Yesterday I headed out for an hours run, it wasn't really planned I just wanted to get out and run so I did.
I headed out to Ingrebourne Country park with the aim of running through to the far side of the park, up Ingrebourne Hill and back again, a total distance of around 12km.
On my route out I decided to deviate away from the main path and take on one of the off road trails just for a bit of variety as I don't usually run that way. The trail I headed onto is part of the Spitfire scramble course which naturally brought me to thinking about the event, both last years and this years up and coming race.
So Spitfire scramble was fresh in mind as I continued my run, I was thinking about what objectives I should set myself for this years race and reflecting again on how much I enjoyed last years event.
As I headed up Ingrebourne Hill I was aware I was being followed by a cyclist so naturally I pulled over to one side of the path to allow him to pass. He didn't seem to want to pass though. I wasn't sure if he was hanging back as he was either struggling on the steep incline or perhaps didn't want to risk passing me on such a narrow and twisting path. I just tried to concentrate on my running and the climb up the hill.
Next thing I know I hear, 'excuse me, sorry to interrupt...' as the cyclist tried to strike up conversation with me.
The cyclist preceded to question me about whether I know the park and knew the route of a 5.8 mile course. After some discussion I realised he was referring to the spitfire scramble race. We soon stopped at the top of the hill and engaged in conversation about running in general, his running and cycling around the Ingrebourne area. I tried to advise him and direct him around the course which in fairness was quite easy a he had a good knowledge of the area from his previous experiences training here.
He went on to explain that he had read about the event and in particular the solo male category and he was aiming to better the 17 laps achieved by the male winner last year, I felt quite inferior referring to my 6 laps achieved as part of a 6 man team.
Some 10 minutes later I continued with my run after I had imparted by knowledge and we had gone our separate ways. stood at the top of the hill in the cold and the wind was not ideal and I never really warmed up on the run home! However I was left feeling a great sense of friendship and camaraderie that you can experience as part of the running community.
I always enjoy the opportunity to share my passion with other runners and that is in part the reason why my blog exists. This chance meeting has reignited my desire to interact with other runners wherever possible both in person and online via social media and my blog.