Summer is here; blue skies with high clouds, long days fade to warm evenings and trail running in the Peak District is a pleasure.
No longer is there a need to don my windproof or carry a waterproof, hat and gloves are left behind and I relish the chance to run unencumbered by rucksack or bumbag.
The ground is dryer now, the wet, peaty trails turning dusty and it’s good to finish a run with dry feet for a change. Skipping across the dry, gritstone boulders the dry rock gives excellent traction.
But the thing that gives me most pleasure is running with the sights and sounds of nature. Running below Burbage rocks I hear the high pitched cheep of the Ring Ouzel whilst on open moorland I am often circled by Curlews, distinctive with their long curved bill and mournful, whistling cry. Of all the little, brown, ground nesting birds I am fascinated by the Skylark. I hear it long before I see it, singing away melodiously. Today I noticed its song was particularly loud, yet it was a tiny speck, high in the sky.
So the joy of summer running; dry trails, blue skies and the sound of the Skylark, singing away high on the wing.