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By reflected light

February 8, 2015
The fens at sunset

The fens at sunset

Running in the dying light of the day is becoming a great source of inspiration. The big skies running through a molten sequence of colours before night sets in.

Cambridge is incredibly dark. Like, really dark. The streetlights are spread widely and lit dimly – and the pavements are narrow and often more than a little uneven. A winning combination.

Naturally runners head for the miles of paths that spread out across the fens, some paved and shared with cyclists, some dirt tracks shared with grazing cattle. Weekdays, while the days are short and the sun has determinedly set by the time I leave the office, require a sturdy head torch. Weekends, though, when you’re late heading out and battling the setting sun, are aided by reflected light.

Puddles, the sluggish river and the drainage ditches cut into the fens themselves are all lit by the dusk light, helping to navigate the route. Sometimes there’s a mist hanging in the air, or a delicious thin wisp of log fire drifting lazily from a canal boat. The flatness of the terrain cloaks its scale, and it’s only the occasional flash of perspective from reflected light that helps give a sense of distance in the compact darkness of the fen.

Inspirational as these twilight runs might be, the primroses, daffodils and tulips pushing their way up along the city’s paths hint at warmer weather and longer evenings to come. I’m looking forward to that first evening run in sunshine.

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