Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Back on the Way

The West Highland one that is. Seems like ages ago since i was there,last time was in November for S2S Ultra so it was good to be back. I'd booked The Oak Tree Inn for Ian's Birthday so i thought that it would be silly not to run a bit whilst there. So with that in mind i put the call out to see who fancied running from Drymen to Rowardennan and back.

Early morning start and as we drove through from a dry and clear Edinburgh it got more & more foggy. And more & more frosty, in fact all around Stirling area the trees and Fields were frozen white and fog was extremely thick. I was getting a tad worried. Ian kept reiterating that "you should avoid conic hill until March" until i turned radio up to drown him out and sang a bit louder.

We arrived in car park to find Norry patiently waiting. Soph soon arrived quickly followed by Alan & Dougie. Last but not Least Kate, Lucy & Robert appeared looking nervous and excited. Soph as usual was dressed for Antarctica and scared many a walker with her ninja get up .

We had nice mixed bag of people, some doing whole thing, others planning on dropping out at various stages. We set off and although the ground was pretty hard in some parts it was fine to run on. Kate & Lucy were there for first time and are both doing the 2nd stage in Fling relay so this was perfect training for them. I love seeing people's enthusiasm the first time they see the glorious sights. It takes me back to a mere 18months ago when I'd never set foot on a trail nor a hill until i myself did the relay. I even avoided running on grass before that! lol

It was fairly chilly til we started climbing and got warmer the higher we got. The views were just awesome. It was pretty icy on way up in parts especially on the rockier, wetter areas but all passable with care. The downhill was a tad hairier. Here i am skipping down looking rather happy with myself (thanks to Soph for pic) 5 mins later Norry warned me that "it was fairly slippy on those rocks.

That would be the same one i stepped on and went down like a sack of tatties then! Ooops. Picked self up and gritted teeth and bounced down a bit more, this time on my feet.

First dropout was the Birthday boy himself who was off to see his boys so left us at Balmaha and ran back via the road to avoid Comic hill which was quite frankly living up to its name ;) Off we set along road and onto next section. Few miles in and Norry was next dropout albeit unplanned this time. His knee was playing up and he decided to err on side of caution and hitch back to car.

Down to 7 we soldiered on and shivered every time we hit loch side and warmed up with every climb. I was loving every minute. Even Alan's singing didn't deter me. Soph was struggling for bit and put her ipod on and also started singing, I'm sure i saw some wildlife run for their lives....

Before too long we got to Rowardennan and after quick photo shoot we had a more dropouts, all planned except for Soph, she was really wanting to come back but had struggled a bit and didn't want to set herself back after bit of battle with injury/breathing trouble.

So now it was down to 2! Alan & I set off and i let him know I'd be stopping at Oak Tree on way back,it would only take me to 23miles but i was happy with that and eager to get checked in! Soph had promised to drop in for a cuppa.

We got about a mile away from Balamaha when suddenly this loony jumped out from behind a tree scaring wits out of us, it was of course mental Soph who'd decided to head out & meet us. Oak tree appeared rather quickly after that and after saying farewell to Alan we were about to head in when a girl runner came out and asked if we'd just been on WHW, she'd just done a 21mile run and had lost her iphone, poor thing. She reckoned she'd had it on last mile so set off looking for it.

In we went to the warmth of the log fire, cup of tea & glass of wine and i was happy bunny.On way to room we stopped to speak to girl who lost phone, she'd not found it but we had nice chat to them all about the Fling and other races we might meet at, one recognised me from my blogs!Really hope someone handed that phone in if they found it.

Soph came down to see room and was well impressed with the view we had!

Made Soph a cuppa then she set off home. I ran a bath and had nice soak. Wasn't until i got out i realised i had nothing to get changed into as my case was in Ian's car. Oh well. Lay on biggest bed in world wrapped in towels and had a wee snooze.

Ian arrived around 6ish and i quickly got out the stashed bottle of Veuve in my case, luckily said case having been in car all day meant it was nice & chilled! result.
Had yet another great dinner/service and I'd managed to secretly organise a cake for birthday boy.
Here he is on fire after candles turned out to be bit inflammable ...
Where's a London Fireman when you need him?
Wee walk next day to loosen of legs topped off a perfect weekend.


  1. It was nice to meet you sandra and get a wee chat, next time i am saying nothing lol

    Hope to see you soon on the way...

  2. She got her phone back Sandra.
    A couple found on the way.

  3. Hi Sandra... As Lee said I got it back after a couple of days without... A couple found it right at the bottom of the steps practically 500m from the pub...It had been there for two days so I was amazed it still worked. Heartened at the honesty of the couple ;) It was nice to meet u!

  4. Tell me you didn't use the champagne to extinguish Ian!!!

  5. like i'd waste champagne doing that!



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