The waves were slapping idly on the beach at Castlerock as I parked my car just behind the dunes. To my left were the remnants of the old saltwater swimming pool. Looking out to sea I viewed a cargo ship sitting off Greencastle waiting for the pilot to manoeuvre it up Lough Foyle. On the beach several people were strolling towards the Barmouth savouring the winter sun. At quarter past three this was already low in the sky.
Pocketing my key I started off. The beach isn't that long, probably about thirteen hundred metres, so running its length and back would really only get me warmed up for the remainder of my training run. As I headed up the beach I couldn't help wondering whether my fellow beach users realised that they were walking the route taken by the convicted murderer Colin Howell after he staged what would appear to be the double suicide of his wife and his lover's husband in the garage behind one of the Twelve Apostle cottages on the edge of the village. A slightly macabre thought I know.
One of the walkers was a man in his early twenties. He was accompanied by his dog, a young, black labrador. It would be wrong to say that the dog was being taken for a walk. He was off the lead and I didn't see him slow to a walk even for a second. He sped along the beach, back and forth, chasing a flock of sandpipers. He never caught them but his enthusiasm for the task was obvious. A happy dog.
|Castlerock Beack looking towards the Barmouth - 21st November 2012|