Tag Archives: The Outdoor City

Winter’s Calling

 

Late November, the dark peak.

Winter is home again on these high moors,

mewling in with chill-lash days of sleet and gale.

With fellhard testing days of hail obscured horizons and roaring, bed broaching brooks.

 

The moorlands, in summer sunbaked hard to a dustpuffing footthumping crust, hard as the skin-shredding gritstone;

air filled with skylark song.

Now, now they are become the haunt of ravens.

 

Now, winter drenched they have become again a crazy patchwork,

a patchwork of dampslick gritstone and foot chilling mud.

The sharp bite of ice,

its grip freezing the mud to iron hardness, the dampslick to glass;

that is yet to come.

With climate change it may not come at all this year. 

 

My body, fresh off the bus, shrugs a familiar desultory shiver. On these fells, bare weeks ago, weather warmed it welcomed the gentle kiss of a cooling breeze. This winter day, warmth barely conserved by swathes of fleece and shell, the intrusively questing tendrils of a nithering east wind find any gap; to chill any sliver of bare skin. 

 

But still, these long beloved rolling seas,

of heather speckled with islands of gritstone all beneath a sheltering sky,

 still they call me.

And so, as I have for decades, I respond.

With coldtingle scorched fingers and toes, with wind chapped grin, I run. 

And, for a little while, all is well and all manner of things are well.

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Judgement Day or, why I said this film wins or, why did I say I’d judge this comp?

My friends at Accelerate running shop Have been running a video competition as part of their Shake Up. I was rather pleased, and a little unnerved, to be asked to judge the entries.

Here’s the winning entry, from Sheffield based artists Callum and Mikk Murray.

I’ll openly declare here, I know and like Mikk. This film won because of the three entries we received, I feel it best fills the competition brief. The film tells a coherent story, a story about what a part of our running world feels like.

They’ve shown the varied running environment we enjoy, the film tells a story, and it features the shop itself. For those who don’t know the area, Mikk starts off running high on the moors at Burbage North Bridge. This is, remarkably, still in Sheffield and the valley is maintained as one of the city’s parks. The film created journey, from those wild and windy moors through our still thriving industrial city. Callum and Mikk’s film, through this journey, showcases the superb variety of trail running we have in our home city, from fell through country to urban. And it finishes at the shop, where the usual greeting is being passed; a mug of your favourite drink.

The soundtrack, Flow, from Oren Dji fits well without being obtrusive. There’s enough volume to hear it clearly, the mood of the song fits well with the quiet nature of the film. A personal note here, there’s more to (adventure) film soundtracking than rad thumpin, bangin rock, rap and house choons. Be genuinely radical, experiment, explore the worlds of sound out there.

In short, I like the film. It’s one I’d be happy to have made.

Callum and Mikk win a Suunto watch. Well done chaps.
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