Monday, 11 January 2010

WHW training weekend- Day one

Fantastic weekend. My original plan was to head to Milngavie on Saturday morning but it would've meant getting up at 4.30, i get up at that time everyday and thought i'd best get proper rested so i decided to go on Friday and bunk in with Jane & Soph

Jane very kindly picked me up from Stirling and off we set for Balmaha, no satnav needed! We
arrived, checked in & before too long were ensconced in the warm cosy friendly bar.3 large Glasses of wine and some food later Karen appeared to much screaming from us hahaha, George not far behind her. More drinks, more food (for them not us!) and eventually Soph turned up! More drink many laughs and raucous behaviour and we all sloped off to bed around 11pm. (well the bar was shutting..)

Alarm set for 7 and quick look out window confirmed a few more inches of snow overnight! up we get, shower then over for brekkie at 8. Big brekkie for me, cereal, toast, haggis bacon ,scrambled eggs! lots of juice ;) Back to room for final check of bags and off we set for Drymen to meet everyone else. Mucho hugs once we arrived to find the Shanksi's, Andy,Mike,Alan, andtravelling a tremendous distance to join us Minty & Simon! well done boys hope it was worth it. Time for off! 30miles ahead, i had no idea what to expect. I knew we were going over conic hill but other than that i just followed where other's went...

The forest areas were just stunning, and before long Conic hill loomed ahead, heard so much stuff about it , everyone saying *oh its hard etc* but it didn't daunt me funnily enough. We got bit lost on way up meandering off the trails but we found our way back onto it, half way up we realised just how icy it was. The trail was just pure ice, with the soft snow from overnight not clinging to it all it took was to disturb it and wooosh, feet in air! We ran mainly through the heather where it less slippy. So worth it to get those incredible views .....

The way back down was rather more interesting to say the least! There were 11 of us in group and not one of us stayed upright, some bashing themselves quite badly but mostly just comic falling over, therefore being renamed comic hill for this blog! At one point the only safe way down a particularly steep icy party was on our bums, it was when we were all slip sliding down and screaming, laughing and squealing (that was just the boys!) that we came across a walker, big boots, spikes and walking poles. The look on his face as he saw 11 Lycra clad runners sliding down towards him was a picture lol!! It was also here we were meant to be meeting Jane but we were informed by said walker that she'd turned back after falling several times and losing her waterproof trousers.
Once we got off comic hill it was plain sailing all way to Balmaha, great fun. Soph decided to bail ere after hurting herself badly and joined Jane and rest of us headed off to Rowardennan. Wow, i loved this part, gorgeous, through the forests, along the bonny bonny banks of loch lomond, on the beach. Beautiful and breathtaking. And tough, i fell on side of Loch lomnod and hurt my bum/back but picked myself up and plodded on. When we got to Rowardennan the front runners had stopped at hotel, but i wanted to go a wee bit further to the car park and see it again, last time i'd been sleep deprived when supporting Jen and i wanted to go back and see it again :)
Everyone else caught up and quick snack/drinks and back we went.I was on my own for quite a bit of section back to Balmaha but loved it, i'm used to solo running and will have no support on fling so need to get used to it.This pic of tree was taken to show the kind of obstacles we come across running the WHW, you can see the path behind it but at first i thought i'd got lost. Did few miles later though lol! Waited on others to appear and we set off again taking a bit of detour to avoid slippy steps. Got back to our hotel and few people decided that was enough, few had left already to run back to drymen but bypassing comic hill this time, too dangerous.Minty was driving back to coventry! madness lol. Me, Karen, George and Simon set off up the road which was clear for the 4 mile run. Stopped off in hotel in Drymen for drinks, final farewells and a roaring log fire, bliss.

Back to Oaktree Inn and had much needed lovely hot shower and then cracked open the champagne. Karen joined us and about 15mins later the boys arrived too. Made quick work of 2 bottles then headed to bar which was heaving! Another great night of much drinking, bit of eating and much drinking before getting kicked out at 11 again hahaha !

Awesome day.



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