Stir Crazy in Swinley

Inov8 MudClaw 330

My new once a week running schedule is just not sufficient to keep me sane. By Sunday I’m absolutely climbing the walls.

I’m still off work, with college/study/mahjong-playing leave and have been going stir crazy. All week I’ve been promising myself a weekend treat splashing around the muddy trails of Swinley Forest and I bought some swanky inov8 mudclaws for the occassion – check out those treads.

Swinley Forest is my old haunt from the Broadmoor days and I love running around there. After last weeks Hebden Bridge trip I’ve been eager for mud, hills and bouncy forest trail – there’s nowhere better.

Swinley Forest

It was a bit cold and wet today but those are the perfect conditions for an autumnal forest run. The leaves were lush and the going was soft to squishy.

The shoes held up very well but then the soles would give a tractor tyre a run for its money. – solid grip. I slipped only once, while trying to leap a 4ft puddle by way of a slimey tree stump. Anyone with half a brain would have known that was going to end in tears but my oxygen starved brain has a tendency to want to see me in an emotional and painful heap. I escaped with only minor groin strain and some very cold feet.

Caesar's Camp

I was heading to the lure of Caesar’s Camp. I love running around that hilltop fort, it was inhabited over 2000 years ago and it feels powerful. You can run around a thin trail, hugging the edge of the hill, and every time I’ve been there it’s been delightfully solitary.

Things have changed a bit with the seasons and the place seems to have been invaded by tiny xmas trees.

It seemed to be getting dark under the tree cover by 2:30 so I headed back a little earlier than planned. I was diving in and out of the woods following any trail that seemed passable and many that weren’t. I found an exciting mountain bike trail that proved almost as much fun on foot which is just as well as I’m about to flog the mountain bike to fund my lavish lifestyle and expensive tastes in running shoes.

Barnes from the Bridge

Arrived back at the car park only to realise that I couldn’t remember the colour of the hire car and hadn’t a clue what the number plate was.

Of course I made it home eventually and was rewarded with this view of Barnes as I crossed the bridge.

I think a river run is called for next week.

3 thoughts on “Stir Crazy in Swinley

  1. aliariadne

    you really ought to get up to the peak district – the scenery is breathtaking and there are hundreds of great trails.

  2. Runner Leana

    It looks gorgeous out there, and I love those new shoes! Very nice!

    Yes, I rather enjoyed Run Fatboy Run. Quite humorous particularly if you run. Not sure if my brother and sister-in-law found it nearly as amusing, but oh well!

  3. Pingback: the conch blog » Blog Archive » Runners cope with winter, surf festival pics and let’s go fly a kite.

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