July 31st, a run to Alcomden Stones

3:48pm. Had a bad nights sleep until around 4:30am when I managed to drop off waking around 7:30am. Up, breakfast and out for a run to Alcomden Stones a lot later than I planned but still early enough to avoid the crowds around Haworth and the surrounding areas.

I got to Penistone around 9:30am and headed over the Millennium Way to the Bronte Way crossing the clough at the top of Lower Laith reservoir and up to Back Lane.

From here I doubled back on myself and took a road that turns into a trail running past several houses and eventually leading to a path that takes you up the side of Ponden Clough and on to Ponden Kirk.

I had forgotten how good this path was not having run it for a long time and it was great to reacquaint myself with this route and enjoy the views looking over the clough to Oakworth Moor and Keighley Moor two places I have rarely visited but should do as they have a rich history being near the border with Lancashire and have many interesting outcrops of rock to explore.

I got to the trail that takes you to Ponden Kirk and opted to take the path up Middle Moor Clough to Alcomden Stones.

I was surprised today to find it busy at least 6 or 7 hikers coming down from the stones forcing me to stop and let them pass. Once they had gone by I carried on the trail stopping at a vantage point to take a photo of the stones from a different viewpoint.

It was here I spotted a figure coming down from near the stones but taking a very bad line. They were clearly way off course but heading in the right direction. I decided to wait and make sure they were ok. As the figure got closer I saw it was a female hiker moving at a decent pace and soon she was stood next to me on top of the vantage point. We had a really nice chat and it turned out she was doing a recce of a route she was doing next week and had been ill advised by someone to take the line she took. I showed her the right line as best as I could and we had a nice chat about the surrounding area and fellrunning and walking the moors. She asked me her name and then as she was going I asked her, hers. She replied Kathryn and then it clicked. I knew her, I was sure I knew here from when I was a teenager. We used to hang around together and we nearly become an item but I was too stupid to do anything about it as usual but it was her it was Kathryn from 35 years ago. Immediately I regretted not asking her if it was who I thought it was but I was as sure as I could be that it was Kathryn. I wondered if she recognised me but didn’t say anything. A chance encounter that may lead to something or a missed opportunity amongst a lifetime of missed opportunities? I don’t know and can’t answer it right now but I have found her on Facebook and sent her a message so we will see.

I carried on my run up to the stones looking back to see if I could see Kathryn but she had disappeared from sight.

From the stones I ran down to Top Withens and down to Sheepfold before taking the path just below Sandy Hill to Harbour Lodge another of my favourite trails round here because it is just off the beaten track and nice and quiet even when the rest of the Bronte Way is busy. I had a good run to the lodge and from here took the unmade road back to Penistone. I’m enjoying this road as it’s reasonably flat compared to all the other trails around here and at around 1 ½ miles long it gives me an opportunity to improve my form and pace as I would on the road and focus and push myself in a different way to how I usually do. It makes a nice change to the usual uphill or downhill finish and adds something else to my running.

Home, showered, changed and fed. I’m feeling frustrated and out of sorts. Not saying more to Kathryn has made me realise how many missed opportunities I have amassed over my life and wonder if there’ll be more or if I’ll start making the most of the opportunities that come my way and convert them into something more meaningful. Only time will tell. I need to get out of the house though so I’m off to the club to sit in the sun with a pint and chat to my mates.

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