Waterside running at dawn

Most of us are drawn to bodies of water; ponds, lakes, rivers or seas.  My grandparents in land-locked Northamptonshire used to drive every weekend to the local reservoir, to walk the dog or sometimes just to sit and watch the water.

Water for me now makes the perfect focal point for a running route.  In Cornwall I’ll head for the beach at dawn and there’s nothing like it.  In Dubai, I joined other expats for a couple of laps (three if I could manage it) around the Springs lake.  My Hampstead Heath routes always pass by the ponds.

Water at dawn holds a special attraction.  It’s both calming and stimulating; never the same.  And the reflection of sunrise on still water makes the most amazing photos. Another dawn runner kindly sent me this incredible shot of his morning running route in Colwick Country Park near Nottingham.

 

Colwick Country Park, courtesy of @Darren0310

 

Frosty winter morning on Hampstead Heath

Frosty December morning on Hampstead Heath

I’ve been waiting for weeks for a perfect winter sunrise; a glinting, silvery scene with frosty white trees.  This time last year we were ankle-deep in snow, so I’ve been holding out for a quintessential Christmas card photo from my early morning runs.  No luck so far, but this morning did deliver a light frost and a crisp winter sky, and I left my usual route and ran uphill over crunchy frozen blades of grass.  This moment was my first sight of the rose and gold sunrise.

 

Early morning flat white

The bleakest autumn mornings have their own artistic beauty.  The early light has been flat and white every day recently, and today was a perfect example.  Wreathed in mist, the trees took on a feathery quality and the landscape was as shades of black ink on a grey wash.

The barest outline of the sun is visible above the trees through morning cloud.

A mosaic of green and gold in an otherwise monochrome scene.  I liked the contrast between the stark, black branches set against a white sky and the dapple of autumn colour.

Chasing the dawn

I hadn’t actually intended to run this morning.  After a 10K club run last night, today was going to be a rest day.  However since I’ve begun this regular blog, I’ve become a dawn-chaser, obsessed with capturing the perfect sunrise!  Hence I threw on my running gear and literally sprinted up a hill to take this photo!

a couple of minutes earlier...

It was a magnificent morning; perfectly still and crisp.  Until I started running a few years ago, I only really appreciated the weather when it presented an opportunity (or frustrated an attempt) to organise something like a picnic or a barbeque and never gave it much thought beyond what to wear or whether to take an umbrella out.  I would have given a glance at a cobalt blue Autumn sky or a spectacular sunset, but I would never have seen a view like the one I saw this morning.

We used to run our whole lives by Nature, from sunrise to sunset, but modern life has conspired to take us away from it.

Go out and fill your lungs with the bright air of dawn, and whatever you thought about your day when you woke up, I challenge you to think the same way about it when you get back.