Friday workday, Leominster and Kington. Just enough time for escape between sites and a visit to Hergest Ridge. Recent ride plotting has revealed a huge number of bridleways around the Gladestry area and the potential for epic days of bike and bivvy is huge. However, it's good to see the OS maps translated a little, to get an idea of surface and exposure. 40 mins isn't long, but it was long enough to get in the furthest barefoot style run/walk to date.
The run started with a steep tarmac road that gradually narrowed until reaching a gate, and both the gradient and surface mellowed under foot.
The gravel turned to the softest spongy grass and the scenery opened right out. Running past a couple of walkers, out for the day with big rucksacks and hiking poles, I was grateful for the simplicity of my task. True escapism in nothing more than rolled up work trousers and the Vibram five fingers.
With such gentle terrain, I could stop worrying about foot placement and watch the hills roll away into Powys, knowing, by bike, the distance will be covered with ease in a day.
Eventually the clock began to tick louder, repeating 'get to site, get to site' so a decision to turn had to be made. In the distance there appeared a clump of monkey puzzle trees, strangly out of place on this ridge. It seemed as good a place as any to call the top and, sure enough, the ridge began to fall away in front of me once there.
A few photos later and it was all downhill to the van, plucking up the courage to let the legs go and let gravity do the work.
I'm still tentative in the fivefingers, but the confidence is increasing, as is the strength in my calves. 5,2 kms, most of which was running, buzzing with endorphines and happy as a sandboy.