Whilst Reading a thread on FaceBook a running route was mentioned that I had been thinking about running for a while but was struggling with the logistics. The post provided the obvious answer and I kicked myself for not thinking about it.
The plan was to get the train from Tyndrum to Rannoch Station then run to Kings House along the old drove road before joining the West Highland Way back to Tyndrum; about 26 miles according to the FB post.
Starting at Rannoch Station the route follows a well maintained hill road for the first 3 miles and I made good progress through a large forested section, providing shelter from the winds. After this it crosses rough moorland with the path barely discernible in places and, where it is, generally under water. There is a power line that generally follows the line of the path and this provided my navigational guide through this section. The open moorland was exposed to a strong wind blowing from the east and this was occasionally accompanied by driven rain which was icy cold and stinging.
After 4 miles on the moor, I joined another hill road which led past the Black Corries Lodge and down into Kings House, joining the West Highland Way behind the hotel. I was beginning to question the distances at this point, Strava told me I had run 13 miles and I knew that it was roughly 19 from the Ski Centre to Tyndrum, giving a distance of 32 miles.
I ran the climb up from Kings House past the ski centre and continued along the path, for some reason the miles just seemed to tick away and it seemed no time at all before I reached the Forest Lodge. I had to make a decision here; I had arranged for my wife and daughter to meet me at Tyndrum as we were going to have a night at the Auchtertyre wigwams and I didn’t want them hanging around for ages for me, on the other hand, I was feeling strong and felt I could run the extra miles. I decided that time with the family was best and re-arranged our meeting place to Bridge of Orchy.
At Forrest Lodge I joined the road and before I knew it was at the Inveroran Hotel and about to commence the climb up the hill, this was a fast walk and I quickly submitted the hill and began to run down the descent, reaching the bottom in 25 miles. I decided to run along one of the forrest roads to make the route up to 26 miles and returned to the car park bang on the 26 miles.
- My endurance is improving constantly, I felt good for the entire run and could have run the last hill if I’d pushed myself
- I got my nutrition spot on, I had a bowl of porridge for breakfast with a large handful if raisins and copious coffee, a cereal bar at Glencoe and a snickers as I headed towards Bridge of Orchy, which in truth wasn’t needed.
Next weekend I’ve volunteered to marshal on the Highland Fling and will be assisting with drop bags at the start and at Rowardennan. I ran the Fling last year and loved it, this year I’ll give back to help the organisers and racers.