today the country is experiencing Storm Caroline and many thousands of children have woken up disappointed at the lack of snow at low levels and the still functioning nature of the education system. However if you are an adult and blessed with transport or have the misfortune to live in one of the harder hit areas of the country there is certainly more than enough of the white stuff to be found. So, seeking adventure I took a drive in my lunch break up into the mountains for today’s run.

The Ogwen Valley is a spectacular place, it was carved out over millennia by glacial ice forms the meeting point of the Glyder and Carneddau mountain ranges.  At its base lies a shallow ribbon lake, etched by the action of the ice on a softer vein of rock and it is said that after the Battle of Camlann, King Arthur’s final battle, Sir Bedivere cast the sword Excalibur into Llyn Ogwen, where it was caught by the Lady of the Lake. Tryfan the mountain at the end of the lake is reputed to be Sir Bedivere’s final resting-place.

It’s a wonderful crazy run. The thermometer in my car indicated an intimidating -4°C and with forecast winds of around 30 mph I would rather not think too much about what the windchill was. There is a certain dreamlike quality to running in the snow. Nothing feels quite the same. The light is different and distances appear to expand and compress as flakes make the air more or less opaque. Sounds are muffled making distant events more remote and almost by contrast alone making the noises of one’s own motion feel that much louder. Feet fall with less of an impact but push off with a slither creating the sensation of being at once light of foot while also sapping the strength. After a short while the body feels warm and toasty but lips and fingers start to tingle or just downright hurt, but the views when the air clears are sensational.

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It is a wonderful, contradictory and contrary experience. There are easier, safer and faster runs to be found, but they just don’t really match up to the fun and adventure of this option. That said I am please to have got back to the car just before another blizzard came sideways up the valley pelting the car with snow and ice and even causing the bin lorry to pull over for a few minutes until the worst of the flurry passed. Good job I had already finished changing out of my snowy clothes before they pulled up in front!

What a privilege to live in a part of the world where this can be crammed into a lunch hour 🙂

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1829.5 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

A proper snowy weather earworm for today.

Day 341 Mile 341: Squeezing In A Late Mile Before Chicken Pie

20171207_194620-02.jpegDay 341 Mile 341: Squeezing In A Late Mile Before Chicken Pie. The title of tonight’s run says most of it really and my nocturnal outing was squeezed in after a busy day between the hail storms before sitting down to tea. On my way back I even bumped into a friend by the front door who took one look at me in trainers, blue combats and a hoodie and declared it ‘took cold to be out in pyjamas’! I fully expect to be asleep ten minutes after I finish eating… Night night all 🙂

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1878.9 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

A wonderful earworm for this evening…

Day 340 Mile 340: Liverpool Cityscape Run

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Day 340 Mile 340: Liverpool Cityscape Run. Today finds me still in Liverpool; home of a large part of British maritime heritage, a number of well known bands and at least two football teams! My run takes me around the Albert Dock to the iconic Liver Building. It is an amazing mix of functional industrial architecture with the red dock warehouses, stately Victorian opulence in the form of the Cunard and Liver buildings and bold modernism in the form of the Liverpool Museum. All of this is set against the backdrop of the churning river Mersey and a solitary busker performing his guitar and vocals from the stage of the swing bridge.

There is an added frisson to the city today as Liverpool FC are playing Spartak Moscow at home in the Champions League this evening. I am not really much of a football fan but there is certainly a vibe and Buzz in dodging through the kitted crowds and the audible mix of spoken Russian and Scouse.

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1639.4 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 339 Mile 339: Happy Birthday Emma & Liverpool Lights

Day 339 Mile 339: Happy Birthday Emma & Liverpool Lights. Today’s run, and blog has had to be brief as it is Emma (my better half)’s birthday. Therefore this evening’s outing is literally half a mile down the road one way through the Liverpool Christmas lights and half a mile back. She deserves a medal for putting up with me so I am not going to take any more time out of festivities.
Happy Birthday 🙂

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1728.8 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

View more on Strava

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed