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My morning run on Kinder Scout

A hilly landscape in the Peak District at sunrise
Fog rolling in over Kinder Scout

“You’re crackers!” said my mum when I told her that I was going to get up at 5am to go for a sunrise run the next morning. She said that I was the same when I was little - I "just wouldn’t rest". I laughed, knowingly.

I woke up five minutes before my alarm, feeling sad after a dream about a death. I wondered if I'd had the dream because I’d seen a lamb struggling for its life the day before. I’d informed the farmer, tried to get it standing, but it all felt hopeless. Even more heartbreaking was that its sibling looked up at me with sadness in its eyes. Not wanting to dwell on this, I made coffee and put on my running clothes.

As I ran up the hill I glanced back to Kinder Scout and noticed the fog rolling in. What an impressive sight! This quickened my steps as I got excited for sunrise and soon I stood upon Back Tor where I could see the fog rolling in from all directions. I imagined a bird's eye view with me in the centre of it all.

By the time I reached Lose Hill there was very little visibility and certainly no chance of seeing the sunrise. I turned around, heading for Mam Tor and slowing down to eat half a peanut butter bagel. There were a few people out walking, and a lad from one group slipped in the mud somersaulting down the hill which made his mates and me laugh! It was so comical that I wondered if he’d added a bit. When I got to the trig pillar on Mam Tor the sun was doing its best to burn through the fog and there was nobody in sight.

A sheep standing in the mist on a moor
Quality thinking time over Brown Knoll

I must’ve got into my running rhythm over Rushup Edge because I can barely remember it, then I joined up with the flagstone path to Brown Knoll. Two walkers emerged through the fog, then it was just me and the sheep. I admired how the moorland colour palette glistened against the grey.

I considered heading down Jacob’s Ladder but thought twice and headed for Edale Rocks, eating the other half of my bagel on the way. I passed three chaps who asked me the way to Mam Tor, and a runner who made it look effortless. At Edale Rocks I considered how the fog made the boulders look even bigger, they seemed to be looming over me. They felt protective, perhaps because they’ve become a familiar landmark to me.

I felt the chill of the wind at Kinder Low trig pillar, moving on quickly to Noe Stool and the Woolpacks, hopping between the least boggy patches.

I watched the peat fall away from my trainers, appreciating that it doesn’t stick like mud, but feeling the cold water soak through my socks regardless. While I ran across the top of Crowden Brook, these words came to me:

"Large looming boulders

Dark peaty waters"

I love that running naturally makes me play with words and thoughts.

Large boudlers emerging through the fog
Large looming boulders - Edale Rocks

Running towards Grindslow Knoll I noticed the dampness of the air. Even though it wasn’t raining, my gloves looked soaked and I could see tiny droplets of water hanging from my eyelashes. I didn’t wipe them away, I liked wearing the elements. 

Wearily descending the Knoll, I passed a man and a woman on the way up. The man said “lovely day for it” and I agreed while looking at his familiar face. I recognised him but the morning fog had turned into brain fog. I incomprehensibly babbled something about recognising him and he joked about being famous. While trying to muddle together the puzzle, I recalled that he’d led a rewilding project and stumbling on my words I asked “are you a plant person?” (what a ridiculous thing to ask) and luckily he said yes - Luke! Phew - he saved me. They were heading off to do the Kinder Dozen. Oh how I laughed at myself the rest of the way down. Who asks someone if they are a plant person?!

When I got home I finished my coffee that I’d poured into a flask that morning, enjoyed a hot shower, then made a big bowl of porridge. Playing with words on the hill had inspired me to write. I pulled out a book from the shelf that I bought years ago - How to Grow Your Own Poem by Kate Clanchy. I followed the prompts to write a poem and then felt guided to write this reflection of my morning run. I think there is much to be said about simple happenings and details that often get missed, unshared, and simply forgotten. But they matter. They really matter.


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