Kitiara Pascoe – Christmas Day Outdoors
Christmas Day has never felt to me like it should be spent indoors. It’s a day when the outside world was deserted in my childhood and even now only populated with walkers. When else can you step outside your house and hear the world without traffic? When else do strangers beam at you for no reason?
Christmas Day 2019 was as perfect as it could get short of a ski slope and a powder dump. The dawn burned its way through the windows and for once, I was keen for a morning run. We laced up and joined the 526 other runners at the Exeter Riverside Parkrun.
Normally a Saturday-only event, many parkruns put on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day runs too. There’s nothing more festive than seeing hundreds of people running along in Santa hats.
Bobbing up and down in such a sea of people is nothing short of exhilarating and that’s a word you don’t associate much with Christmas Day. But why not? Christmas Day should be exhilarating.
After a breakfast consisting largely of hash browns and spicy beans, we were itching to get outside again into the sunshine. We’d run already, now it was time for a swim.
Devon is absurd in its access to the natural world and it only took twenty minutes on empty roads to reach the open promenade at Exmouth. Sand, from the prior storm, had covered the beach road, deep enough for cars to follow each others’ tracks like snow. The sand was full of walkers and the mirror-flat sea was egging us on.
We got wetsuited and booted and took off across the sand. I can’t say we were in for more than five minutes but with the sun streaming across the water, it was perfect.
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