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The happiness of the long distance runner

11 April 2011
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I’ve just returned from a hen weekend in Dorset,  blessed by the most beautiful weather, flora and fauna England has to offer. Last week was so warm that the waning daffodils stayed a for few days to welcome the cherry blossom, waxing lyrically from hedgerows and gardens along my running route. For run I did, despite the twin temptations of Friday night drinking and Saturday morning lazing about, and I have to say it was about the best 1 hour 23 minutes of my life.

I planned an 11 mile route in advance, from our farmhouse in Puncknowle (highly recommended), along narrow single track roads next to  the tiny River Bride. Running steadily for 6 miles alongside streams and cottages, lambs and rabbits, cattle and carthorses, I passed by villages that described themselves (Little Cheney, Long Bredy, Little Bredy), and hills that crept up unannounced. I turned around at Bridehead and ran 5 of the return miles at a faster pace, supposed to be 7min 30 secs but more like 7 minutes. I couldn’t slow myself down – I was practically whooping for joy at how wonderful it all was. I felt good, my legs were strong and I was so very glad to be alive and able to do this.

I saw 3 other people (two runners and one dog walker) and less than 10 cars over the whole route. Assuming the other runners weren’t holidaying Londoners like me, they are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place, but I really can’t complain. Some people live in the most stunning places  and never leave their garden gate. I can visit for two days, put on my trainers and see enough to keep me happy for the rest of the year. Long Live Running.

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