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Wednesday 7 November 2012

Running with Twitter Groups, Shooting Wildlife and Sunday morning Runs

I’ve got a great group of running buddies on Twitter who keep me motivated to run, make me laugh and who cheer me up when I muck a race up: How To Cock Up Your First Cross Country Relay 

A Twitter buddy @HamptonMagnaRun is a leader for a running group in Hampton Magna on the outskirts of Warwick. He kept talking about their Sunday morning runs they do at 7am ... and in a moment of weakness I agreed to come along for an early morning trot.

As I set my alarm for 6am on a Sunday morning, I vowed that I would never again be swayed again by the mention of picturesque lanes, muddy farm tracks or the chance to explore a new route. Sunday mornings are for sleeping. And watching TV. And lazing around refusing to take off your PJs until 11am.

The running group met at St Michaels Church in Budbrooke so I plugged the information into the Satnav so I didn’t have to think and since the coffee didn’t do anything this morning, decided to wake up on the drive there. I arrived at the location still mainly asleep but reckoned this was probably for the best. I might be able get a few miles into the run before my body realised what was going on and started rebelling about running at this hour.

St Michael's Church, Budbrooke where the group meets

Found the church and parked up. No-one else was there yet and I refused to get out of the car to warm up on the grounds that I had the heaters on and I was probably going to be warmer in the car then I would be warming up outside in the cold ... brrr! Why did I sign up for this again?

All of a sudden a couple of chaps in running gear turned up – relief! I wasn’t going to be braving the lanes on my own after all. Anthony introduced himself, he was group leader and Ian who was a regular runner with the group. I’d been enticed out with the promise of 5 or 6 miles, but with the sight of all of the new and interesting lanes we got a bit enthusiastic and decided that we had time to do 9 or 10. Although Anthony and Ian assured me that they change the distances to suit, depending on who is out running with them on the day.

We started off at a nice quick pace but it soon slowed down to between 8 and 9 minute/mile which was a relief especially after the Cross Country relay yesterday. The weather was cold and a bit drizzly but not too bad and it was nice to be up so early on a Sunday when the lanes were quiet and peaceful.

It was a gorgeous route. The route started off on the road, but we soon turned off onto farm tracks that were pitted and potholed and fun to run on. We kept startling pheasants and partridge and they were flying up from the hedges and fields with squawks and wings whirring. There were lots of squirrels around, playing chase up and down the trees and running in the grass. They all looked a bit too active and wide-awake for a Sunday morning. I can see why farmers carry shotguns around. I imagine it gets a bit annoying when the wildlife is this enthusiastic about stuff.

As we were on farm tracks there were several cattle grids to negotiate. I wasn't brave enough to jump them although it was tempting. I’m just too short. I had visions of not being able to jump far enough and having to be rescued in disgrace with a winch.

The route was gently undulating rather than hilly. It was all very scenic and we ran a mile or so along the Grand Union canal path and down Hatton locks. I was given a warning not to run too close to the edge of the canal though as the mooring rings had tripped Ian up quite neatly the other day, mid-way through a warning about the rings to the person he was running with.

Running through the quiet lanes was lovely, I’d forgotten how nice it was to do a slow run with other people. Unfortunately as it had been such a damp Autumn the lovely orange and brown leaves were soggy, rather than crunchy but it didn’t detract from how beautiful the countryside was.

Finished back by at the car slightly damp but satisfied after a nice run with good company. We completed 9.5 miles through the lanes and across the tracks and who knows ... I could even get used to this Sunday morning running!


  1. A great read as always, and fab you had a chance to run with others in a new environment, I'm jealous! ps I always love the way your slow runs sound quite quick to me lol

    1. It was a lovely run - I could even get used to this early morning stuff! Jealous, hey? Well you're just going to have to come up to Warwickshire and run with us!

    2. That would be cool (once I get a bit quicker lol)

  2. Quick or slow or undecided ... it's always fab to go for a run with a friend! :) You'll be welcome.