Most times when I’m blogging about a run it’s because the run has been something different from the regular, for example, these two recent runs (here and here). More often than not the blogged run was with my amazing wife and our silly pointer. The run in question here was with Nelly, our pointer, but was just a regular run. The kind most runners do at least once or twice a week. In this instance I wanted to keep my eyes open, pay attention to my surroundings and take in those things I might miss on a run of the mill run. I didn’t have my phone with me, so all the photos were from previous runs or rides.
We set off down the hill from our little home towards the canal. Nelly likes the canal because there are ducks. I didn’t let Nelly off the lead because there are ducks. We also met a few cyclists on their way to work, who most definitely don’t want to crash into a wayward pointer.
The Lune Aqueduct is empty of water at the moment for maintenance, which looks odd. Almost ten years ago, when I was doing my Masters I remember running along the canal and seeing an empty canal. It must be something the needs to be done every few years.
Off the canal and we ran past Halton Barracks. There is a nice footpath running alongside the road, protected by a hedge, although shame about the broken bottles. Into Halton village and we waited for a bus to pass as the pavement is very narrow and then over the Lune.
I’ve blogged about the iron bridge at Halton a couple of times, as it used to be a terrible rat run to get to the M6 without going through Lancaster. Now that the bypass has opened the bridge is far more pleasant, although I think that it should be closed to all motorised traffic. During the floods of December 2015 the water level was over the bridge and half way up the side.
The bridge is very narrow and I’ve had a couple of near misses. Today we heard the familiar crunch of a wing mirror hitting one of the metal posts. Slow down Mini driver (not Minnie Driver the film star, that would be something to blog about). It really is time for the bridge to be pedestrians and cyclists only.
Once over the bridge there’s a small climb before we reach Grimshaw Lane. Nelly likes Grimshaw Lane as she can be let off the lead. The lane is little more than a farm track, rising up above Lancaster. According to Strava, I’ve run the segment ‘Grimshaw Lane to M6’ 14 times. My quickest time, almost seven years ago, puts me in 11th place overall out of 299 runners. I’ve run this lane in the other direction many more times. One time cycling up the lane with my old friend The Prof, we came across a couple of youths driving what was probably a stolen car, as this isn’t a track suitable to anything other than tractors or rugged 4x4s. We surmised that they might have been trying to throw drugs over the prison wall.
The lane drops down a little before crossing the M6, and Nelly being a good girl waited for me as she doesn’t really like crossing the motorway. There is a bridge so we don’t have to play Frogger. The track continues past the prison, before having to put Nelly back on the lead for the short section to the park. We can enter Fenham Carr through what we call the bottom gate. Another section where Nelly can stretch her legs, although today we can across Ralph, who is a very large Newfoundland. Nelly is scared of Ralph, even though he is a complete softy.
‘Hill through the woods’, is a Strava segment in Fenham Carr, done 544 times by me (most times with Nelly). We go the the park a lot, and it’s probably Nelly’s favourite place in the world, apart from the sofa.
Out of the top gate, down Park Drive and into the small ‘middle park’. Another quick scamper for Nelly, who caught a squirrel here last week and didn’t know why I wasn’t happy for her. From here it’s either down the ginnel and home, or down the next street for a quick look at the Free Little Library before heading home.
It seems strange blogging about a very normal run, but I was surprised by just how much there was to see. From now on I will try to make the most of every run and be more like Nelly (except for the stick eating and squirrel catching).