Offas dyke

Today’s podcast is about the word “run”. You know what “run” means. If you are late, you have to run to catch the train. In a football game, the players run after the ball. But we can use “run” in lots of other ways as well. As we shall see.
Last week, I visited Ludlow, which is a town about one and a half hours’ drive from Birmingham. It is an old market town. There is a castle, and lots of “black and white” half-timbered buildings. A friend of mine runs a hotel in Ludlow, and that is where we stayed. From Ludlow, we drove along a road which runs beside a river to another town – even smaller – called Knighton. Knighton is in Wales, not England. You know that you are in Wales because all the road signs are in the Welsh language as well as in English.
The border between England and Wales has been peaceful now for hundreds of years. But it was not always like that. In the eighth century, King Offa ruled a kingdom called Mercia in central England. He had trouble with the Welsh. He built a great wall of earth and a ditch along the western border of Mercia to help to defend his kingdom. (He didn’t build it himself, of course – he sent thousands of his men to do it for him!) His wall is called Offa’s Dyke, and you can see the remains of it today. In fact there is a footpath which runs all the way along Offa’s Dyke. It starts in Prestatyn in north Wales and runs to Chepstow in the south. It crosses wild hills and beautiful valleys and is perhaps the finest long-distance footpath in Britain. Knighton is about half way along the footpath, and the local tourist authority runs an information centre there, where you can learn more about Offa’s Dyke.

Look at some of the ways we can use the word “run”.

My friend runs a hotel.
The tourist authority runs an information centre.
The road runs beside the river.
The Offa’s Dyke footpath runs from Prestatyn to Chepstow.
My local bus route runs from Druids Heath in south Birmingham to the city centre.
The buses run from 5am to midnight.
At weekends they run every hour throughout the night as well.
The play runs at the theatre from 7 to 27 March.
Last week, my car broke down. But now it is running fine.
Sometimes, I leave my computer running all night.
On Saturdays, the train runs 10 minutes earlier than on other days.
So you will have to run to catch it.