J-P had been planning his continuous Dales Way run for months. He'd chosen the Dales Way because he'd walked it with his mum many years ago and was running it in memory of his mum, who he lost last year.
He'd been training for months doing long distance run after long distance run and reccing it comprehensively.
On the Friday night I rushed over after work, just another manic moment in a busy life. Something else to fit in before we went away on holiday.
And then, of course, my perspective quickly changed, as we ran along the smooth manicured path of the first ten miles of the Dales Way. The evening was perfect for running, still and not too cold or warm.
Wharfedale is one of the most beautiful places in the world, any time. It was quiet, we were alone without the tourists. Everything was growing and looking fresh and green. We were running slowly for JP but at a nice pace for me. In a rhythm, almost hypnotic, as the paths are so well organised. The banter was gentle, as the runners anticipated a long night getting through the eighty miles ahead.
Lots of people were helping. Running alongside, helping with food drinks, supporting and even. photo taking.
It was just a wonderful collaboration of friendship and effort to help JP achieve his mission and remember his mum.
Of course I only did 8.5 miles and then stopped at the idyllic Appletreewick to drink beer while watching the swifts and waiting for my lift. They probably didn't feel quite so euphoric after doing 80 miles in the middle of the night.
But I thought it was amazing.