It's been a few days since the last post, and mostly because it has been a busy time after Dad's funeral on the 23rd August. Saturday 25th August saw us fly to Sofia, and then by taxi onto Borovets in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria, where I last was ten years ago with Gavin Bose, Steve Baker, and Joe Sharples. A much needed break after the loss of Dad, and at least some semblance of a holiday whilst Claire was off on school holidays, our having had to cancel our GR20 Corsica and Sardinia trip. The trip to Borovets brought us Bulgaria's oldest ski resort and a place where we could fell run in the mountains and ascend Musala, the Balkans highest peak at 2,925 metres. Plenty of marked paths and tracks, with good quality refuges. Highly recommended. Borovets, whilst a created ski resort, is a pleasant place with a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from. But I was determined to also get us to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second city and somewhere I had been ten years ago and always wanted to go return to. In a nutshell it is an ancient city having been inhabited from the 6th millennium BC, and a wondrous place to explore with ruins from antiquity and later.
Fell running? Well we ran up in the Rila Mountains, and it is good training and difficult to do bearing in mind the altitude. I can see why mountain runners do well from living at such height. On returning on the 1st we decided to complete the Exterminator Fell Race on Sunday the 2nd September, my birthday. A strange desire; 16 miles of fell running in the peak district around Hathersage. A hot humid day for gallivanting around the moors and was delighted to have come in at 2 hours, 57 minutes, and 30 seconds; under three hours and a half hour improvement from when I ran it with Claire in 2016. 47th out of 137 runners, and 12th in my age category.
That did not stop the momentum and on Thursday 6th I ran in the Hades Hill race from Whitworth, beautiful old location in the Moors above Rochdale and a competitive club and Run The Moors Championships race. A fast pelt there and back from Hades Hill, and lots of up and down. Highly enjoyable, with a number of "Sadds" in attendance and in a old place with a central pub surrounded by stone church and houses, blue historic plaques dotted about; 32nd out of 152 runners.