The Longest Night

Welcome winter solstice. For anyone who lives in the northern hemisphere, this is a big deal. Ok, not for everyone, maybe. But for those of us who live or have lived in the cold, dark, snowy, wintery part of the hemisphere? Definitely.

Sunrise today was at 7:24 a.m.

Sunset will be at 5 p.m.

That gives us 9 hours and 36 minutes of daylight.

Traditional winter solstice celebrations generally include bonfires and feasts.

So the question is…how can I celebrate the winter solstice with running?

Run for all 9 hours and 36 minutes? That would be fun but not reasonable. I do have to go to work after all.

Run 9 miles and 36 feet? That’s worth considering. I might have to get up a little earlier than usual, but that’s not unmanageable.

Run the sun up. That’s what I’ll do. That’s what I did. Whatever.

I spent a little time with my friend Mr. Google and learned that “civil twilight” begins at 6:55 a.m. Civil twilight is the period before and after sunrise and sunset when you don’t need artificial light, there should be sufficient natural light to see where you’re going.

So, although it might make my getting ready for work time a little limited, I’ll leave the house at 6:55 to make the most of the light on this shortest day of the year. I’ll head east, to enjoy the sunrise, and run a simple out and back.

The flaw with this plan? It gives me just under half an hour to run. While I’m fine with running for time not distance, that’s not very long.

Change in plans. I’ll go out earlier, with my knuckle lights like usual, but make sure I’m heading east at 7:24 when the sun officially rises.

star 1

There was a star in the sky when I began. And as I trotted along the sky gradually grew brighter.

star 2

Until… ta dah…. The sun made its appearance.


Tomorrow the days officially begin to get a little bit longer. Not any warmer, maybe, but longer. And more sunshine is a good thing.

Enjoy the day, pals.


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