Ever since walking this route with friends a few weeks ago, I have been itching to try it as a run. The route takes in a bit of everything: a gentle start through three fields, a gradual ascent up through meadows , woodland , ancient drovers’ tracks up to the moorland gate. Open moorland climbs stretches down through clear paths bordered by bracken and crosses a lovely stream by way of stepping stones. The climb is quite hard going over stones and moorland peat towards a clump of trees on the near horizon which is Glasscombe Corner. Turning there, the route follows a boundary wall. Several streams feed in here and stepping stones are easy. The incline rises over moorland grass and follows an ancient stone row to a burial cist. Reaching Ball Gate the views were amazing towards Shipley Bridge. Running from Ball Gate was exhilarating and fast over stones steeply dropping. The track became a stream and running was effortless over the stones to the grass track a km on. Once through the gate the path followed the wall and gorse and heather combined looked beautiful. Then the route enters a copse and a steep rise out of woodland keeping to the edge of common land until a gate is reached. A steep descent down a green lane makes easy work to reach the lane. It was quite muddy here but it was a fast section . The road at the bottom runs along the contour for a km before descending steeply into the valley. And then the lane crosses the stream and leads into the fields and back to the car.
This was 11km with average pace of 8min per km. Surprisingly, although uneven, it was far gentler on knees compared to road and allowed me to keep the pace up. Trail shoes were a must and Salomon Speed Cross trainers performed well on the stones and uneven moorland terrain. Gortex ensured dry feet throughout even though there was a lot of boggy and wet terrain.