On the 14th June 2020 I went for a run with Smith. We did a route that included the North Downs as I live near them and it’s a shame to miss the views from up there. Back then I was starting to lose weight but I couldn’t run up the North Downs without stopping and having a breather. I was quite fit but carrying excess mass and obviously not fit enough to run up that bloody thing.
Since then I’ve been working hard, except over Christmas, to run up that fucker. I’ve been cycling, rowing and running with the dual purposes of losing mass and running up that hill. Over the last month I’ve really noticed a difference. I can run up the hill. I’ve even changed my route to have a longer uphill section. Today was the second time I’ve run up the complete Blue Bell Hill. I started down by the river and ran alongside the road all the way up the hill. Here are the details:
Lowest elevation: around 8m AMSL
Highest Elevation: around 190m AMSL
Length of climb: about 4km
I’m quite proud as I didn’t stop along that section. I chose that particular route because the rain hasn’t stopped here for about a week and I didn’t want to run over the fields. I already have a load of cuts on my shins from avoiding virtual ponds on a run the other day.
The weather out was pretty cold, hovering around 0C. There wasn’t any wind but there was plenty of fog and mist. I looked out over the valley from the car park at Blue Bell Hill and it was a mass of white. It wasn’t even good for looking down on a loads of clouds which is a shame as that would have made a really good photograph. There were some phenomenon at the top that looked really magnificent though and I spent a short while taking pictures of those.
Overnight there must have been plenty of mist and a mild wind because all of the frost and ice on the trees was hanging off in a northerly direction. Now, it must just be that it always looks like this on the trees at the top of the hill. Their placement might mean there are always prevailing winds or slight draughts when the air is cold. These photographs were taken right on the edge of the Downs. To the south is a 100m drop and to the north there is a very shallow drop to sea level over quite a few kms.
I guess I’ll have to travel up there again when it’s been frosty. I can tell you that in my village there was little frost. We do seem to have very slightly different weather to places not at the base of the Downs. Snow would be nice. Just a few feet of it so I can go sledging with the kids or just by myself if it comes to it. I know the chances of snow are low in this south eastern area of the island of Great Britain but I’m hoping it might happen a couple more times before snow never comes here again.