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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Bulls or Cows, Alpacas and Wimpy Girls

Arranged to meet up for a run with WolfRunner starting – and more importantly finishing -  at a pub. I texted her to confirm but on the last text had make a bit of an error and said „I’ll meet you at the Bull“. What I’d actually meant was „I’ll meet you at the Cow“. Not a big difference animal-wise, but about 8 miles difference run-wise. A couple of confused phone conversations and a late start by half an hour and we were out running.

It has been starting to feel more like Autumn the last few days with a bit of a chill in the air and the evenings and early mornings have been a bit more crisp. It felt like that tonight. It was beautiful but there was a bite to the air and it was definitely getting cooler.

We decided to run down the main road and cut down a country lane and across a field full of cows. It’s a lovely bumpy field, perfect for turning your ankles and covering lovely clean trainers in cow pat. Luckily we avoided doing either and we decided to run on the trail route this evening. This is a trail which goes along the side of a field and means you’re running on long grass and small hillocks. It’s a lot more fun than running on the road.

Got to the top of one of the hillocks and were confronted by some unusual looking animals. Alpacas. Or as a friend described them 'baby albino giraffes'. They were small and quite dumpy, obviously young ones and very cute. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d stumbled on Nuzzle & Scratch from Cbeebies and that they would overtake me at a sprint a few minutes later dressed as pirates and tripping over in front of me.


We went through a gate and leapt a puddle and realised we’d gone the wrong way, so we did a U-turn and got back onto the main path by the reservoir. It was definitely getting darker and we only  saw 2 other people - a cyclist who seemed to come out of nowhere and a lady dressed in running kit run walking. We called out „Good evening“ as we passed and she returned the greeting with an explanation of how she was walking because she was reading a text. You don’t need to explain to us Run-Walk-Lady ... but we did see you walking a few minutes earlier without your phone! Hope you got back before dark.

Passed the visitor’s centre and it was definitely getting dark now. Bats were flitting above us and rabbits dashing across the path in front of us were only vague blurs. I was very glad I was wearing my hi-viz jacket!

We decided to run back via the lanes rather than across the field and started discussing what alpacas sound like so we could distinguish between an alpaca and a mad axeman in the dark.

Decided against going through the cow field as didn't want to run into a cow in the dark. They're a bit solid and might not be too impressed with a runner bouncing off their arse. WolfRunner and I got onto the footpath back to Rugby which led through a tunnel. It was now so dark that the ends of the tunnel seemed to stretch out like an optical illusion. Very dark in the middle so dug out trusty phone and fired up the flashlight app. Yes, we are wimpy girls.

Got back to the lit streets and ran back to the pub and the cars. 6.75 miles over road and trails and I’m still not quite sure what an alpaca sounds like.

*Thanks to @Mick_GFX for the alpaca description!

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