Today was the first evening that I was able to lead group 1 through the woods. Although it was not the brightest of the evenings so far but there was enough light to get us, at leas,t through to Scadbury Park. There were quite a few of the runners that have not been running through woods before so I chose a shorter route. Running through the woods is a little harder than running on pavements. It works the ankles and calves, but it is so worth it. Fresh air, traffic free, bird song, well, maybe they were all getting tucked in for the night, but there is certainly a lot of opportunity to see some wild life!
I led them into the woods through 'Dog Poo ally' and then just stopped inside to give some advice about running through the woods.
1. Leave a gap between you and the runner in front, just so that you can see where your feet will be landing
2. Shout 'Roots' when you see roots.
3. Shout 'Low branch' when you see a low branch.
4. Shout 'Mud' when you see mud.
5. Shout 'Donna!' when you see the woodman!
The messages should start with me, or who ever is in front and then filter down right to the back of the group like Chinese whispers, only we were not going to be whispering, we were going make sure that whoever was behind would hear the call! I took them up the middle path, running at a nice steady pace, J.J. and Janet will be sweeping, Wendimoo, finding her mojo again will be in the middle, or in the lead with me keeping everyone smiling with her anecdotes and chatter. Oh I have so missed Wendimoo on our runs! I remember when I used to struggle along at the back of the old group 1 and just listening to her chatter helped me to keep going! On our marathon training days, those long runs would have seemed even longer if it wasn't for her to keep me focused! So glad she is back.
We ran up to the top of the woods, just before we got there we saw group 4 running along the top heading to our left! That looked like a big group too! I took a photo opportunity while we were all catching our breath after that run up the hill.
Just to add a little bit more distance while we were in the woods I turned left to go along to the path that I used to not be able to find. The path that would take us up through the housing estate, only I will lead them on to the right side where the path splits so that we can run along there to the road. As we were running along there group 4 were running down towards us! I can't wait to see their geeky stats and the route that they took! It looks quite interesting! We high fived as we passed everyone! Towards the end of this path we could see some bright orange glow on some of the trees to our right. It looked like there was a fire going on in the woods. When we got nearer to it we realised that it was just the way the sun shine was at the time! A golden bright light penetrating through the trees! Stuffing.
Over the road and then into Scadbury Park. Sounds so good when we can say that we have run through two woods! The light really stated to fade now, and I was thinking that once we get out of Scadbury I may just keep them to the roads, I will ask when get to the 'decision time' place. As it happened when we got there the light really started to fade, and although I asked I was glad that at least one person said they would prefer to run on the road now. I would have made that call regardless. I want group 1 to enjoy running through the woods, it really is a passion of mine that I would like to set alight in their hearts! So if there is a slight risk of tripping because of dim light then I would rather just stick to the pavements!
I looked at my Garmin and I saw that we had only ran for about 30 minutes, plenty of time yet, and as we hadn't done the usual 3 miles yet I decided that we would run all the way down to Petts Wood Road and then run along Crossways from there. But as I was crossing the road I had realised that I still had auto-pause on, and we had stopped in several places along the route today, so of course it wouldn't have registered! We had in fact been running for about 40-45 minus and it was time to head on home!
So I changed the route again! To run down Birchwood to Towncourt Road and then in to the park from there! I am so glad I did. As we were running down there we were greeted with the most beautiful red/orange sky! It really was a very colourful run today!.