LOUISE PRESTON

Trail Running (UK) - - Warm- Up -

A spe­cial needs teacher, Louise first started run­ning when she was around 30. “I don’t know why,” she says, ad­ding that she quickly re­alised road run­ning wasn’t for her. “Too bor­ing,” she said, also re­veal­ing she’s re­cently dis­cov­ered a love for fell run­ning. Mind you, that does only mean she has to head out of the front door of her Ac­cring­ton home, with plenty of great fell runs less than a mile away.

But it’s one par­tic­u­lar run that re­ally sticks in her mind. “While vis­it­ing Madeira, I ran in the eco­log­i­cal park over­look­ing Fun­chal,” she re­calls. “The drive to the park was breath­tak­ing enough but this was to­tally eclipsed by the views when run­ning. It was my first time run­ning at al­ti­tude and, com­bined with the heat of a sum­mer’s day, I found it tough to be­gin with. De­spite the climbs, it was a stun­ning place to run and I found my­self ig­nor­ing the burn in my legs as I was left speech­less at the ranges draped in clouds around me.

“I was struck by the sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the ter­rain and my own lo­cal moors, which was swiftly for­got­ten when I saw buz­zards hov­er­ing above us – some­thing I’d never see in Lan­cashire! Af­ter climb­ing towards the moun­tain sum­mit we re­turned fol­low­ing the path of one of the many lev­adas (ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nels) the is­land is fa­mous for. This felt like a wood­land trail in com­par­i­son to the moun­tains and gave us wel­come respite from the heat as we made our way back to our start­ing point, sat­is­fied af­ter a spec­tac­u­lar run.”

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