Herod Farm

by Helen Gray

These strange times have made me feel sorry about things I can’t do even though I didn’t like them.

Herod Farm

April, the evenings are light once more
I will miss Herod farm
Not a phrase many thought to hear
I’ve long made clear my dislike
Of this short, sharp test
And yet, in these strange and anxious times,
I will miss Herod Farm.

The first of the year, the promise of more to follow
Friends old and new
Bright in their vests, names registered, numbers pinned,
Trotting, chatting up the road,
To Herod Farm.

In order of strength, fitness, hopefulness
We line the track,
Shuffling feet, shoulder to shoulder
Announcements made and then we’re off,
Past Herod Farm.

The steady uphill through the fields,
Don’t waste your legs now
Steep rise of the Nab ahead,
Digging in for the climb
Cheery faces at the summit, gather yourself,
Then belt through the tufted fields toward Monks Road,
Away from Herod Farm.

Turn back, downhill now to Simmondley.
Legs flying over broken stone walls, small boggy streams
Keep your balance!
Double back, then, on tired legs,
Climb the Nab once more
Cursing Herod Farm.

Lungs burning, heart pounding, hands on thighs
All muscles straining
Grasp the sharp yellow grass
Haul yourself up; “Made it! Well done lass!”
Turn back down towards Herod Farm.

Clattering downhill, feeling reborn.
Light fading over the hills beyond,
The town spread out below.
This is why we run, the challenge brings this reward
Only a fell runner can describe.
Breathless celebrations of the finish and
The knowledge that it is also a beginning.

I will miss Herod Farm.

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This account is for the editor of the Strider. Currently that is Pete Fotheringham.

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