Keeping it Local

We have entered the era of covid-19 and the lock-down in the UK has become official since 23rd March. We are allowed to exercise in the local area but not to travel out of town. I really miss my favourite running routes but I am fortunate to live on the edge of town within a few hundred metres of Wicksteed Park. This offers good opportunities for walkers, dog owners and runners to enjoy the fresh air. Today (8th April) I discovered parts of it I did not know, using it as a scenic route to get to the post office in the nearby community of Barton Seagrave. This has opened up some more running options for me, introducing an area that is a bit more hilly and more challenging underfoot than the usual routes I have taken around the park. Maybe tomorrow I will try this out. It is important to have variation and new challenges, just running round the same route every time can become a bit tedious.

So, my efforts thus far running in the era of covid-19…

29th March 2020
First day of British Summer Time.
My usual circuit of the park, using the small pedestrian entrance on Barton Road just below the small A6/A509 roundabout on London Road. Down towards the playground but turning right before then to run past the meercats (in Kettering?!), down towards the lake, taking a right along the course of the narrow gauge park railway (oh, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a ride on the park train, jumping at the sound of its whistle!), across the wooden bridge over the lake (a great stretch for trying a bit of sprinting on the bouncy boards, but not today), heading back on the other side of the lake (stopping for a selfie), past the aviary, over the little hump-backed bridge by the boating lake (say “hi!” to any ducks or swans nearby and enjoy fond memories of being there with your grandson), then little uphill bit past rose garden, across the tracks by the station, and then returning to the start. Lovely. I just felt so grateful at being able to do this on a fresh and sunny morning, not fixated on performance or personal bests. Just under 2 miles.

Social distancing from myself.

5th April 2020
The same route as last time on another sunny morning. The wind is a bit lighter and less chilly today. I was feeling a bit achy having over-exerted myself in the garden yesterday, but this eased as I got into my stride. Very conscious of social distancing, giving dog walkers and other runners a wide berth as far as possible. Ended the run with some stretching at one of my favourite stretching trees. Does anyone else have  favourite stretching tree or place?

My next post will look in more detail about running in these strange times, maybe with some tips for newer runners. I will post under the Technical Bits category.

Meanwhile, please run safe and free – conscious of those around you and their well-being too.




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