Another three minutes saw me drawing level with him. I startled him somewhat. He had one of those iPod devices plugged into his ears. Not really a runner was my first thought, a view reinforced by the fact that despite the cold conditions he was bare legged. Male non club runners seem very loathe to wear running tights. Still he was moving at a reasonable pace so I decided to run along with him. He probably had to run slightly quicker than he had planned, but I won't apologise for that. It transpired that he had started work recently at Garvagh High School. I think that he is providing an, "after education," course for the fifth year pupils. Apparently they are now the only pupils left in the school. The school will officially close on the 31st August 2012. There may be good educational reasons for the closure, but it is still sad to see another foundation stone of village life kicked asunder.
The forest paths have been resurfaced since I last ran in the forest. Definitely a more pleasurable run than I remembered. A solitary dog walker was the only other person we saw as we ran around the edge of the demesne. It was good to have company. The serried ranks of conifers can be a trifle oppressive when running by yourself.
We finished our run back at the car park beside Ballinameen Bridge with Lord Garvagh's Egyptian inspired vault ,(unused) , looking down at us. Another day's training concluded.