A Shropshire lass who went away and a New Yorker who came to stay

Run for the hills

#best things about living in Ludlow

It’s almost impossible not to do some form of exercise when you live in Ludlow and surrounding areas. It’s heart-stoppingly beautiful, but plenty hilly so it’s easy to go for an amble in the countryside and before you know it have clocked up several kilometres there and back.

However, if you’re a runner or should you want to begin — the Ludlow area is the place to do it. I run regularly in Mortimer Forest and often will not have encountered a single person. It’s just me, my thoughts accompanied by my music selection and a canopy of calming, soothing variegated greens.

It has taken me about three years to fully feel like I can run a 5k without my heart bursting. When I first started I used the Easy Access Trail in the Vinnalls at Mortimer. The figure eight trail is flat and significantly, it’s only a mile long. Two loops very slowly three times a week in the early morning dark of winter. Torches advisable. I ran with a partner so it never felt too much like a chore. It was our social time and neither one of us wanted to let the other down once we confirmed via an evening text our 6 am morning run time.


Trail via Hazel Coppice, Mortimer Forest. Not reprintable without permission of owner. Subject to copyright

Good gear

I can now run on my own and feel motivated to do it. I’m by no means ready for a marathon but I find I do enjoy it and I can now give a good kick when I’m nearing the end of a run. This is how I measure progress: am I invigorated? Yes? Then that’s a hell of a run.

I don’t believe you need a lot of expensive gear when you’re running but I had some difficulty with shin splints and my knees suffered too. I have flat feet so arch support is a must for me. I found good trail running shoes that had enough support, grip particularly in the winter, lightweight and protection at the toe. Inov worked well for me.


adidas - Pure Boost X Shoes Core Black/Shock Green/Core Black AQ6681

This summer though I had a fling with these running shoes. It felt like I was running on springs. I mean these shoes seriously made me feel like I could fly and they’re pretty! Adidas Pure Boost, according to the sales patter in the Adidas store, these shoes were designed by a woman. Maybe she’s related to Mercury. Unfortunately, they are totally impractical for trail running. I wear them only on graveled paths. As the Autumn draws in I may be tempted by these babies.

sb2060_black_1The other piece of kit that I cannot do without? Leggings that do not slip while I’m running which also performs the miracle of holding my flesh in as I run. Has anyone else experienced the sting of having your saddlebags jiggle? At the very beginning I did and it wasn’t fun if your leggings didn’t have enough heft to keep it all together.

Well, I have invested in a pair of Sweaty Betty running tights found on discount similar to these. They really are the biz and if the cost wasn’t so despairingly high I would buy more. Not only are these tights sleek, they’re effective. No sagging anywhere and I can draw in the waist with a convenient tie – no plumbers crack on display and nothing to frighten the deer away.

Places to run

If you live or visit this area then you can run anywhere, everywhere. Just walk out of your house! There’s the ability to challenge yourself and there are trails with plenty of inclines. I have walked the Climbing Jack Loop at 9 miles but have yet to run it. The signage in the Forest is not the best by the way; you are often left taking a punt as to which trail to take.

If you prefer company on your run, the Ludlow running group caters to all levels. It’s lovely seeing them running on an evening in the Autumn through town. So get outside…

Upcoming activities

Categories: Fitness

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