I think that Davinia had this run in the back of her mind the entire time we were in Somerset, so I was super happy for her to run to the summit of the highest point of the Isle of Man.
We did another run on our third or forth day on Mann, starting in Laxey and up through a glen, which might have qualified as one of the most beautiful runs of my life. Of course, I decided to leave the camera in the car and just enjoy the run, which might have added to the beauty of it, but made it difficult to share here. Not making the same mistake, I brought the camera along on the morning of our last day on Mann.
Running in the United Kingdom and now on the Isle of Man made me realize why Gore-Tex is put into shoes. Growing up in Colorado, Gore-Tex was usually only in “winter trail running” shoes, which sounds about as much fun as volunteering to be tortured. But on Great Britain, and the Isle of Man, there are these ferocious bogs that are completely camouflaged by high grass. One moment you’re trotting along on dry ground and suddenly you’re knee-deep in black mud. This was the case during the Coniston Marathon, and it was definitely the case in the middle part of the Snaefell run.
The trail leads to a footbridge past the main road of the island, which is a part of the TT and Manx Grand Prix race course. Because we were there the day after the Manx Grand Prix race day, there were notably less police at the top. From there, it’s a fairly straightforward trail the the broad summit.
We were especially lucky that it was a pretty clear day, which allowed us to see the famed Seven Kingdoms commonly mentioned by the Manx: The Kingdom of Mann, the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Scotland, the Kingdom of Wales, the Kingdom of Ireland, the Kingdom of Heaven, and, most radically, the Kingdom of Manannán, ruler of the sea.
We made quick work of the run overall, which was a fantastic way to stretch the legs before the flight back to Birmingham that afternoon. Thanks again to Davinia’s mom and her partner for the accommodations, rides, and encouragement!