Last weekend I finished my working week on Saturday, leaving me with one precious weekend day to spend in the great outdoors. Because I am supposed to be in training for a marathon, I decided to do 12-13 miles on a scenic route taking in hills and woodland. At short notice, two of my trusty running partners curtailed their Saturday night plans and got an early night ready for a run along the Sandstone Trail.
We parked up by the start of the Trail at Frodsham. I’ve started many a journey at this location, but this was the first time I would run solely along the Sandstone Trail. With favourable weather and light running packs, we began our ascent of the first short steep section, leading up to the War Memorial that was originally completed in 1921 and commands views out over Runcorn, Widnes and Liverpool.
From there, the route goes through a relatively flat wooded section parallel to a golf course, before dropping down and out through farm land and the occasional section on road. If you get into a running rhythm/ zombie mode, it is possible to miss the distinctive yellow markers at discrete turnings, so keep your eyes peeled. I wore trail shoes, but in good weather road shoes will do.
Six miles in we turned round for the return leg. The run was definitely hillier than I had imagined, but on the return leg I had the psychological advantage of knowing exactly where I was. Sure, we weren’t running at marathon pace, but we weren’t too sluggish either. Keep your eyes peeled for an old Tudor-style house near a farm which was moved from Nantwich to its present location!
The run got me thinking about running the length of the Trail (34 miles), as will as the Sandstone Trail race which is held annually. Upon investigation, I was surprised to find out it is being held this coming weekend. There are two races – one at 10.7 miles with 288m of ascent and another at 17.1 miles with 655m of ascent, and now I am on both waiting lists for this weekend!