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The Smell of Death

3 August 2011

I’m in the Yorkshire Dales, Swaledale to be precise, and the running is not easy. We’ve been out twice and the main points to note are: 1) it’s hilly, and 2) those hills are covered in dead rabbits.

On Tuesday morning we ran from Low Row to Reeth, about 7 miles up and down the valley side, and I counted 31 dead bunnies. Even the live ones (of which there are many) look unhappy, their faces rotting away in a terrifying Watership Down fashion.

Sorry if this is making you feel queasy. You can imagine how I felt after 30 minutes running along a narrow track, batting away flies, trying to avoid the next rotting corpse. Every minute there was a fresh wave of the smell of death. You don’t get that in North London.

As predicted, I was soon pining for the ‘hills’ of Crouch End for other reasons – the run we had planned was probably a fell runner’s walk in the park but it nearly killed me. I haven’t been this tired after a run in months. My face was still red an hour later. I had to walk up the last bit of the main hill, but Mr N made it without stopping. Here he is in the distance and this is me at the end in Reeth.



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