Friday, March 31, 2006

Sicklesmere and Rushbrooke via Hawkers Lane Suffolk


8.45 am 9.5 miles in 1 hour 19 minutes 03 seconds

Week to date mileage 23

Month to date mileage 144

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 135

Weather Sunny dry and mild

A wonderful circular run today. I set out from home in Bury St Edmunds and headed through the water meadows along Cullum Road and out along the pathway which runs beside the A134. This is the busiest section of this run and is a bit noisy but just turn up your MP3 player and it all fades away. I did as I listened to the Ramones, Jimmy Eat World, The Undertones and Cyndi Lauper.

The run becomes much more fun when you reach the Rushbrooke Arms in Sicklesmere. I am told this pub used to be called the Sicklesmere Wagon and this surely is a more appropriate name being as this pub is clearly in Sicklesmere and not Rushbrooke. Strange there must be some history as to when and why it changed its name any one know the storey?

The rights of way passes through the back of the beer garden and heads up hill from 41 metres to 75 metres above sea level which is a fair climb for these parts. Up Hawkers Lane there is a lovely view from here of Bury and Sicklesmere and once again another new view of the Cathedral and the Sugar Beet factory.

Anyone know the significance of the name for this lane? The history of hawkers dates back hundreds of years and seems to have had a very negative conatation at one time as being loose and idle people who sell illicit books. The OED defines the hawker as one who "goes from place to place selling goods, or who cries them in the street." So, the word goes back either to the sound of the person (he sounds like a hawk) or, more likely, the fact that such a person was always concentrating on his prey, like a hawk. Another associated word seems to be cadge these were people who were even lower than a hawker as they apparently impersonated hawkers.

Hawkers was a word also loosely used to describe gypsies or travellers. Many of the hawkers were religous outcasts - catholics or jews that arrived in England from Holland,Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Many hawkers would call out their wares for sale as they approached a village. The earliest mention of London Cries is recorded by the one and only John Lydgate one of our local monks and a prolific writer in the monastery in Bury St Edmunds. London Lackpenny a hawkers verse dates from the 15th century. There is a good site with a history of london cries which includes many a hawkers song. A couple of examples

Rabbit seller

Rabbit ! a Rabbit ! who will buy ?
Is all you hear from him ;
The rabbit you may roast or fry,
The fur your cloak will trim.

Your coppers, kettles, pots, and stew pans,
Tho' old, shall serve instead of new pans.
I'm very moderate in my charge,
For mending small as well as large.

After the wood you follow a grassy path through to Home Farm at Rushbrooke and here the path turns sharp left to Hall Farm and the run here is along an old concrete path through to North Hill Cottage.

I continued along Rushbrooke Lane and back into Bury. A very enjoyable circular run.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pakenham Suffolk


9.15 am 7.5 miles in 1 hour.

Week to date mileage 13

Month to date mileage 134

Average weekly rate 31.1

Average Monthly rate 135

Weather Sunny dry and mild

I drove out to the village of Pakenham which is about 5 miles North east of Bury St Edmunds. I parked in the main road outside The Fox and set of following the signs towards the Windmill. On the way along the Fen Road I took a detour and followed a footpath towards Maulkins Hall though I soon did a u -turn as it looked private. It wasn't just that anyone walking this way might assume this because of the amount of keep out and private signs.

Back on the Fen Road I turned along the Broadway and on to Thieves lane which leads to Pakenham Windmill. The windmill was built in the 1830's and is 80 feet tall. It is brick built and apparently the sails still turn but I don't think it is used to ground flour anymore. It was extensively restored in the 1950's.

Nearby runs the River Blackbourne and this must be the reason for the official transport sign warning of frogs! It looks like the locals have also taken to writing warnings on the road. As I ran down the road I was extra careful to look at for any frogs in case of treading on them but I didn't see any.

After the Windmall I turned along a lovely straight roman road which returned me to Pakenham Upper Town. From here I ran back to St Marys Church. Here I picked up a good pathway which took me out to Pakenham Woods. There are alot of good pathways here and thisis a place to return another time to continue on these pathways.

Pakenham really is a beautiful village and is unique in Britain as it holds a claim as being a village with 2 mills. This time I visited the windmill next time I must head for the watermill and may be I will see some of the frogs.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Horringer School /Hospital /Cullum rd Newmarket rd


5.15 pm 5.4 miles in 42 minutes 41 seconds.

Week to date mileage 5.4

Month to date mileage 126

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather Windy and spittin of run

A recovery run tonight after yesterdays race. Combined with the even stronger winds I did feel somewhat jaded and I ran fairly ok but I could still feel yesterdays race in my legs. The great thing is that know we are on British Summer Time it was light.After running in the dark, pretty much since October in the week day evenings this is wonderful.

I have inluded some more pictures of the Joe Cox Stowmarket 10. I should also mention that Nick Huggins of St Edmunds Pacers shown in yesterdays picture had a really good race. Considering his recent back problems which has meant regular training has been more difficult his time of 1 hour 36 minutes 23 seconds was an achievement. Well done Nick - yes I did catch you on camera after all!

I will add more photos in time to my flickr site and also to my Stickam site.

I also took a couple of very short videos in the sports hall afterwards. very short and totally meaningless but if you were there you may just see yourself have a look at my Stickam site on the left hand side.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Joe Cox Stowmarket 10


11am 10 miles in 1 hour 17 minutes 27 seconds.

Week to date mileage 27

Month to date mileage 121

Average weekly rate 31.1

Average Monthly rate 135

Weather: Spring at last mild sunny and breezy.

Today I took part in the Joe Cox Stowmarket 10. The clocks went forward an hour over night leading to an hours less sleep. There were no problems this year parking at the Sports Centre. I went early to avoid any problems and to register on the day.

The sports centre at Stowmarket is a great venue and it does provide a safe haven for spectators to get indoors and get some refreshments. There is always a great range of cakes and drinks at give away prices.The turnout seemed quite low at about 150 but it was also Mothering Sunday.

The fun runs kicked off before hand and there were a good range of events for the younger age groups to take part in and this is always good to see.

My aim today was to beat my previous time for this course set 2 years ago when I ran 1 hour 20 minutes 26 seconds when there 139 finishers.

As per usual I set of a bit too fast encouraged by a slightly down hill section at the beginning. I reached the 1st mile in 7.15 . The first village you go through is Onehouse and then very quickly you are into Harleston. I had slowed a bit by then and arrived at the 2 mile marker in 14.57 (7.42 for the 2nd mile) . Soon after this you go past Harleston Hall and then on to some footpaths.

For the first few miles I ran in sight of 2 other St Edmunds Pacers Roger Brand and Stephen Whitaker. I soon lost sight of Roger who disappeared ahead a bit too quick for me. I ran most of the rest of the race with Stephen or at least I had him in sight. My 3rd mile went well in 7.34 and so did the 4th which turned out to be my best of the race in 7.26. About here near Haughley you go over a small bridge over the A14 and then there is a climb past Haughley Park which turned out to be my slowest mile of the race in 8.29. It was at this point I actually took over the lead from Stephen but as soon as we turned into the wind at about 6 miles I wasn't able to catch him again.

Mile 6 was run in 8 minutes and I then begun to feel better again as we turned to run more easterly and so avoid the worst of the head wind. Mile 7 was completed in 7.38 and it was somewhere near here at Shelland that the road became blocked by 2 horses. The road was fairly narrow and one of the horses started to buck and kick and a small group of runners came to a compleat halt. Eventually they managed to get round on the grass embankment besides the road which I did too but it could have been quite nasty as the rider didn't seem to be able to control the horse which apparently was upset by the runners.

I had another slow mile between 7-8 recording 8.03 but then you arrive back at Harleston and you are back on to the same stretch of the road run at the beginning of the race. Here everyone seemed to speed up and my mile 9 was a 7.35 followed by a 7.41 to the finish.

My finishing time of 1 hour 17 minutes and 27 seconds was nearly 3 minutes better than the time I recorded 2 years ago so that has got to be good.

Once again Stowmarket Striders put on a very well organised event. It really is first class and I would urge anyone reading this who is local to support this race in the future and give it a go. All the marshalls were smiley and had a word of support and encouragement.

There were 149 finishers at todays race with Newmarket Joggers winning the team race. This is a bit down on last year when 168 completed the course

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Horringer Farm Circular Run


4.15pm 5.5 miles in 44 minutes.

Week to date mileage 17

Month to date mileage 111

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather: sunny and breezy

I was tired today after the track session last night and I had to push myself to venture out on my last run before the Stowmarket 10 on Sunday. The weather was wonderful and sunny although a strong breeze had picked up. Today I saw a metal detectorist out on the fields. Every so often he bent down with a trowel to investigate some find.

The other unusual storey to tell is of the rotary washing line which has appeared in the field with the remains of what appears to be an old army jacket. Of course this could be something of a bird scarer but I doubt it somehow and if it is it is something of a poor effort.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

West Suffolk Athletics Track Bury St Edmunds

6.30pm 6 miles in 46 minutes 38 seconds.

Week to date mileage 11

Month to date mileage 105

Average weekly rate 31.3

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather: cold and dry

My first visit to the track this month and I felt a bit rusty on the quick intervals. Tonights session consisted of 2 sets of 3 x 4 minute intervals with a 600 metre interval at the end of each set. The 4 minute intervals were supposed to be run at 10km pace and the 600 metres at a quicker 5km pace.

I was fairly consistant with the distance I covered which was around 900 metres for the 4 minute sets. I ran the 600 metres in 2.28 and 2.30

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cullum Road/Ramada Hotel and Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

5.40pm 5.4 miles in 40 minutes 35 seconds.

Week to date mileage 5.4

Month to date mileage 99

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather: cold and dry

I again ran really well tonight and without seemingly putting in any more effort I ran about a minute quicker than my previous quicker time. I just hope running well in training isn't wasted when I race the Joe Cox Stowmarket 10 on Sunday. I have run this event before back in 2004 in 1 hour 20 minutes 26 seconds so that is my target to beat.

Tonight out training I saw 5 women running in small groups of ones and twos but no men. I have to say I have noticed that increasingly if you see runners it tends now to be more likely that it will be women. This is great and I wonder what has been the spark that has encouraged this? I know the local Race for Life races must have had a good effect encouraging the take up of the sport. Nearly half a million women have now taken part in these events and they are well on there way to achieving their target of thre quarters of a million participants.

So popular is the Race for Life event in Bury St Edmunds on the 25th of June 2006 that they know have two races. The first one at 11am is already full but there is a second race at 2.30pm. This isn't unusual for the Race for Life Events they are normally filled to total capacity and then they are turning people away. How many running events apart from the major races such as the London Marathon can say that? This year already events at Cambridge, Colchester Lincoln and Norwich are already fully booked this summer. This is great and perhaps some lessons to be learned from their success for other more traditional road races? Is it simply successful because it is a great cause, it is a short distance or because it is an all women event??

My recent times over this course have been :

7 Mar 41.31
3 Mar 41.34
21 Feb 41.35
27 Jan 41.56
13 Jan 41.30
2 Jan 42.42
23 Dec 43.34
9 Dec 42.0
6 Dec 42.04
29 Nov 42.17

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Elmswell to Norton Suffolk


8.15am 8.6 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes.

Week to date mileage 33

Month to date mileage 94

Average weekly rate 31.5

Average Monthly rate 137

Weather: cold and dry

For todays run I drove out to the village of Elmswell which is about 8 miles east of Bury St Edmunds on the A14 towards Stowmarket and Ipswich. I parked close to Hawk End and set of for a run quickly picking up a footpath which immeadiately took me to the railway line. I ran past Elmswell Hall on the Parnell Lane.

I went under a bridge to cross the railway line and then headed across fields which took me on a twisting path out to Norton Hall and into the village of Norton.

As a run I will remember it most for the amount of dogs that I saw and heard barking everytime I disturbed the peace by approaching a house or farm. The other main memory was getting a little too close to a wood known I think as the grove near Norton Hall where the farmer was blasting away at phesants.

Elmswell has plenty of well marked footpaths and must be a good place to be based if you are a runner. The village itself is now quite sizeable and could be classed I suppose as a small town. The big news in Elmswell this week has been the announcement of the closure of the local bacon factory which is affecting around 400 jobs. That is a major loss of employment for Elmswell and it will have a big effect on the local economy.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bury 10 February 2006

Have a look at my Stickam site (down on the left hand column) for a short video of the Bury 10 from Nowton Park back in February. It isn't very good but shows the winner finishing in the bright winter sunshine.

Stickam looks to be a good multimedia tool for bloggers. It gives me another opportunity to loads some photos. You can also load MP3's

Fornham Circular Run Suffolk

10am 7.5 miles in 56 minutes 51 seconds.

Week to date mileage 24

Month to date mileage 85

Average weekly rate 31.1

Average Monthly rate 135

Weather: cold and dry

The course - head out of Bury on the Beetons Way past Tollgate and through the village of Fornham St Martin.
Return to Bury through Fornham All Saints along the A11101 Mildenhall Road , back to Tollgate and return up Beetons Way hill and home.

11 Feb 06 59.25
14 Jan 06 60.05


17 Dec 59.29
29 Oct 59.52
3 Oct 60.19
11 Sep 60.14
28 Aug 57.42
19 Aug 59.36
22 Jul 58.24
10 Jul 59.48
1 Jul 59.42
23 Jun 64.0
18 Jun 62.18
23 May 59.38
5 Apr 62.41
1 Apr 60.26
19 Mar 59.0
12 Mar 60.43
5 Mar 62.16
26 Feb 62.16
6 Feb 61 .23
28 Jan 61.02
16 Jan 61.14

Well what happened today? I doubt my watch could have been working properly as my time was my best ever for this course by nearly a minute and 2 minutes quicker than most of my previous times. Oh well I have felt good in myself with my running over the last week or so I feel as if I am breathing well and I am on my toes. However I may well have peaked when the Stowmarket 10 is not to next week.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Horringer School /West Suffolk Hospital /Cullum Rd & Newmarket Rd


5.45pm 5.4 miles in 41 minutes 54 seconds

Week to date mileage 17

Month to date mileage 78

Average weekly rate 30.8

Average Monthly rate 134

Lifetime mileage 8113

I ran a regular course tonight in a fairly decent time. One particular incident was unpleasant. Coming down Chalk Road which is quiet a steep hill I could see a car parked in the road. Obviously coming down the hill even for a slow coach like me you pick up a bit of speed. As I got closer to the car the door was suddenly opened wide and a boy who could only have been about 13 stood and seemed to block the way on purpose. This meant there was no way past except to run into the car or the boy. I had slowed but still ran into the boy for which I got a lot of abuse from the occupants in the car who had been laughing because their whole purpose was to prevent me getting past. No one was hurt but it was still unpleasant. I suppose I should have run over the top of the car I might have got a lot of praise for that.

Since Wednesday I have had technical problems using blogger which first meant I couldn't load any photos and then since yesterday I have been unable to access my blog at all. I just got a 403 message saying access was forbidden. All very frustrating but it appears to be back now.

I have included the photos I wanted to publish from Wednesdays run tonight though blogger isn't working in the same fashion as normal in the preview box as I can't view the photos I am including.

Looking ahead I think I may have a chance of still entering the Joe Cox 10 next Sunday at Stowmarket if I can get back from Cambridge in time. I just remember parking was a problem last time at the Stow Sports Centre but at the moment as long as I can register in the morning I shall be going.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Horsecroft Circular Run

5.00pm 5.8 miles in 46 minutes 58 seconds

Week to date mileage 11

Month to date mileage 73

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 135

Lifetime mileage 8107

Weather: A ray of sunshine still cold but all the signs of spring are there just no warmth as of yet.

As there was wonderful daylight I got to do a run over fields. I ran up the Horsecroft Road from the town centre this passes Horsecroft Hall amd is generally a lovely quiet road once you get out of town.

There is a footpath which take you across fields. It is well marked with occasional sticks in the ground and the colour of the soil is different along the metre wide path. Halfway along the field there is a junction with options of turning in every direction. On this run I turn left which takes you to the Hencote Lane footpath. Once back into the town I run across Hardwick Heath and returned home.

Today I met Alison Acton who is the West Suffolk Reporter for Suffolk Radio. She is doing a feature on local bloggers and has interviewed myself and Ruby from Living in Bury St Edmunds. I understand an edited version of the interview will appear on tomorrows breakfast show between 6.30am and 9am. I hope I made some sense in between my umms and ahhs and something worthwhile on running, blogging and Suffolk was recorded by Alison for the radio. Radio Suffolk can be found on FM 104.6, 103.9, 95.9 and 95.5

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Beetons Way Hill Intervals Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

5.30pm 5.6 miles in 46 minutes 7 seconds

Week to date mileage 5.6

Month to date mileage 67

Average weekly rate 31.0

Average Monthly rate 135

Lifetime mileage 8102

Weather: Drizzle

I decided to do a hill session tonight and ran down to Beetons Way Hill near the West Suffolk Athletics Track. Here I did 10 repetitions up the hill from the nearest lamp post near the bridge to the black lamp post near the mini roundabout at the top of the hill.

My interval times were 58,60,58,56,57,60,56,56,56 and 51. As you can see from my times I went for it in my final climb and was a lot quicker.

I warmed down with a run around Westley Estate past the school and home.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rede to Hawkedon Suffolk


10.30am 10.5 miles in 1 hour 27 minutes 9 seconds

Week to date mileage 34

Month to date mileage 61

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 136

Lifetime mileage 8096

Weather: Cold sunshine.

I drove out to The Plough at Rede which is about 6 miles south west of Bury St Edmunds on the A143. Rede is a small village most locals would know because of the lovely public house which is reached after a sharp turn after the church. I was attracted to running from Rede because the ordnace survey explorer map 211 shows a lot of those green dotted lines indicating footpaths.

Behind the pub there is a bridleway which I followed and for the next hour and a half I was transported into a world where the scenery cannot of changed much in the last few hundred years. This was quite simply Suffolk at its best, beautiful scenery, big skies, ploughed fields, hedgerows, lanes and churches seemingly on view around every corner. I am told that Rede is the highest point in East Anglia at 120 metres. Some of the run took me directly across fields and as it was sticky my shoes were caked with 3 inch heels.

I ran through Great Wood oddly named as it was very small in size and then went past a resevoir at Clay Hill. At the time I wandered what the large tower was having looked at the map at home it turns out to be a trig point. I didn't photograph it so I will return soon to do this. From here there is a long straight concrete path which goes to Gatesbury's farm however at the first opportunity I took another footpath of to the left and back over fields which took me past another small lake at Cresslands Farm.

From here I began to run slightly up hill to about 100 metres above sea level. Whenever you do this in Suffolk you are usually guaranteed wonderful views and this was true this time as the view is panoramic and you are able to see miles in all directions. I was able to look down upon a wonderful old house called Hawkedon House. Here there were large numbers of birds that I presume might have been meadow pipits. From there colours they appeared to have yellow streaks and certainly had a jerky flight as I disturbed them from there bushes.

The footpath emerges in the beautiful village of Hawkedon which I am definitely returning to for a drink at a lovely pub on the hill called the Queens Head. This is an idyllic village in a beautiful setting of rolling hills.

St Mary's church at Hawkedon commands your attention and can be seen for miles around. It is an unusual church as it has a wall that surrounds it and a village green beyond this on all sides. I ran past a large 1st World War Memorial and took a path over to Brook's Wood.

In the distance I could see the church of Stansfield Village. Here I turned and with some regret retraced my steps leaving Stansfield for another day.

I switched of my MP 3 player and listened to the sound of the breeze, my footfall and the squelch of mud. If you don't mind a hard run over soft muddy fields then this is the run for you. I have to say this is one of the best runs I have done so far and I will be back!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Coltons Ride Suffolk


10am 7.5 miles in 1 hour 1 minute.

Week to date mileage 24

Month to date mileage 51

Average weekly rate 30.8

Average Monthly rate 134

Lifetime mileage 8086

Weather: Sleet and sunshine.

I ran out from County Upper School towards Fornham St Martin but turned right up hill towards the Hollow Road Farm.

From here you get a good view of the Sugar Beet factory and Bury St Edmunds. You then follow a fairly straight road out to the Barton Stud.

There is a pathway through Colton's Wood called Colton's Ride which emerges on the A143. I followed this path up to Gt Barton and turned after 32 minutes.

I retraced my steps and returned in 30 minutes mainly because there was much more downhill stretches on the return.

I ran very easily today my breathing was more comfortable then for some recent runs.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Horringer Farm Suffolk


5.30 pm 5.5 miles in 45 minutes 4 seconds.

Week to date mileage 16

Month to date mileage 43

Average weekly rate 30.5

Average Monthly rate 132

Lifetime mileage 8078

Weather: Wet steady drizzle windyand mild

Darkness was falling as I ran over the fields of Horringer. I couldn't entirely see where to place my feet on the paths which were wet and in places big puddles meant jumping over or running sideways to detour. This was good fun and of course I didn't see a soul in the gloom. None of the usual dog walkers that a fine day brings out.

I ran fairly slowly in the conditions but I was just pleased to have run as I was in 2 minds thinking initially that as it was raining that I wouldn't bother. It has been a long hard week and as it is wet I was thinking I could give it a miss. Its amazing how the devil in the brain conjurs up all many of excuses to avoid a run. Its too hot, its too cold, I will go later, I will go tomorrow. However its on occasions like this that when you do go for a run you feel so much better for it.

The picture of Horringer farm is from a week or so ago when there was still a frost on the fields.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Horringer School /West Suffolk Hospital /Cullum Rd & Newmarket Rd


5.30 pm 5.4 miles in 42 minutes 13 seconds.

Week to date mileage 11

Month to date mileage 38

Average weekly rate 30.8

Average Monthly rate 134

Lifetime mileage 8073

Weather: a nice drizzle slight bright but mild

It was mild tonight so much so that I was down to one layer of clothes and no hat or gloves were required which was quite liberating. Roll on the days when I am down to shorts and vest. I should have been at the track tohight but I had to fit in a quick run prior to picking my daughter up from Bury Youth Theatre which is practicing at the Guildhall whilst the refurbishments continue on the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.

Previous times on this course are as follows

24 Feb 42.33
16 Feb 44.0
10 Feb 41.50
2 Feb 42.38
17 Jan 42.50
10 Jan 42.52
1 jan 41.45
14 Dec 42.47

I have included a couple more pics from my run on Sunday to Ickworth Park. The first photo just shows a ploughed over field at Horringer. I guess to many people this is just a picture of dirt and of course they would be right but I love fields and I intend to replicate this picture throughout the year to show the changes that the seasons bring.

The second picture is another of Albana Walk at Ickworth Park. What a fine gravel path somebody has layed to replace the previous mud.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cullum Road/Ramada Hotel and Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

5.30 pm 5.4 miles in 41 minutes 31 seconds.

Week to date mileage 5.4

Month to date mileage 32

Average weekly rate 30.7

Average Monthly rate 133

Lifetime mileage 8067

Weather: At last rain and a nice steady downpour.

I ran one of my my standard courses for a week day night until British Summer Time arrives which is always the last Sunday in March. This year it is the 26th of March and lasts until the last Sunday in October when we are plunged back in to evening darkness. This is when I get to run the same evening routes over and over again when I really want to get in to the country and over fields.

I really look forward to the longer days and it is very noticable now that the lighting up times are beginning to have an effect. Today sunrise was 6.33am and sunset was 5.49. Every day we gain about 5 minutes of extra light gained in the morning and evening . On the 25th March sunrise is 5.52am and sunset 6.19pm. The following day is BST and the longer day light evenings begin. On the 26th sunrise is 6.50am but sunset becomes 7.21pm.

Tonights run was a relaxed steady pace and not surprisingly I was within 3 seconds of my time I ran last week.

3 Mar 41.34
21 Feb 41.35
27 Jan 41.56
13 Jan 41.30
2 Jan 42.42
23 Dec 43.34
9 Dec 42.0
6 Dec 42.04
29 Nov 42.17

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Albana Walk Ickworth Park Suffolk


9am 8.5 miles in 1hr 10 mins 22 seconds .
Year to date mileage 284 miles
Month to date 27 miles
average miles per week this year 31.1
average per month 135

Weather was cold beautiful and sunny.

Course: Set of towards Horringer over fields towards Lord Hervey's wood and Great Horringer Hall. Along Westley Lane and into Horringer Village. At the Church turn right into Ickworth Park, down to Ickworth House and then do a circuit of Albana Wood before returning on the same route.

The photos are of Albana Walk. This is a lovely walk or run. You can park nearby if you so wish and the path way should enable most people to walk along the path which is gravel. If you are feeling really energetic there are a number of exercise points where you can do press ups, pull ups and various other exercises.

The woods also contain the most snowdrops I have seen. The latin name for Snowdrops is Galanthus which means milk white flowers. There are apparently 75 different varieties.

I have never had any success growing snowdrops in my garden they always vanish. However in the right circumstances they naturalise an area.
I am told they are also not regularly eaten by deer which might be another reason why they have been planted here in Albana Wood as the place is full of deer.

There is an enclosure with some fallow deer. Munjac deer are also commonly seen. There are another 4 varieties of deer in the UK the Red deer, Roe deer,sika and chinese water deer.

Why is the wood named Albana Wood? I can only guess when I looked up Albana Wood on a google search the immeadiate thing that popped up was something to do with a Suffolk Swingers Club that apparently visits these woods! Albana is also a name of an Italian white berry grape perhaps this has something to do with the name? Perhaps something to do with Albania? Or maybe it is to do with the Albana Gate which is sited in Trento e Trieste Square.

Presumably one of the former Marquis of Bristol visited somewhere around the world and named it as a reminder.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lark Valley River Path


10am 7.5 miles in 1 hour 2 minutes

Week to date mileage 24

Month to date mileage 18

Average weekly rate 30.6

Average Monthly rate 133

Weather: Cold, bright sunshine

Course - I set out from County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds and ran along the Mildenhall Road before taking the signposted footpath which takes you along the River Lark and into the Suffolk Golf and Country Club. The footpath takes you along the 2nd tee but as long as you keep close to the river there isn't a problem.

At the end of the footpath in the golf course you arrive at a bridge and have to cross the road in Fornham. On the other side of the road you are back on the river side footpath which takes you out to Culford .

The bright sunshine was strong enough to have melted the frost and made the surface of the footpath quite slippery and several times I lost my footing.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cullum Road/Ramada Hotel and Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

5.30 pm 5.4 miles in 41 minutes 34 seconds.

Week to date mileage 17

Month to date mileage 11

Average weekly rate 30.1

Average Monthly rate 131

Lifetime mileage 8046

Weather: Cold and clear hard frost already appearing as the twilight turned to darkness.

A beautiful cold clear night. I ran well with no aches and pains from recent back problems. I like a Friday night run it kind of caps the end of the working week,though I guess many more sane people visit a pub to do this and unwind.

I need a new race target to enter as I don't have anything booked. Anyone got any thoughts about events coming up in East Anglia? Two events I would have most likely entered are on dates I can't make as I am up in London on the 26th of march Joe Cox 10 and the Bungay Half Marathon on the following Sunday 2nd of April.

From what I can see this means my next race won't be until April 30th Breckland 10k at Thetford. I suppose this gives me a solid 2 months to hopefully get in some consistent training before venturing over the border into Norfolk.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Horringer Farm Suffolk

4.30 pm 5.5 miles in 43 minutes 48 seconds.

Week to date mileage 12

Month to date mileage 5.5

Average weekly rate 30.1

Average Monthly rate 131

Lifetime mileage 8041

Weather: Cold bright sunshine and snow showers.

More daylight in the evenings has meant I have been able to return to an off road run around Horringer Farm.The course takes me along fields near by Horringer Court/School near to great Horringer Hall and then over to Lord Herveys Wood up and down Westley lane and return home through Horringer Court.

This was a lovely afternoon run and getting back to running over fields had me thinking of Spring and Summer being just around the corner.

The last time I ran this course it was a warm Autumn day and the ground was sticky. Today with the lack of rain the ground was frozen hard.

How did my time compare to last years ? Reasonable but room for improvement.

11. 21 Oct 42.44
10. 5 Oct 44.51
9. 27 Sep 44.30
8. 21 Sep 45.0
7. 16 Sep 43.22
6. 6 Sep 43.12
5. 15 Aug 44.46
4. 11 Jul 45.17
3. 31 May 44.13
2. 12 May 44.33
1. 11 Apr 45.02

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bury Nearly 10 & 20 Race Nowton Park Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


Some more photos from the race last Sunday. The start and finish of the race was in Nowton Park in an avenue of Lime trees. Give it another 2 weeks and there will be a very impressive display of daffodils hence the protective orange mesh netting.

The park is pretty much a victorian landscapers dream. Well worth a visit and a walk around the 2 mile circuit.
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Running in Suffolk