Yesterday, I took part in a 24km social run on Kinder Scout organized by my good friend and clubmate Pete Henley. It was another wonderful day on the hills with lovely people. Running can be quite solitary, but it can also be a great social activity. Thirty of us met at the car park in Edale and headed up towards the fells.
I am taking part in the 440km Spine Race, from 14 January, and this was my last proper run before the race. I used this run as a chance to try out some kit options and ran with most of my Spine kit in my bag (e.g. sleeping bag, bivvy bag, down jacket etc). All of the kit options worked well, which is a nice confidence boost before the Spine Race.
After about three kilometres, we split the 30 runners into two groups, the faster and less fast groups. I joined the second group, and the nine of us had a leisurely run lasting about 5.5 hours (with plenty of time for photos and some snacking). One of the other runners in my group, Kirsty, is also doing a Spine Race, and she was also running with her Spine kit. Like me, Kirsty is using an Ultimate Direction 30-litre pack. I like the two water bottle holders on the front of this bag (bladders are too much fuss, in my opinion).
The weather forecast had been quite ominous, but on the day, the weather was kind. It was a bit windy and we had two brief showers. The showers gave me a chance to try my new jacket, and for much of the day, I wore goggles, which kept the wind and showers out of my eyes. I am surprised that more runners do not carry and wear goggles. One of the other runners, Fiona, was wearing goggles for the first time and described them as ‘game changers’.
One delight on the run was Kinder Downfall, a waterfall that runs from the Kinder Plateau down towards Hayfield. On windy days, like yesterday, the wind blows the falling water back up the waterfall – as in the video below. This is a good example of the joys of being out in the wild.
Kinder is a plateau; this means that a day’s run comprises a stiff climb up (spread over 4.5km), 14km of running around the edge of the plateau, 1km of running across a narrow section, and 4.5km of descent. The route was a glorious mix of rocks, paths, streams and mud. I was very glad to be wearing waterproof socks with Injinji marino liners. The waterproof socks keep most of the water out, and the Injinji socks keep you warm even when damp. The Injinji socks have separate toes, which I think reduces blisters.
The company on the run was fantastic, with chances to chat with each of the other group members, some of whom I already knew and some of whom were new to me. When we got back to the start, I joined some of the other runners in the pub for a meal and a great chat with Pete Henley.
Below are some of the pictures I took during the run.