We have always been early risers and would often find ourselves travelling to an event before dawn, sometimes driving 2 to 3 hours just to get there. Due to this we didn’t give the Sunrise our full attention as we were pre occupied with race prep and thoughts of the event ahead. Running throughout the pandemic has changed all that for us.
Our son Aaron is immunosuppressed and classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable so this meant that we had to find a way to still run, but at the same time try to socially distance from people. Our usual routes were out as they were simply just to busy.
After studying local maps we found an area that we felt was safe for us to train and we could run as many or as little miles as we wanted. Then to further ensure Aaron’s safety, we decided the best option was to get out as early as possible. So began the 4am wake up calls!!
After a quick, light breakfast and everything packed the night before for our run, we were on the road to our chosen route. As we pulled into the deserted car park in the middle of the country and got out it was eerily quiet and pitch black, but this just added to the adventure.
As we set off it was a strange feeling as there were no streetlights and the only light was the one on the front of Aaron’s chair which illuminated a path for us (thank goodness we invested in a brilliant new rechargeable light). As we moved deeper into the countryside the branches of the overhanging trees seemed to close in on us and the only noise was that of the animals in the fields around us, which only quickened our pace!! (Sandra has a fear of cows!!). If we weren’t awake by this stage then the cobwebs that had been spun the night before across the road that would regularly hit us in the face soon made sure we were.
As we came into a clearing and the trees became a little more sparse the dawn starts to break with the first signs of daylight and the impending sunrise started to appear. There really is something very special about being out and about when the world is just starting to wake up. As we progressed on our run our eyes started to adjust to our surroundings, we could see the animals lying down and the mist starting to rise from the fields. The sound of birds beginning the dawn chorus brings us closer to nature. As the sun broke over the horizon we could feel the heat on our faces and it brought with it a lovely sense of tranquility.
A lot of people run on their own, but we always run as a family, meaning we are very lucky to get to experience and share this peaceful time together.
The positivity shines through with each Sunrise, signifying a new day and the opportunity of a fresh start. We feel very blessed to have been able to experience and appreciate so many of these beautiful Sunrises over the last 11 months and are looking forward to lots more of them in the Spring.
from Co. Down, Northern Ireland