After a long day on a training course in London, I set off for a late night run. Although the back roads haven’t been cleared, I figured the going would either be slush or snow. And for about a mile and a half, that was the case. You can usually tell when the surface is getting dodgy by the noise under-foot: fresh snow squeaks, old snow crunches and slush …. well slush kind of slushes. It’s when it goes quiet that you know you’re on ice.
So it was tonight, running along Common Lane outside the village, my trail shoes were doing a good job providing traction but it was eerily quiet and I knew that I couldn’t just slow down, speed up or change direction without risking a fall. I gradually reduced my stride length and brought myself back under control moving at just above walking speed. I carefully navigated the next corner and came across some bright lights and a group of people standing around in the road.
It took me a minute to understand the scene. A car had failed to take the corner, the lights that had initially dazzled me were the reversing lights. I stopped, ascertained that no-one was hurt, and tried to help them get their car back on the road. The front of the car was jammed up against a tree and the front wheels couldn’t gain any traction. While this prevented us getting them back on the road, it was probably quite lucky, if they hadn’t been stopped by that tree, they would have ended up in 4ft of icy water.
Despite our best efforts we couldn’t extricate the car, one of the group had AA membership so, with some reluctance, I concluded there was no more I could do to help and that they would have to sit tight and wait for some professional rescue. I wished them well and continued on my way.