Archive for July 4th, 2009|Daily archive page

Stinging Nettle Run

In Fornham St Genevieve, Parkgate Woodland Walk, Stinging Nettles on July 4, 2009 at 7:57 pm

One of the great things about running in warm weather is to be able to remove the layers and to run in shorts and short sleeved t shirt.

For this morning’s run I thought I would head through the Fornham St Martins Golf course and folow the pathway along the River Lark out to Culford. I haven’t tried this route for a while and running besides a river always makes it sightly cooler.

The run started well, the weather was great and the golfers were out in force and I had managed to duck any flying balls. The pathway through the weeping willow was a bit more difficult than normal as the gap had almost grown over and I had to slow to just check there was a pathway rather than something I had imagined and I was just running into a tree as you do.

Once through the tree the obstacles became a little more daunting and as you can see from the photos it became a bit more of a jungle and my running style became more of a hop as I lifted legs in strange angles to avoid the stinging nettles. It was inevitable that I would get stung and I did but perhaps not where you would imagine first. My hopping had been quite successful and whilst my legs didn’t get stung my left elbow was the first to brush with Urtica Dioica the common stinging nettle.

This perennial has many stinging hairs known as trichomes whose tips come off when touched. The tips turn into into needles that then inject a number of chemicals such as histamine causing a sting. This is all part of a run and I managed to reach the bridge at Fornham St Martin and tried the footpath besides the river on the other side of the road but very quickly gave this up as the overgrown foilage and stingers were slowing me down to a slow jog and sting.

Instead I headed for the Parkgate Woodland Walk at Fornham St Genevieve. This is a small woodland area but worth a visit. there are a number of signboards with information linked to the history of Fornham including the battle that took place here. Running under the canaopy of the trees was nice and cool and I returned home via the road giving the riverside path a miss!