MINI AD­VEN­TURE

Dis­cover the beauty of trails

Trail Running (UK) - - Con­tents - Words So­phie Rad­cliffe Pho­tog­ra­phy Tom Miles

Ad­ven­ture is a way of life that I love, be­cause it fills my days with ex­pe­ri­ences and mem­o­ries. You don’t need to get on an aero­plane, spend a lot of money or have a huge amount of time to cre­ate an ad­ven­ture for your­self. Some­times the most mem­o­rable ad­ven­tures are the ones clos­est to home; the ones that we cre­ate some­what spon­ta­neously, that give us a chance to press pause on life and do what we love. These are what I call ‘soul-food ad­ven­tures’.

I’m buzzing with a child­like sense of won­der and ex­cite­ment as I down tools at mid­day on an idle Fri­day in Au­gust. I catch a train out of Lon­don to­wards the South Downs. My plan is sim­ple; to spend the af­ter­noon run­ning and

ex­plor­ing the trails be­fore set­ting up camp for a night in the wilder­ness. I can­not wait.

Just two hours af­ter leav­ing my house in Lon­don, and I’m sur­rounded by trees, with the sun­light fil­ter­ing through the for­est canopy. I ditch my wild camp­ing equip­ment in the place I in­tend to sleep, so I can run freely. It took me years to fall in love with run­ning, but it was dis­cov­er­ing trail run­ning that in­spired my pas­sion for this sport. I am not sure there are many things as pure, sim­ple and free as run­ning in the for­est, trails, or moun­tains. Just put shoes on and… go!

I run with no fixed agenda, just ex­plor­ing and push­ing my­self. I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber the words of wis­dom a friend shared with me mo­ments be­fore the start of my first triathlon, “Don’t for­get to smell the roses.” I keep these words with me; I am here to cre­ate new ex­pe­ri­ences, feel alive and fall in love with run­ning a lit­tle bit more.

I stop and ad­mire the view. I’m not far from a city that is home to over 8 mil­lion peo­ple, yet in the hours I’ve been run­ning I’ve seen only a hand­ful of peo­ple, walk­ing their dogs.

I don’t care about how fast or how far I run – it’s the pur­suit of ad­ven­ture that en­tices me to cre­ate these ex­pe­ri­ences. It’s the al­lure of the chal­lenge to make the most of my life that in­spires me to think of new ways to com­bine ex­er­cise and ad­ven­ture.

The en­dor­phins are pump­ing as I head back to my wild camp­ing spot. Although I love a night bivvy­ing un­der the stars, tonight I’ve opted for some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent; a ham­mock. You could also use a small tent, but I love the sim­plic­ity of a ham­mock or bivvy bag, and the op­por­tu­nity it gives me to feel con­nected with na­ture.

I use my jet boil to heat up wa­ter, stir it into my cous­cous and mix it with sliced chorizo and cheese. Camp

Pull on your shoes, head out the door, and em­brace your next ad­ven­ture

Sleep soundly un­der the stars in a ham­mock or bivvy bag

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