When I moved to the pleasant parish of Prestwich last June, I knew that the beauty of Heaton Park would offer a welcome change to my running routine from pounding the urban highways of Harpurhey. What I wasn't aware of at that time, was the wealth of running routes offered on the other side of the 'Village'.
For those of you that know nothing of the area, Prestwich is a town situated about 3 miles north of Manchester. The oldest part of the town, known as Prestwich Village, holds many delights such as an artisan cheese shop - nom, nom, nom, Marks and Spencers' food - nom, nom, nom and a several little independent tea rooms - nom, nom, nom. In comparison to this, the place in which I used to live, housed several kebab shops, a Lidl and a Maccy D's... Prestwich is no Didsbury but it is, for us, a super-normous step up in the world!
So, with all these delightful places to shop and eat, it was all the more important that I
The plan was to run 6 miles. I ran 7.25. Why? Because I got lost. Well, I say lost... I had my Iphone on me, so I was never really lost, but as I didn't have a clue precisely where I was for most of my run, I think that an accurate description of my predicament was: lost.
The plan was to run to Phillip's Park, which I discovered the existence of at last weeks' Apple Day (don't ask). However, when I emerged from the autumnal wilderness of the Clough, I stumbled upon a cycle track... in fact, several cycle tracks... actually... more cycle tracks than you could shake a stick at. Cycle tracks to a lake, cycle tracks to a field, cycle tracks to woods, cycle tracks alongside the Irwell, cycle tracks over the Irwell, cycle tracks under the Irwell... cycle tracks everywhere. I had stumbled upon a cyclist's haven... nay... a runner's heaven... my heaven! It was so much fun! I ran and ran and ran. Until I realised I had no idea where I was, that Lisa would be arriving any time soon and that I was potentially MILES from home. Thankfully, despite my twisting and turning down all the different paths, my natural sat-nav had somehow managed to keep me heading largely in the right direction; a quick check on my phone enabled me to plot a cursory route home.
Despite the 'change of plan', ultimately that day all went according to plan... a swift two mile walk to the chocolate, a two mile walk home again, and a 30 minute gym session that afternoon, not only served to foil Lisa's feeding - although she did try again later that night with a HUGE portion of fish and chips! - but proved that curiosity pays - in calories if nothing else!
Of course, I couldn't leave my new discovery there, with so much still uncharted. So, today, I laced up my trainers and trailed out again to the other side of town. Desiring a threshold run, rather than a slower paced one, I didn't stray quite so far this time, but my run did take me out down some lovely country roads and into the world of the dog walkers, covering 4.2 miles in total. An added lunchtime jaunt around the park, with my dog, has set me up nicely for a couple of glasses of wine on my night out with the girls this evening. Something tells me, it won't be curiosity that kills the runner, rather the wine and rich foods which the runner feels the need to 'run off''!
As for those of you that scrolled through my extensive ramblings and thought 'no chance mate'... here's a pictorial tour of my curious adventures:
|Through Prestwich Clough|
|Past the lake|
|Via Thirteen Arches|
|Into Phillip's Park|
|A quick "Heya" to the weasel.|
|Back out in the sunshine over the fields.|