30 Jan

Cool Runnings

snow running

Snow and ice. It's been everywhere in the last few weeks. In the towns, in the country, all over the media and right down my Facebook feed too. Here in Britain we are really rather obsessed with the weather, especially when the white stuff arrives. For me it is possibly my favourite condition to run in.

It is certainly not the favourite of organisers of the South of England Cross Country Championships. The annual event - a winter highlight for hundreds of club runners - was due to take place on Parliament Hill in London last weekend, but was cancelled due to erm ... wintery weather.

I was so indignant I almost subscribed to the Daily Mail. Anyway, I digress. Snowfall does present tricky conditions to run in and are consequently also the slowest.

But when I think about my years' running, the times that I have run in the snow - either in a race or in training - are amongst the most memorable.

I recall running up and down Edinburgh's grand old Royal Mile glistening and bright, of slipping and sliding through Brixton and Clapham whilst being playfully pelted with snowballs by gleeful school children, scaling snowy roads on a Bulgarian mountain and tramping through a snow-crusted cross country course in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.

They have stayed with me because the experience was not devalued, but actually enhanced by the snow. The runs were more challenging than usual and as such gave me an even bigger post-run feel-good factor.

To my mind, the snow presents a great opportunity to add some variety to the usual running routine. There will be plenty of opportunities to run in the rain, plenty in the wind and just a few in the sun in the UK this year. But how many in the snow? Take advantage when the snow arrives say I. You'll feel much better for it.