Runaround: Old Heathfield (UK, East Sussex)

This eastern weekend me and The Girl went for a short trip to the UK, to visit her cousin. She and her family migrated there last december, so it was time to pay them a visit.

The day started rather cold and windy, but the afternoon cleared up. Good time for a run. It was actually The Cousin’s husband that opted I would go for a run, and he would tag along on his bike.

As they live in a small village there was barely any traffic.

 

The next village was a bit strange for several reasons.

Whether it was their street naming

 

Or the traditional english phonebooth wich was turned into a book sharing office. Just drop off books you don’t need, and pick books you would like to read.

 

Or the white llama’s we came across. That’s right, llamas…In case someone shouts: a picture or it didn’t happen:

Thats why bringing a camera along for your runs never hurt. Strange thing was that they were actually staring at us, as we were the ones out of place in south-east England….Shortly after we left the village behind and it was back to the rolling terrain. The second picture shows how steep some hills are.

 

From here on out we looped back to the road we came from. So to top off with a nice view from the place we started.

Overall it was a great run. Temperature and weather were good. The loop was about 12K, completed in just over an hour. Enjoy the weekend!

Runaround: Nelson (airport)–New Zealand

The past few months have been quiet around me. I completed Challenge Almere-Amsterdam, my main goal for this season. Sadly I sustained a hamstring injury during the event. The few months that followed consisted mainly of swimming, easy cycling, and running short distances, low pace. December offered some relief. As me and The Girl headed out to New Zealand for 4.5 weeks. All holiday!

We would travel around in a small campervan, crossing both islands. Below is our planned route, and our campervan

 

 

 

Today was the first day I ran since weeks. We did do a lot of hiking through cities and national parks, but I didn’t go out on a run. We just crossed the cook strait with the interislander ferry and Nelson would be our first stop.

At the reception of the motorhome park I picked up a map with hikes in the area. The closest by was the Nelson Airport walkaround. Getting there and around totaled to around 10K, perfect for a nice run to see how my legs would hold up.

After I memorized the map on how to get there, I was off. A few k’s into the run I arrived at the airfield, but no hiking trail to be seen. I came across a local runner and asked him. With his directions I managed to find it, and it was clear to me why I ran passed it. As this is what it looked like:

The first part was mainly on a small path shoved between a fence and bushes. But further on you were out in the open, as on one side there was the airfield. On the other a golf course.

The run turned out to be quite warm. There was barely any wind, despite the airfield being an open area. But with all the distractions around it was manageable. Below is the sign showing airport security has some sense of humour.

 

Around 75% of the lap I was forced to stop. The following picture says it all:

A plane was approaching. But within a few minutes I was off again. The last part was a bit confusing, as all the airfields access roads were crossing, but eventually I was on my way home again.

Overall it was quite a success. Time to lit up the BBQ and relax!

Greece: Votsalakia (Samos) Runaround

Me and The Girl went on holiday to the Greek island Samos. We stayed at a nice apartment with a beautiful ocean view.
Although the holiday was mainly about relaxing, there are still some workouts to be done.

Our place was on a small hill between Votsalakia and MarathoKampos. The goal was a 45 minute run at higher pace. So I opted for a simple one way and back route. Especially since Votsalakia consists of a big main road, as you can see on the map below.

 

The first part is easy, a nice downhill with some hairpin turns. Within the first few 100 meters you would drop around 50 meters. A tough section to top off the training for today when I get back.

 

Not long after you encounter the first structure of the village. This building is not yet completed, but it has a small memorial sign in front of it. In Greece mostly used to indicate fatal accidents on roads. Not sure if the two are related in this case.

On the left side there is a small bay with a beach. A small gravely path leads up to it. A few days later they organized it and put up some beach chairs and parasols.

 

Next up along the road are some fields where locals are growing some fruits and vegetables. Some small houses and supermarkets.
Each house looking better then the other.

 

We are in the low season, and because of the economic difficulties of the country, tourism dropped for this island. Because of this you could see sites like this:

Restaurants or bars not opened yet, or still preparing for the later high season. Others are making the best of it and are open, in expectation of the various tourists (like us) that did show up.

Now we left the major part of the town behind us. Next up is an intersection, which eventually leads up higher in the mountains to the caves where the Pythagoras lived. A famous philosopher and mathematician. Not long after it was time for me to turn around and head back.

Ofcourse I couldn’t stop with taking a selfie at the turn around point.