Summer Solstice Run 2014

In the glow of a street lamp
As is tradition, having done this all of once before last year, it was time to rise ahead of the sun and run into the sunrise on the longest day of the year.

So that's how I came to be creeping out of the house into a sort of twilight at 4am. The forecast was cloud which made this pointless exercise even more joyously pointless. As per the best traditions.

I crunched down the track in the warm, semi darkness and popped out onto the beach. Yes, this year June 21st was a Saturday which I meant I was on the coast rather than in London. And this, despite the cloud, is what made it quite wonderful. I could actually see the horizon and a faint umbra of light out to sea.

And that really perked me up as I set off along the coastal path towards Deal and the distant lamps of Ramsgate twinkling in the half light. For half an hour it was eerily quiet with not a car nor person in sight. Until just as I approached Deal and came across 3 people zig zagging across the path ahead. And singing. As I passed them one said to me "Zuh zuh zuh aggh Pete" and fell to his knees. Clearly seeing a lycra clad runner heading towards him at sunrise on the longest day of the year was giving him a spiritual moment. Or it could have been the 8 hour binge. I gave them a wide berth in any case and headed past the gated pier, past some fisherman on the beach and out towards the golf course.

It was approaching the official sunrise expected at around 04:39 when the sun would break the horizon. There was a warm glow out to sea towards the wind farms. I passed an old man gazing out to see with an old compact camera. "Three minutes to go" I said. "Two minutes!" he replied without even checking his watch.

Just by the golf course I stopped to take in the sun rise and take some photos. Sadly, despite my most optimistic wishes, there was no sun in sight. Still, it was a beautiful morning all the same and I took my time.
Just as I was about to head back an ember of deep red sun chinked through the grey cloud, sending a faint red line across the sea towards the shore. Wow, if there had been no cloud it would  have been an amazing sunrise. I watched as the ember faded out as the sun climbed at some speed, hidden behind the grey.

And that was it. I headed back, past a couple watching on a bench, past the old man "Not much of a show today!". "Flat batteries" he said. He could have been referring to his camera, or maybe... Hmmm.

Past the fisherman, didn't see the drunks and all the way back home. 9 miles. I was showered and back in bed reading by 6.

Now, even though I'm rarely available to witness it, it's a safe bet that the sun rises every day. Sometimes no doubt in spectacular fashion out to sea with no one looking.
I'd quite like to take a look, or at least sneak a peak. So I'm going to be on the lookout for Saturdays with a zero cloud forecast, check the time of sunrise and set off to say hello. We'll meet soon.


Setting out



Daft feature on my new phone

On the return





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