It’s Saturday! I need to go out…. in THAT.
Weather has turned a bit nasty, very windy, lots of cold rain which is turning to sleet & snow.
After standing around in a heated building for three hours presenting one of my other passions (I’m building a climbing wall in our local area) to the public, I know I need to get a run in.
So, 14:15 I set off to meet Stefan nearby in Scotlandwell and we have a plan to do some mileage across, and through the hills.
It had already been wet for a few days prior and it was still raining by the time we met at the RVP. After a change change into running gear, we set off, straight up to the top of, or heading towards Bishop Hill.
We had packed all the essential gear, and food knowing we’d be out for a couple of hours. Then, a half mile away from car, I’d remembered… I’d forgot to pack the head torch! Meh! We didn’t turn back. Maybe that was a bad decision.
Although the day was wet, windy and just generally miserable, Stefan & I forgot (mostly) about the weather. Good chat can cheer you up despite the external feelings being forced upon you.
Obviously, going straight up the hill has an effect on pace, as well as tiring you out. however, we were greeted with a nice break in the clouds, and a great view over Loch Leven below.
It was my first time running in these parts, although these hills are relatively closeby. Now, I’ve done it once, I’ll definitely be back.
Heading West we went on the search for the ‘golf ball’ and a good path that Stefan knew.
Sticking to the path, we made good pace and forced ourselves through the weather and headed North as our thinking initially was to head up the back side of the West Lomond. upon reaching the highest point, we could see our goal, just about, through the closing in weather, and low cloud.
We decided, after a stop for refreshments not to go up the West and headed of towards Ballo reservoir. Scenery was lovely, well, as much as we could see through the now, driving rain.
Despite the weather we making good pace, albeit, a few muddy patches we did end up rather mud splattered due to a fall here and there. On reaching the reservoir, it was getting dark. Ah! I’ll put on my head torch! Doh.. if only I packed it.
We were now running along by Stefans’ head torch, lighting the way for two, side by side.
The weather got worse. Temperature dropped and it started to snow on the way back to our starting position. We were four miles out. Great!
Both of us, although still running, felt a little miserable.
Our goal, to find our way back down through the forest.
On reaching the turning point back to our initial route we decided that due to weather and time, it was now 17:00(ish) that a ‘quick’ detour through the forest was the best bet, even with one head torch.
Maybe not the best idea, but no real option. So, we continued along a track, hopefully heading Southwards, towards the cars.
I was reasonably confident we were going in the right direction, Stefan maybe not so. However, we continued on that bearing and reach the bottom of the tree line, headed West and then South again. All changes in direction dictated by the ‘orange glow’ of the nearest town lights. At least it was a bearing we knew would take us towards the cars.
Sure enough, after a 10/15min walk through the forest, we were greeted by the main ‘path’ that led up the hill. We were a little relieved to have found it.
We continued down the path and through someone’s back garden (sorry for that), toward the main road. Headed left, and back to the cars.
Our adventure saw us cover twelve miles. It had taken us just over two hours but we were safe. Albeit, very muddy, cold and wet.
Thanks Stefan for joining the run.