The first trail of the season
The runes (ie the BBC weather forecast) lied. They said we might get the odd shower…not a downpour that started as Mssrs Park, Wells and myself set off from the Forest Hills Hotel, armed only with bags of sawdust.
Forest Hills is popular with the club, the food and facilities are excellent, the staff address you as ‘sir’….but the beer’s not up to much. Oh well.
Anyroadup, undeterred by the increasingly heavy rain and the promise of not-very-good beer, we trotted off in the general direction of the monument behind the hotel, leaving clumps of sawdust in our wake – so that more athletic club members might have half an idea of where they were supposed to run.
We slipped and slid downhill towards Overton and eventually gained a bit of tarmac…but only a bit. We ‘ran’<koff> through some soggy woodland that had seemingly be freshly planted with nettles. Fortunately we’d all chosen to wear longs rather than shorts so we didn’t suffer too much.
We headed NW over the A56, to run alongside the railway line to pick up Godscroft Lane, running south, back to the A56.
The first encounter with the A56 had proved too much for Old Markham, he declared ‘lost trail’ and returned to base for a shower and a pint. He probably got the best deal of the day.
Next objective was Helsby Hill, quite familiar ground. Although it’s not a big hill, the climb was a bit of a rude awakening for some members (and one trail-layer!) who hadn’t done much during the summer months.
The forced smiles of Wells & Park on Helsby Hill
Prez Park decreed that the weather was brightening up. He was probably right….it just wasn’t brightening up where we were. The rain got even heavier.
We sploshed off the hill in a south-easterly downhill direction where it wasn’t extremely slippy at all, just slippy. And muddy.
Some not very happy cows
More familiar ground followed as we trotted along the sandstone edges, along the Sandstone Trail. We were still laying our sawdust trail – supplemented by chalked arrows, courtesy of Prez Park.
The golf course presented a slight problem. somehow we couldn’t find the path we wanted. HOW long have we been running from Forest Hills??
A slight, er, diversion along the edge of the golf course took us nicely to the path runs across the well-tended green.
It was then just a matter of bit of zigging and zagging back to the civilised surroundings of Forest Hills.
It was a nice route – made better by the addition of a bit of new ground….although I’m not sure if the members of Frodsham Golf Club would agree.
We trail-layers arrive home at 2.20pm, in good time for a hot shower and a coffee – before the packs returned…all looking slightly damp but mostly grinning.
Around 15 sat down to an excellent meal, a couple of runners weren’t able to stay for the meal – it was their loss!
Thanks to Joe for planning the route and being Trail-Layer-in-Command, and Paul for assisting, making jokes, and generally being good company.
Where we went (anti-clockwise):
7.9 miles with approx 1.100ft of ascent.