Monday, June 30, 2008

Shannon McGowan in England

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England’s mountains
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures
And did the
Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold:
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land.

From William Blake's Milton- A Poem, best known today as the hymn "Jerusalem" from which the film Chariots of Fire got its name.

Recent Gloucester Catholic graduate Shannon McGowan, a four year First Team All Conference Cross Country Runner at Gloucester Catholic, recently took her training shoes with her on a vacation to England. Shannon reports back from England:
"Getting ready for my trip to England, I double checked my suitcase making sure I had all of my running essentials packed. Excited to do things in a different country that I normally do here in the USA, I eagerly got off of the plane and couldn’t wait to arrive to the place where we were staying—the Isle of Wight. Little did I know that the island was nothing but hills! In the back of my mind I know that hills are one of the best training tools that you can use while training for an upcoming season. (Shannon will run cross country for Kings College in Wilkes Barre, PA in the fall). Everyday that I ran over there was a run of constant up hills and down hills, which wasn’t as hard as you would think. The down hills surely helped me get back up the hills. Some hills Isle of Wightwere steeper than others but the runs seemed no different as they all had hills. With having a sea breeze 24-7, it doesn’t seem as hot as it does here in New Jersey when going out for a run at 8am.
I actually enjoyed running in England a great deal more than running here in New Jersey. I think it was the hills that made me enjoy it more and it was a big change of scenery. The food was amazing-- I loved it. The milk wasn't pasteurized like in the US, so the cheese tastes better and the milk is creamier. I was also surprised at the amount of runners I saw in England. We stayed at the Isle of Wight, just south of England. You can see from the picture just how hilly the Isle of Wight is.
Hilly Tennyson Down
Below that is a picture of a really steep hill on Tennyson Down where Lord Tennyson used to go to get inspiration for his writings.
The bottom picture is from the top of Carisbrooke Castle. It shows just how hilly the island was."
View from the top of Carisbrooke Castle

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