Day 288 Mile 288

20171015_125024.jpgDay 288 Mile 288. Dedicated to the memory of my Dad who passed away this morning. A kind and clever man whom I am grateful to have shared my life with. If there is a hurricane tomorrow I’m blaming it on you!
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: 1685.3 meters recorded

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

Ed

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Day 287 Mile 287: There are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning!

Penrhyn Castle ParkrunDay 287 Mile 287: There are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning! Today I went and ran the 5k Penrhyn Castle Parkrun, and amazingly chalked up my second best time there! Before anyone asks, yes I have been more than twice! It’s a really lovely event which has grown in popularity with a scenic course past a castle and though the grounds with mountain fit runners, kids with parents and overexcited dogs thrown in. What is not to love?

Having got there a bit early the sky seemed a bit drizzly and quite frankly as if the day had not started yet but the rain held off and as I sit typing this with my cup of tea, and breakfast in the oven the sun is finally coming out.

It’s odd how you seem to get days that when you relax things seem to go easier. As everyone lined up for the start I was considering pottering my way around, so much so that I didn’t even hear the actual start and simply started running because everyone else did.

The first section is a fast downhill, so I decided to run that quickly (by my standards!) and then see how everything felt knowing that I could then justify chilling on the uphill trail through the woods. As I found myself overtaking people up-hill I realized that I might be feeling better than I expected and by the time I lapped my friend Chris with his son Tom on his shoulders (about the only time I can catch him) I decided that perhaps being a bit mellow and also going for it has its advantages!

By the time I crossed the line I was so tired but equally happy and away with the fairies it took an extra few minutes to even remember to stop my watch.

I now sit, a happy muddy mess,drinking tea while waiting for my breakfast to cook in order to eat it in the bath.

I say again, there are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning!

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: 5206.3 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 286 Mile 286: Unsurprisingly Wet

Dinorwic MarinaDay 286 Mile 286: Unsurprisingly Wet. If you travel between two place for long enough eventually those pathways seem to become ossified; it is easy to engage with life at points A and B and simply ignore the space in between as a conduit in space and time linking those two nodes.

However between work and meetings today I managed to sneak the time and turn off the by-pass and explore somewhere I have never been. The town of Y Felinheli has its origins in two hamlets, Tafarngrisiau near St Mary’s Church and Aberpwll to the north-east end of the settlement, where there was a mill on the Afon Heilyn. The mill was rebuilt closer to the sea in 1633 and its name, Aber y felin gave the area its name. The area was largely agricultural until the area was transformed by slate quarrying in the 19th century. A new dock was built in 1828 when lime was extracted at Brynadda and slate and lime were loaded and anthracite slack was brought in to fire the lime kilns.

These days the harbor  is a centre for pleasure boating and sailing and retains many of the traditional businesses, including rigging and sail making.

It’s a beautiful place and I’m sure that on a sunny day it would be a wonderful place to linger by the water. Having parked up by the marina, lowering the tone between the Porsches and Aston Martins I started today’s run from the very end of the sea wall.

There is a wonderful aesthetic to running along such an exposed promontory and it feels great, charging into the wind overlooking the harbour on one side and the open sea on the other. Then the skys opened. It went through my mind that one could not really expect a marina not to be wet, but this was scant consolation at the time.

Turning up into the town past the newspaper shop, pub and bookies the facades take on an almost iridescent glow are the plummeting stair rods of cascading precipitation leech the colour out of the rest of the world. Clothes and shoes are instantly soaked and sticking, and cars tyres go through the water with a hiss like a doppler affected fry up.

Turning back down to the far end of the quay the route trends downhill although the rain shows no sign of abating, in under nine minutes I have been soaked to the core. I wonder what it will be like tomorrow?!

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: 1626.3 meters recorded

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

Ed

Day 285 Mile 285: Keeping It On the Straits & Narrows

menai straits dawn heronDay 285 Mile 285: Keeping It On the Straits & Narrows. After the epic weather of the last few days the morning has come with a promise of a window of calm. I have woken up with no idea as to where to go for today’s run, after 285 days of mostly trying to do different things I can’t seem to find any inspiration; so I drove to work early with a view to seeing what I found on the way.

It is amazing what you can overlook. The Menai Straits run between the edge of mainland Wales/ Cymru and the Isle of Anglesey/Ynys Môn. They are roughly 16 miles long and at their widest point about 4 miles, narrowing to about 1/2 at the tightest point and described by Admiral Nelson as “one of the most treacherous stretches of sea in the world”. Today she is in a calm mood, and it is a wonderful opportunity to take the road that winds along the edge of the land at one of the narrowest points.

The sea is like plate glass with the turning of the tide, and the sharp eyed reader may be able to sea a heron fishing at the edge of the water in today’s photo. The air has a wonderful quality to it the morning, with the temperate lightness that comes from the sea breeze blending with the ice-like undertones with the atmosphere of the mountains; but without the stagnant clamminess that either is capable of.  Up above, the half-hunter clock face of the moon gazes down like the cream skimmed underside of a folded milk bottle top from a cobalt blue full-fat sky.

As the route runs along the road the trees crowd in, with ivy encrusted dry-stone walls to one side and on the other a short series of cliffs rising away into woodland. This makes for a wonderful combination of birdsong as the night rolls away its blanket and the slack tide prepares to elope with the moon. In the trees the calls of Blackbird, Sparrow and Song thrush ring out while away down at the water’s edge are the songs of the Oystercatcher and the retro-sci-fi sounding Curlew.

How could I have overlooked this little corner of the world for so long?

Probably because it is 1/2 mile uphill and then turn around, I guess 🙂

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: 1696.3 meters recorded

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

Ed

Day 284 Mile 284: Chasing Leaves

autumn leaf runningDay 284 Mile 284: Chasing Leaves. Today the wind is reportedly gale-force. I’m not completely convinced about that yet, but I know that the wind coming from behind me is propelling the leaves along faster than I can run.

This makes for wonderful childish sport along the deserted road, pursuing the desiccated foliage and jumping in the mounds where the eddies of the wind has accrued it into piles.

However, it is harder work coming back. Flower-pots, road-work signs and bollards, along with recycling bins have been strewn by the wind’s nocturnal activities, making for something of an obstacle course.

Even the jackdaws in the yew tree past the chippy seem to be shouting obscenities into the wind; their corvid calls enunciated with a scathing staccato into the scarifying air.

I have to admit though it’s good fun in an oddly chaotic and sadistic way!

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: 1733.2 meters recorded

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

Ed

OK it is a predictable earworm for today, but it landed in my head and got stuck

Day 283 Mile 283: Suffrage, Equality & Running in Parallel Lines

20171010_075739-01.jpegDay 283 Mile 283: Suffrage, Equality & Running in Parallel Lines. On this day in 1903 the Women’s Social and Political Union held its inaugural meeting, its members soon be nicknamed the suffragettes, and they were instrumental in gaining the right for the female vote. I remember as a child, my Mum telling me about her Great grandmother (from what I can gather and recall), Sarah Smith née Conisbee, who had been one of them.
In 1913 a group of women walked from North Wales to Downing Street to highlight this cause stopping for their first night in Penmaenmawr (the village where I live). Barring paddling along the beach or navigating the mountains there is only one road they could have taken from west to east and that is the one along which I have run today. It is an odd sensation tracing the course of their crusade as my pilgrimage today. Passing through the Victorian shopping parade it seems possible to overlay the acetate of time along this road so that the movement through the space seems at once parallel and simultaneous, ideas, causes and generations flowing eastward along the temporal thoroughfare.

Penmaenmawr different maps times

Running along the high street, it brings into sharp perspective just how far away London, and more precisely Downing Street, really is. It is easy to google it and see that it is 226 miles via the shortest route, some 75 hours continuous walking (so well over a week, with sleep and meal times). When actually moving from paving slab to slab as the drizzle bears down I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea of getting that far under nothing but my feet to propel me; its nearly 4° further east around the planet!

In 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed which allowed women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification to vote. Although 8.5 million women met this criteria, it only represented 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK. It was not until the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 that women over 21 were able to vote and women finally achieved the same voting rights as men. This act increased the number of women eligible to vote to 15 million.

I tried to find out where they stopped but it seems to have become a detail lost in the mists of time. As ever the journey, and its eventual outcome are more important, so today’s cover photo is taken in front of The Old Co-Operative which is now used as a polling station for local and national elections.

Sometimes things can be incredibly important simply by merit of being right.

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: 1695.8 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 282 Mile 282: Autumn at the ‘Weird Bridge’

Glasinfryn bridge lon las ogwen cycle pathDay 282 Mile 282: Autumn at the ‘Weird Bridge’. Part of what I enjoy about going running is the opportunity to see new places and satisfy curiosity. Sometimes this extends to delving into the odd corners which get overlooked everyday and occasionally this turns up something quite exciting.

While driving home yesterday, out of the blue, my daughter exclaimed, “that’s a weird bridge”. Sure enough she was right; the huge brightly painted bridge arched incongruously over a relatively minor road in the Welsh hills a seemingly hugely over-engineered solution to crossing the road.

“It looks like a railway bridge, for trains, not one that goes over a railway… But trains cant go round corners like that.”

Her logic was irrefutable, and as today I happen to be working near that spot I took myself to investigate. It turns out that the bridge is part of a cycle path that runs along the route of the old London and North Western Railway (LNWR) so her hunch about trains was spot on! The bridge now enables cyclists and pedestrians of all ages and stages to carry on their journey to or from the hills without getting run over on a fast section of the A-4244.

Starting at the bridge the cycle path trends north and downhill (which feels oddly contradictory!) along the raised causeway that was once the railway embankment. The autumn leafs are skittering and sticking across the tarmac, golden bracts of willow scattering away like fumbled loose change. Turning left down the embankment the path fords a stream and runs along the edge of a meadow. The line between stream and meadow seems to have grown somewhat indistinct as mud and grass soon gave way to puddles which soon graduated into pools!

Thankfully the village of Glasinfryn soon arrived and with it a distinctly drier road. The route pulled up the hill between the bronzed hedgerows, squared off to the vertical by the action of passing lorries except for the lateral line etched by the indent of mirrors just above head height.

On returning back to the car it sprung to mind what an amazing autumnal jaunt this had been, in somewhere I have never gone, or would have chosen to go without the catalyst of the ‘not-railway’ bridge 🙂

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: 1801.2 meters recorded

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

Ed

Nice chilled earworm for today 🙂