Last year it was sunny. This year it wasn't. It was squally, windy and cold and I didn't like it. I like soft gentle snow or calm but cold. I don't like rain, especially rain that goes more sideways than downways and has passed through a refrigeration process on its travels.
Still, I'd driven from Durham to Brough Law. I was here now. I might as well run around a big hill for a few miles. You know the weather's a bit wild when Will uses the words 'mandatory' and 'kit' in the same sentence, in the same race briefing. I had three layers on, which for me, is the equivalent of a 15 Tog duvet, and I was still cold.
We started and the mortals at the back crossed the road, hit the hill, and started walking. Then as we climbed and followed the shoulder of Brough Law round to the south a lovely thing happened. It all became surrealy calm. I'd expected it to get wilder as we got higher, not nicer. I was pleased to latch on to an Otley runner who paced me nicely round the the whole course observing all the corners and paths that some were choosing not to, until we returned to Brough Law and there is a surprisingly confusing fork in the tracks that can easily fool the runner even so close to home. She waited for me and with my years (1) of experience of the course I pointed along the right fork. She said this was her first race and she had certainly chose a baptism of sleet. There follows a joyous slightly mad grassy descent all the way to the finish, which is just the other side of the road. During a soggy presentation ceremony I spotted Louise McGolpin who I recognised from yesterday's Harrier League. The race was won by Phil Sanderson.
I've just read Will's report about how the course was marked out last night with help from the scouts under a meteor sky. That must have been a very special thing to see in a very special place.