In England’s Green & Pleasant Land

IMG_0928The reason I like to run in the countryside is that many of the trails and footpaths have been there for decades and maybe even centuries. The modern world has devised motorways and dual carriageways which leaves these narrow rural rights of way largely forgotten. However, that’s the very reason why as trail runners we love to discover where they lead. As a bonus the trails inevitably give you great views and a connection to nature while running through it. These sights and sounds would have been enjoyed by countless people over the ages and it’s why I feel compelled to revisit whenever I can.

If any piece of literature ever summed up our Great British countryside it would have to be the patriotic poem by William Blake, “And did those feet in ancient time” which was later developed into the hymn Jerusalem. Yes, we run England’s mountains green and fight the mental fight in England’s green and pleasant land.

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  • And did those feet in ancient time, Walk upon England’s mountains green: And was the holy Lamb of God, On England’s pleasant pastures seen!
  • And did the Countenance Divine, Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem built here, Among these dark Satanic Mills?
  • Bring me my Bow of burning gold; Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire!
    I will not cease from Mental Fight, Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand: Till we have built Jerusalem, In England’s green & pleasant Land.

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The “Views from my Shoes”, (Saucony Peregrines to be specific). Ok, so sitting down might not have been the most sensible angle to take this photo but it’s the weekend so why not do something silly !!

Today’s temperatures still meant I could see my breath in front of me, now and then, but as the sun came out and cast it’s shadows, these are the signs that Spring is upon us. I ran on the outskirts of Fareham out towards Knowle and beyond. The steady 6.6 miles weren’t that fast but today summed up the enjoyment I get from running off road.

At this time of year if your trail running takes you into the woods there’s a good chance you will come across bluebells, lots of bluebells !! I’m sure this blue carpet, which only covers the ground for a few weeks, has been something to look forward to since William Blake’s time. Run for fitness, run for fun, just make sure you get out and run 🙂

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