So we’re in the middle of July, which is the busiest month just through coincidence and folly. On Friday NH and I are participating in the Northern Frontrunners 5K which will kick off Newcastle’s Pride weekend. The event itself takes place on the Town Moor which is… lovely. In the winter it’s a bit slippy, in the summer it’s a bit hot and there are cows everywhere, but it’s a really nice piece of the countryside right in the middle of a city. It’s also got a couple of lovely hills which are great for practicing your climbing and descending skills 😀 We popped along this weekend to get some hill practice in to an 8.5 mile dither about.

Also cow greeting skills. Hellooooooo. Old photo but some say these cows still guard this patch of grass… eep.

According to Strava the hills at the Town Moor are called Cow Hill and Cow Hill 2. I think that’s quite nice, so I’ll call them that too. The hills are both off the main path and you will have to run past cows and try not to show fear or they’ll get you. Not really. Cows can stampede but the ones here seem quite docile and used to stupid humans so if you just keep your distance, slow down, and go around them as much as possible it should be fine. There’s a lot of room and not a vast amount of cows so stampedes don’t seem to happen.

Using your hills skills and a bit of patience will reward you will a fantastic view over the whole of the city. Although in such a way so that most of the “city” is hidden by hills and trees. Utterly lovely. A bit windy, but that’s hills for you.

The top of Cow Hill 2 – Original here for zooming.

The 5K takes place on a stretch of path zig-zagging through the moor and around the outside rather than the hills, but it’s always worth popping up to the top of Cow Hill 2 to say hello to the view. It never disappoints.

I’ve been using Strava Premium for a few months now and I enjoy the segments and stuff, but I picked up a Wahoo Tickr to see what the Suffer Score and such is about. Also for my own curiosity; when I had my blood pressure and pulse taken at the doctor in December he commented that it was pretty low so I said I was a runner, and he seemed pleased, so I figure it’s not a problem… I’m sure he’d have said. I also eat a lot of plants, so… yeah? Ok.

Anyway I used it for today’s four mile run before work just to see what Strava had to say.


i) Paused to take a photo of a young seagull underneath a bridge.

ii) Paused to take a photo of footprints in the mudflats.

150bpm was my average heart rate with a suffer score of 49, which I suppose is.. fine? I guess it’ll take a few more runs to clock up more data and get a better idea of how I could use it but it’s pretty cool seeing the charts and numbers for now.

At the weekend went tootled along to see The Neon Demon, another film from Nicolas Winding Refn and I think one of my favourites of his already 🙂 I really enjoyed Only God Forgives but sometimes I struggled with some of Ryan Gosling’s motivations, but I think having a female-led cast this time was a really refreshing change. There’s not a lot you can say about this film without going into details of the plot, but the red band trailer should give you some useful information:

I’m not a very squeamish person, and I don’t tend to fall for jump scares. I tend to roll my eyes or laugh at violence in films (0r at least the way it’s shot and presented – and also sometimes because it looks super silly), and menacing characters don’t scare me, but NWR manages to make me feel uncomfortable but also compelled to watch by taking things just a little too far but in a way that you don’t even realise until it’s right there in your face and you’re watching it happen. It’s brilliant 🙂 Brutal, but great. Confusing if you’re not quite prepared for a Winding Refn film, but just enjoy the colours and shiny if anything. Also the soundtrack is another great one by Cliff Martinez who is a GODDAMNED GENIUS. Just look at his CV! Amazing.