Thursday, November 10, 2011

Whistling in the Dark

It was supposed to be a group run last night, but my cohorts were all too busy, and so I was on my own for an "it's dark already?" after-work run through the woods. Hampton Hills is a spooky place in its own right, much more so when the moon is the only light you see.

The 3.2-mile trail at Hampton Hills connects to an area called Top O' the World, which has connections to urban legends, recounting ax murderers and satanic cults, and to an actual murder a few years ago. I can't not think of these things as I emerge from the grove of pine trees planted by Girl Scouts in the 1960s to the open field at the top of the hills.

My headlamp lit a small swath of ground, while my peripherals were ensconced in blackness. My ears made up creepy sounds to go along with the wind. My pace quickened as I passed the sign pointing the way to murder. Headlights blinked through the trees along the nearby road. The trail re-entered the woods and its creaking timber.

Like whistling past a graveyard, I tried to lighten my mood and focus on the fun I was having running across this blood-soaked moonlit terrain.

My legs felt surprisingly spry. The downhills seemed to recharge my thighs for the next steep ascent. My average pace on these hilly trails was just four seconds slower than an easy neighborhood run last week. It must be due to all those controversial "100-Ups" I've been doing at work.

A word of caution, though, dear reader: Make sure you're dressing appropriately for your evening runs. Twilight turns to pitch black night in a hurry. Wear your reflective gear, and carry some form of lighting device. Cheers!

1 comment:

misszippy said...

I do hate when it gets dark so early. The upside for us morning runners is a bit of an earlier sunrise, for the time being.

I think next year you should market and charge admission to a "haunted run."