chasing marmots, living dreams

You can't argue with this for trail running scenery

I got out of bed at 6.45am this morning to go for a run. I’ve been struggling for a bit of motivation recently, so decided against my norm and took my Blackberry so I could listen to Count Arthur Strong. Thankfully his tongue-twisted humour helped me power up the initial, serious climb of nearly 200metres without too much grief.

On my return loop I noticed a marmot in the distance. Intrigued I found myself running across the grass and juniper-covered hillocks to where I last saw him. I just managed to get a good look before he scampered off, but this was only to be the beginning of my marmot adventure.

No less then 5 minutes later did I see one sitting upright just next to the track. I slowed to a walk and quickly grabbed my Blackberry, by this time I’d put Count Arthur on hold. The cheeky wee marmot proved rather tame as I got quite close before he trotted off in no real hurry.

marmot keeping watch at its burrow

It was then I decided that this was a magical moment and I needn’t be in any hurry to carry on with my trail run as I could quite easily finish it at any time. So I sat myself down no less than 10metres from the marmot’s burrow where he’d already sent a female and a baby down inside while he kept watch above.

I was able to get quite close the furry little beastie and in the morning sun with only the sound a whole variety of birds as a backdrop, I was treated to something akin to a David Attenburgh documentary. The longer I sat there the more the marmot grew at ease with me, despite my day-glo running and cycling jacket, and I noticed another group of marmots playing nearby.

I was cursing that I was sat there with only my Blackberry for taking photos and not my Nikon DSLR, but this was best enjoyed in the moment; there and then. Looking back at photographs would never have done the experience justice. It’s moments like this that make trail running so special.

The alpine air started to cause a chill so I had to bid au revoir to the marmots, but now I know where to find them when I do have my DSLR…

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