So today I decided to go somewhere different for a run. And it was a bit of a (nice) mare.
Let me start by explaining that I originally woke up to hailstones, so I dropped back off, and by the time I woke up it was glorious sunshine. Brilliant, I thought – I will go out for a nice long run somewhere new. I spent a bit of time looking up nice walks and runs around Cardiff and decided upon Parc Cefn Onn. By the time I had decided it was hailing again. And so it went on all day. I was sat ready, in my sports kit, until half 3 when it finally looked completely clear (rain I don’t mind…hail, on the other hand, not so much).
Got there in one piece – Parc Cefn Onn is only 10 minutes from my house. I parked up (free) and got on with it. My plan was to do route recommended by Cardiff Ramblers (great site if you are looking for some walking routes local to Cardiff) which took in some beatiful sites, and I figured that by the time I got to the top the sun would be about to set. Not all went to plan;
- firstly, it rained from the moment I got out the car. The park is mostly protected by trees so not such a problem.
- I got lost, took a wrong turning and ended up in the golf course car park. I swiftly turned back around.
- It hailed, numerous times, resulting in me hiding in the bushed to protect myself.
- I learned that running down hill is almost as time consuming as running uphill for fear of tripping!
I eventually worked myself up to the top of a ridge, took a couple of pictures which really didn’t do the view justice. I could see all the way down to the Bristol channel (as promised) and could see streaks in the distance where it was raining (yes, it did temporarily stop where I was!). This was far enough for me as I figured I should run back before it got too dark. I ran through a stream, took another wrong turning, and ended up tracing the outer fence of the golf course, which appeared to have once been a footpath, but some of the signs had been removed. I rand ankle deep in water and mud, stacked it going round a corner, splattering my hand in the mud in the meantime before eventually hitting a road.
This road proved the ultimate dilemma. My phone’s GPS said there were no roads, and either way I could see only a couple of houses. I aimed for the way I thought the entrance to the golf club would be (as least on the road I figured it would lead either to the dead end of a house/golf club or to a main road). I hit the M4, turned a couple of corners and found myself, 4 miles, and the best part of hour later, back at the car.
I am definitely going to go back as the park was stunning, and felt like it should have been somewhere exotic (if only it hadn’t been raining). Next time, I think I shall keep to the proper footpath and wait until it stops raining.
Caught in a hailstone storm mid run!
The view from a ridgeline
Drenched and tired at the top of the ridge
For more information:
My expected run route (courtesy of Cardiff Ramblers) http://www.cardifframblers.org.uk/routes/walklfltos.php?walkref=cwl04
Friends of Parc Cefn Onn http://www.friendsofcefnonn.org.uk/wp/