This granny keeps on running

The second ‘justtenmiles’ has been run: a relentlessly undulating route around Derwentwater. It was tough. The third time we have done this; the 60th time the event has been held. Having spent the whole year celebrating my own 60th birthday, this race needed to be run.

In good Lakeland fashion, it was a day for filling the lakes and waterfalls. We started and finished in rain, a real challenge in glasses. Water streaming down the lenses; the view misted by my breathing out, I struggled to see my feet, let alone the road ahead. Climbing above the lake, the views, even in the rain, are stunning. Rich autumn colour framed the water, rewarding me each time I wiped my glasses.

With fewer than 500 runners, mostly (but not quite all) significantly faster than me, for the latter part of the run I was very much alone.  No struggling to find a space in which to run. Lots of time to live the run inside my head, creating new memories, reliving old ones. Remembering the day I paraphrased Wainwright: telling my young children that Catbells was a hill to take your granny up. In snow and wind, they questioned this piece of wisdom. A re-reading of the text suggests that grannies should take care!

This granny was undaunted by the weather, striding out (or struggling?) to the end. Resisting my cautious instinct to hold myself back on the downhill, I let gravity do its work, fearlessly enjoying the thrill of descent. The belief that every uphill was the last kept me running up them; only remembering at the end how much tougher the second five miles was than the first. I’ve no immediate plans now for another ‘justtenmiles’; but this granny will keep on running.

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