Now that the evenings are starting to get lighter, mid-week trail runs are slowly but surely creeping back into my schedule. On Friday, I headed to Ockham where I completed a carefully planned, almost perfectly circular lap of the common, taking in a section of the woodland, some of the open heathland and the telegraph tower, and chosen specifically to optimise the mix of sandy horse trail, classic tree-root-and-leaf-mould forest track and run of the mill mud path.
What do you mean “it looks like the web of a spider on a caffeine high“? Carefully planned, almost perfectly circular lap, I tell you. No random path following here, oh no.
Buoyed by my success, and not daunted by the startling level of activity to be seen in the pitch black car park at the end of my run, I returned to Ockham this evening. To avoid falling into a rut and running the same route again (it was perfectly planned, you know, and thus wholly repeatable), I crossed over the footbridge to Wisley Common.
“Lowland Heath” is how it is described in the Surrey Wildlife Trust leaflet. A leaflet which I now believe to have been penned by an Estate Agent. Bog. It’s a bog. All paths lead to bogs. Bogs with spiky plants. Spiky, scratchy plants. In bogs.
My plan to run around the edge of the common very soon turned into a mission to find my way back to the bridge as quickly as humanly possible. Easier said than done. I escaped from the bog and found my way back to a path which felt hopeful, only to be confronted with the other end of a bog which had blocked my path.
I turned tail and started running towards the sound of the traffic, and then followed the M25 back to the A3 and the A3 back to the bridge and over into the familiar surroundings of Ockham Common.
And the car park with a disconcertingly active night life.