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Archive for April, 2006|Monthly archive page

Woolpit and Drinkstone Suffolk

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2006 at 1:48 pm





8am 7 miles in 57 minutes

Week to date mileage 36

Month to date mileage 80

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 480

Life time 8258

I drove out to Woolpit which is about 8 miles from Bury St Edmunds on the A14 road to Stowmarket. I parked at the recreation ground near St Marys Church and headed through the village soon picking up a pathway across Bishop Karney Green to Drinkstone. There are good footpaths here and I would certainly return. I encountered a fox and we both stood still just for a second but in my haste I took a shaky picture.

At Drinkstone I ran through the village to visit All Saints church before following a path through the graveyard which took me aptly to Deadmans lane. At the bottom of this land you arrive at Rookery farm where there are the remains of two windmills neither now with sails.

The white building in the photo is the postmill. It is believed to date from 1689 however further research now suggests it may be the oldest in the country as some of the timbers date back to 1543.

This location was used in 1970 for an episode of the comedy Dads Army – There is a link for more details of the windmill here.

I ran back through Drinkstone and headed out towards Tostock but I only reached as far as Ticehurst House before retracing my steps back to Woolpit.

Woolpit is a lovely village and a place I have regularly visited for its annual fair and in days gone by it had a great reputation for its fish and chip shop. Many a time returning from Ipswich I have stopped off at Woolpit for its fish and chips but not in recent years.

Woolpit has a legend which many people may have heard regarding the green children. So the storey goes in the 12th century a boy and girl appeared in the village one day who were entirely green. Their skin and clothes were all green. Neither of the children could speak English or would eat the food offered to them. Eventually however the boy died but the girl survived and learnt some of the English language but no one knows where the children came from. There are many books on this storey more details are here.

River Lark Run

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2006 at 1:39 pm

8.30am 7.2 miles in 58 minutes 50 seconds

Week to date mileage 29

Month to date mileage 73

Average weekly rate 31.6

Average Monthly rate 137

Year to Date 473

Life time 8251

Course:Head out through the water meadows and then turn left at Bury Rugby Club . Follow the path through No Mans Meadow which is at the back of the Abbey Gardens returning to Southgate Bridge and then returning over the meadows for a 2nd lap.Return home up Southgate Street past the Police Station and through the Abbey Gardens graveyard then through town centre, Risbygate street, Westley road and home.

My previous times over this course are as follows

9. 13th Feb 06 59 minutes 52 seconds
8.27th Dec 05 1 hour 3 mins and 23 seconds
7.19th 05Sep 56 minutes 42 seconds
6.29th 05 August 58 minutes and 7 seconds
5.2 july 05 1 hourand 53 seconds
4.26th june 05 1 hour and 9 seconds
3.28th May 05 58 minutes and 51 seconds
2.13th April 05 59 minutes and 25 seconds
1.11th March 05 1 hour and 31 seconds

Dry and sunny

Fairly tired after the race yesterday but ran well.

Sudbury Fun Run 2006

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2006 at 9:00 pm






10am 5 miles in 37 minutes

Week to date mileage 22.2

Month to date mileage 66

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 136

Year to Date 466

Life time 8245

Dry and sunny

I decided to enter the Sudbury Fun Run this morning. The town of Sudbury is about 15 miles south of Bury St Edmunds on the A134.

As I hadn’t pre entered I imagined registration would be fairly straight forward. However this race is one of those where the race start and finish are in two different places. The start is in in the centre of Sudbury and I went there first but couldn’t see any signs to direct me so then thought registration would be at the finish nearby at Great Cornard Sports Centre. When I got there I found out it was back in Sudbury so I drove back and just managed to register by the 9am deadline. Then I had to drive back back to Gt Cornard to park the car and then jog back 1.5 miles to Sudbury to the start.

The race was easy in comparison but I have only myself to blame for not pre entering the race. Sudbury is probably unusual in still allowing a road race to take place from the centre of town and disrupt traffic. Bury used to stage its 10 mile race from the centre of town but I imagine due to pressure from authorities this was moved to its present location out of town at Nowton Park.

As it was a town centre start to the race there was a good crowd watching including the mayor. The road race was preceded by the walkers who set of at 9.30am to follow the same course. At the front of this race there was one guy who was clearly a race walker and by the end of the high street he had already won this race.

At 10am the road race commenced and there was a very good turn out I would imagine well over 300 competitors. The course seemed to be generally flat though as much of the course was open to traffic we were instructed to keep to the pavements. This generally meant quite a lot of running up and down pavements over the course.

For the first mile the road was congested and you pretty much had to keep in file which prevented you going of too fast which is a good thing. I arrived at the first mile in 7.20. The road then began to clear and I would imagine the 2nd mile marker might have been wrong or I went too quickly as I ran the 2nd mile in 6.58.

There was a drink station round about the half way mark which was very welcome as it was really quite warm. My 3rd mile was run in 7.21 before there were one or two slight hills I think on the 4th mile and I ran my slowest recording 8 minutes for this mile. My final mile was back to pretty much my average mile times and I ran 7.19.

My overall time of 37 minutes means an average of 7.24 miles. This is my best average mile time for a race since I restarted running last year. However according to the Prairie Inn Harriers scoring system ( a system used to compare performances over different distances) today’s race scored 591 points which is 1 less than I scored for the Stowmarket 10 on the 26th March 2006 which I ran in 77.27 – average time per mile 7.45!

Anyone else use the Prairie Inn Harriers scoring system as part of their running log? I suppose it is a good way of comparing relative performances. It does point out that an elite athletes performance would score a 1000 points! It doesn’t really include any allowance for age though.

All in all this was a very well supported event and it was good to actually have crowds of spectators watching and there were good numbers in Great Cornard and at the end of the race at the Sports centre.

Angel Hotel Bury St Edmunds

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2006 at 12:36 pm

The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds was built in 1779 and is situated in a commanding position on one of England’s prettiest Georgian squares.

Records show that prior to this building there stood an Angel Inn on this very spot as long ago as 1452.

Anyone who has visited the Angel Hotel and ventured into the Vaults for a meal and seen the medieval arches will know the history goes back much further and there are many theories put forward of underground vaults between here and the Abbey Gardens.
One theory is that the Vaults were
originally used by the monks of St Edmundsbury Abbey as a Charnel House to which songs were song to the departed sould whose bones were entombed in the underground vaults.

In Leonard Thompson’s excellent book on the Inns of Suffolk he states that there were originally 3 inns where the Angel Hotel is now sited – The Castle , the Angel and the White Bear.

It was a decision by the Guildhall Feoffees which led to the present building being built at a cost of £2,000.

There are many characters associated with the Angel Hotel of the course of its history. One of those who would have had course to regret ever setting sight upon it would be a Robert Clarke who presented a forged £1 note and was executed for the crime in 1807.

The Angel Hotel is chiefly associated with Charles Dickens. Room 15 at the Angel Hotel is where Charles Dickens stayed when he visited Bury and gave readings in the Town of his book David Copperfield. Dickens writes of Bury St Edmunds and the Angel Hotel in his book the Pickwick Papers. In the storey Mr Pickwick is on the trail of Mr Jingle and stays the night at the Angel Hotel.

Bury St Edmunds was full of coaching inns. The Angel served this purpose at least as far back as 1739 when journeys were advertised between Norwich and London via Bury St Edmunds taking 2 days to complete.

I well remember myself working in the kitchens at the Angel Hotel when I was around 16 years old operating the dishwasher. The kitchen was a volatile place full of bad tempers and I didn’t stay long.

Chevington to Ousden via Hargrave Suffolk

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2006 at 3:35 pm






2.30 pm 8 miles in 1 hour 4 minutes 40 seconds

Week to date mileage 17.2

Month to date mileage 61

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 461

Life time 8239

I am off work this week and in between filling a skip of garden rubble I am taking the opportunity to visit more of Suffolks beautiful villages. Today I drove out about 7 miles west to the village of Chevington. I parked near the Tan Office Green post office and set of with the intention of running to Ousden. Ousden is a village that I nearly reached on Monday’s run from Barrow.

I chose to run mostly all along the road and they were very quiet and there was no problem with traffic. At the Greyhound Pub I turned left and headed downhill and then back up hill to Hargrave. As I visited Hargrave on Monday there was a natural progression to todays run and I knew my way through this village.

I turned right and then left to pick up the Ousden Road. There is an uphill section here to reach Lady’s Green before arriving into Ousden. At Ousden I took photos of some nice glass in the windows of the local methodist church, a kite stuck in some telephone lines and best of all the important health and safety notice on the local village hall!

I ran past the Fox public house and reached Park farm on the road to Ashley before turning around. On my return I did venture off road at Broad Green Farm and folowed a sticky footpath by a stream. However my time ran out and I needed to return to Chevington Village and home.

Barrow and Hargrave Suffolk

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2006 at 3:41 pm





12.30 pm 9.2 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes

Week to date mileage 9.2

Month to date mileage 53

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 453

Life time 8231

I drove out 6 miles from Bury St Edmunds to the village of Barrow and parked at the Weeping Willow pub. When you are unsure where to park I generally head for the pub carpark this always seems a good place.

My intention was to follow a path I had seen on the ordanance survey explorer map 210 which should have taken me to Great Saxham. I followed the footpath turning directly left on the Hargrave Road just outside of Barrow. There was a nice path beside fields and everything loooked good but when I arrived at a junction the wooden signpost had lost its markers. Someone had vandalised the sign and it was totally unclear where to run. After one attempt which took me into Green Farm I knew I would just have to return to the road.

Plan B was to run along the B Road to Hargrave and look for a triangulation point I had seen on the map. Believe it or not there is a real anorak sport called trig spotting.I guess I have to come out into the open and admit I must be a bit of a anorak as I have always been interested in seeing these colums when visiting the Lake District. The following explanation comes from the Trigpointinguk.com web site.

Trigpoints are the common name for “triangulation pillars”. These are concrete pillars, about 4′ tall, which were used by the Ordanance Survey in order to determine the exact shape of the country. They are generally located on the highest bit of ground in the area, so that there is a direct line of sight from one to the next. By sitting a theodolite (an accurate compass built into a telescope) on the top of the pillar, accurate bearings to nearby trigpoints could be taken. This process is called “triangulation”.

A major project to map out the shape of Great Britain began in 1936. The network of triangulation pillars, with accurately known positions, led to the excellent OS maps which we enjoy today.

Anway on the way out to Hargrave I ran past the trig point as I assumed I was heading towards a triangulation mast that I could see in the distance rather than a piller. The road I ran along was called Barrow Hill it descends at a lovely Suffolk pink house called the wash house. I carried on into the village of Hargrave and took the Ousden Road until I eventually reached the triangulation mast at Ladys Green.

Feeling a little tired I retraced my steps back along the same route up Barrow Hill which suddenly felt like more of a hill then before. However suddenly near Wolfe Hall on the top of Barrow Hill I saw the trig point standing in a field. I clambered over a ditch and managed to avoid stamping all over a field of peas in order to get a few pictures of this concrete piller – result! This made the run very worthwhile and I ran back to Barrow in a very good mood to have a look at the War memorial and the main street.

Ickworth Park – Albana Walk and Adkins Wood

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2006 at 1:17 pm





8.10 am 12 miles in 1 hour 38 minutes

Week to date mileage 29

Month to date mileage 44

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 136

Year to Date 444

Life time 8222

Weather – sunny dry cold

I set of across Horringer Farm, the pathway around the fields was nice and dry and not too much give. There have been times when it has been so wet along here that it is like running on stilts as the dirt sticks to the bottom of the shoes.

For several weeks there has been no sign of any bras in the trees at Horringer but today there was a new pink one posted up in a bush. Well half a cup anyway!

I ran in to Ickworth Park to the Rotunda House. I was then distracted by loud noises which I had to investigate and found a big field of sheep and young lambs making a terrific din. I took a short video have alook at my stickham site where I will place this along with one of the beautiful rotunda house.

I then ran around the Albana Walk before returning to Adkins Walk. I found a new path in the woods which I shall return to as I ran out of time today but it seems to head out to Chevington/Chedburgh way.

Cullum Rd /Ramada Hotel/Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2006 at 7:07 pm

6.15 pm 5.4 miles in 40 minutes 30 seconds

Week to date mileage 17

Month to date mileage 32

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 135

Year to Date 432

Life time 8210

Weather – dry cold

After a long winter I am finding my times are improving and I really believe I can improve a little bit further I ran well well today and could have quicker

My recent times over this course have been :

21 Mar 40.35
7 Mar 41.31
3 Mar 41.34
21 Feb 41.35
27 Jan 41.56
13 Jan 41.30
2 Jan 42.42
23 Dec 43.34
9 Dec 42.0
6 Dec 42.04
29 Nov 42.17

I am in the market for a new pair of shoes and I am considering what to buy. I have high arches but over pronate leading to heavy tread usage on the outside of both of my heels. Over the last year I have used 3 pairs of shoes –

a pair of Brooks Addiction 6 2005 model which I have run 410 miles in and there is extensive wear in these I don’t think I should do any more running with these.

a pair of Saucony Trigon which I have run 548 miles in and I am not using any more. They are warn with no rubber tread on the outside of the heels left.

I am still using a pair of New Balance 1060’s which are great but I actually find the toe space is a bit tight for my pair of size 9’s and this has lead once or twice to bruised toes but I still prefer these to any others for races as they seem a little lighter and not so stiff as the Brooks.

I usually buy over the internet from Wiggle, Sportsshoes Unlimited or Bourne Sports. I get lost in all the technology that running shoes claim to have and I tend to go back to tried and trusted brands such as New Balance.

West Suffolk Athletic Track Session

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2006 at 8:43 pm

6.15 pm 6.2 miles in 50 minutes 3seconds

Week to date mileage 12

Month to date mileage 26

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 137

Weather – dry cold

Tonights track session consisted of 3 sets all to be run at 5k pace. First set was 4 x 3 minutes intervals, second set was 3 x 3 minute intervals and the last set was 2 x 3 minute intervals. There was a bout 3 minutes recovery between each set and a minute between each interval.

The secret was to run a consistent pace for all over this pyramid session. This is easier said then done but generally I was happy that I achieved this and I pretty much finished on the same point of the track each time.

I warmed up by running about a mile from home and then I did 4 laps around the track. I finished by running home.

Now that it is light it is even more enjoyable running on this track and we are very lucky to have such a facility in Bury.

Long Melford Suffolk

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2006 at 7:04 pm






5.45 pm 5.6 miles in 45 minutes 18 seconds

Week to date mileage 5.6

Month to date mileage 20

Average weekly rate 31.3

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather – dry cold and sunny

I parked the car at Long Melford at the Hare pub which is opposite the entrance to Kentwell Hall and ran through the village which must be about 2 miles long from the High Street end down to Rodbridge Corner. The village is a mecca for antique enthusiasts and pub crawlers. You could visit about a dozen pubs if you cared to do so.

The village is full of medieval houses and halls – Kentwell Hall and Long Melford Hall being very prominent at the top end. As I ran down the hill along the wide expanse of the village green you have to say this is a wonderful village but its popularity does mean an awful lot of cars. Throughout the village cars are parked at all angles in order to visit the designer stores and often very up market antique stores, many of which you wouldn’t venture in to unless you have plenty of money.

There are some lovely almshouses and houses which have weathered with time and now slope at all sorts of strange angles. This is definitiely a place to visit if you are in Suffolk and want a wander. Much of the success of Long Melford can be traced to its wollen cloth production. Up to the 14th Century individual dyers and weavers were able to work for themselves and built up substantial businesses. By the 16th century half the population of Long melford was engaged in cloth production and were exporting all over the world and as far as Russia.

I ran up to the Holy Trinity Church and then into the grounds of Kentwell Hall, Here there is a long line of Elm Trees which are covered in what looks like mistletoe bushes in substantial quantities.

I read somewhere that a rolled up horsemans purse was once called a Long Melford but I am not sure why unless of course they were made here?