The 29th of February only comes around every four years or so and so, in 2016, it offered me one last day in the month to squeeze in a run. I didn’t need to hit any distance targets or Strava goals (I had already hit the distance, elevation, half marathon and 10K goals for the month) but another hour on my feet would be nice before March and the approaching Saint-Fons 6 Hour.
I had told Cécile that I was going to head out onto the Voie de la Dombes and do a loop there. I wanted to run a little on trails to de-stress after a long day at my desk and it is only a few kilometers to Cuire and the trail. However, approaching the end of the C-line, I decided to turn down towards the Soane instead and try out an uphill trail I had run a couple of times before.
Of course, to run the uphill you have to descend down from the plateau first. I made my way down a trail of muddy switchbacks until I was at the bottom of the hill and then crossed to the base of the Bois de la Caille and the hill I would climb.
The climb itself went well enough. I had to hike the top part as it gets rather steep and there are more than a few rocks and roots to trip over if I place a foot wrong. Still, I made it to the top and equalled my best time for climbing that segment when I did. Once back on the plateau, I looped around the cemetery and then dropped down to the river again, with a slight detour to see where an unpaved road led.
Answer: it led nowhere really. I doubled back and headed for home.
Nearing the city centre I crossed over the Soane to run on the dual-use path towards Saint Paul, then crossed back over to make my way up the Pentes and home. Nothing like hills on a leap year run, I say, and here’s to March.