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  trailrunning > trailrunning blog > 15.10.2013
15.10.2013 – Box Hill
     One of the joys of trailrunning is that nature is basically a huge playground that offers infinite variety and stimulation. You don’t have to chase PB’s or push for the pain cave on every run – merely being in the countryside is an end in itself.

Today I ran around the Box Hill area. Meandering around the trails like a lazy river following the path of least resistance. Speaking of rivers, my hike began by crossing the river Mole on some fun stepping stones. I skipped jauntily across the river wondering how cold it would be if I lost my footing and fell in!! I then climbed the steep slope on the west side of Box Hill, admiring the obsidian character of the many box trees which grow on this slope and give the hill its name. At the top I stopped at the Salomon Memorial to enjoy the view. No, this is not a memorial devoted to Salomon trailrunning products (even though the name is quite a happy coincidence as I happened to be wearing Salomon tailrunning shoes). In fact, it was Sir Leopold Salomons who purchased 230 acres of land on Box Hill for £16,000 in 1914 and immediately gifted it to the National Trust. This began the process which eventually led to the National Trust owning and managing 1200 acres in the area. Good work Sir Leopold, and thank you.

After this I explored some trails in the area. Checking out random paths. Smiling at the many old solid wood benches that are well placed for views extending all the way to the South Downs, which are about 40km away. There were some really nice cloud formations, rays of sunlight occasionally bursting through. Classic autumnal views such as red leaved trees contrasting beautifully with the slightly dull, desaturated green of their neighbours.

After jogging through woodland for a while I found a nice hill. This was a soft, wide grassy incline that was basically like a bouncy green carpet. The hill was 460m long and offered about 50m elevation gain. Feeling energetic I did five hill interval reps. Got my pulse up. Pushed my legs a bit. Inhaled to the very depths of my lungs. And then relaxed again.

Jogging back to the station around sunset was brilliant. The light had that strange, surreal quality. There was a calmness. Streaks of sunlight highlighted sheep. Horses. Crow's calls echoing in the open sky. Pastoral scenes that felt timeless. Real. Natural.