Oh my goodness gracious me, the Puma Faas300 Trail shoes are going to be the death of me. Not because there’s anything wrong with them, but because despite fatigue and difficult winter conditions – my feet just want me to keep going.
This morning was the most fun I’ve had in yonks (80s for a long time). Before I give the shoes all the credit though, I might mention a few factors that contributed toward a very satisfying run out.
First things first, the route. Blessed as we are with the Peak District on our doorstep, my destination today was Stanage Edge, which took a mere 10min drive, arriving at the Rivelin Dams. This brings me to another significant point, I just bought a car – and can finally afford to explore interesting routes a bit further away. Finally, the cold. The route today was a combination of wet, mud, frozen mud, snow, frozen snow, frost, ice and BLACK ICE. Goodie gum drops.
Off I went then, up the pathway through the woods surrounding Wyming Brook, avoiding the brook itself since right from the off it was icy and wet. The Puma300 Trails (coming soon) were grippy, but I didn’t fancy my chances on anything too technical, and with no phone – the thought of laying wet and cold while my open fracture bleeds out into the stream convinced me it could wait. I reached the top soon enough, having already negotiated a fair amount of ice, and turned right out of the car park. Oh dear.
The road around Redmires Reservoir was black ice. Total horror show. My ‘running’ ranged from slow and steady, to embarrassing. Fate stepped in as ever, to ensure that I only started doing ‘Bambi on ice’ when there was a dog walker to watch me. The rest of the time I managed to find a grass verge or tyre track to root myself in. When the track made another right, and I began the uphill stretch toward Stanage Pole, it was pointless trying to use the usual stepping stones, as they were covered in polished ice and an accident waiting to happen. Frosty grass made a lot more sense.
Passing the pole, I greeted a couple of cyclists, and a lone walker – then head off across the edge path all the way to High Neb. Fun? Oh yes. Running on frozen snow is my new favourite pastime, as long as it doesn’t suddenly break (which happened a couple of times, shredding my ankles), then it’s grippy and just soft enough to make running a lot comfier than all those rocks. It probably helps if you’re not too heavy, but at my 5’2″ and 9.5 stones I’m like Legolas (it’s a geek thing).
The Inov-8 Cap I’d worn today for the first time, kept the low winter sun from my eyes, and wicked the sweat away perfectly. Highly recommended.
At this point, a TOP TIP: By the time I stopped to check out the stunning views across the valley beneath Stanage, with Hathersage shrouded in mist (breathtaking), I’d had all I could stand from my car key hanging out from under my shorts. It makes sense to secure the keys for sure, but why can’t they stitch the pocket onto the shorts, or just make it sufficiently shorter than the legs? My quick-fire solution, tie the pocket in a knot! Bingo was his name.
So on I went with my keys no longer bothering me, and I picked up speed downhill toward the A57 in the distance. I reached the road, followed it toward Sheffield, and swung back into the woods near Wyming Brook once again. A nice little trot through a bit more mud made a nice change from the couple of miles I’d just done along the road side, and I was back at the car. 10 miles, smiling from ear to ear. 1hr 45mins in total and thanks to having chosen shorts this morning – pink legs.
Do you know what struck me as odd? I only saw one other runner, and that was on the A57. Where is everybody? That view from Stanage was well worth it. Ahh well.