Bristol is not a flat city. Built on the banks of the tidal river Avon, there have been people here since the Old Stone Age – some 60,000 years ago there were people living near here and to get almost anywhere in the city, apart from a north-easterly direction is going to involve some hills.
There are a few races that take advantage of some flat land – the recent 5k around the harbour and the Towpath series and of course my beloved Bristol to Bath cycleway, the BBC. Mostly though its hills that slope down to the river. Heading west the river passes through the Avon Gorge on its way to the Bristol Channel underneath the spectacular suspension bridge, an icon in the landscape. The bridge lies just to the east of the Downs which are a high point which everyone has to climb from somewhere to reach except for those lucky few people who live on the east side.
Its around here that I come to run if I am not heading out on the BBC, a loop around the downs and then over the Clifton Suspension Bridge and up to Ashton Court. There is a Golf course through which a bridle path has been made which goes up to the southern boundary of the grounds near a quarry and then passing around the quarry and re-entering the park one can run along bike trails through the woods.
In September there is a 10 km race here, the Ashton Court 10 km and the grounds are a pleasure to absorb.
Heading home via the Downs I was feeling stronger than I had for some time and as my weight is about 180 lbs – a little lighter than normal.
This was a two hour run yesterday and even though there were two hills that I attacked and subsequently felt, I was happy with how it went and look forward to developing this base over the summer.