Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Long Way Round

Balmaha-Drymen(ish)-Balmana Sunday 4 April 2010

I've done it. I've completed the last piece of the puzzle that is the Highland Fling route. Well, almost.....

It was a toss-up between Conic Hill and Norman's Law hill race on Sunday and even though Norman's Law came highly recommended, I wasn't sure I was in the right frame of mind for a race. And so it was a meander up Conic Hill starting from Balmaha with the intention of going out past Drymen a couple of miles to complete the section I did first but got lost at the end and find that missing link. By 10am I had reached the top of Conic Hill and briefly contempleted Norman's Law too but that would still leave me with a feeling of imcompleteness.

So onwards it was to Drymen where every bugger was out with their trekking poles. I think they're standard issue on coach trips. I hate the things. I don't see the point of them on something like that. It's like those folk training to walk a 5k with a full back-up crew while carrying a litre bottle of water. Why???? Sorry, I digress. A couple of nutters heading to Tyndrum passed by and I was glad to be seen running! At the end of the forest I stopped to check the various maps confident I knew where I was and where I was going, promptly turning left uphill on exit. Wrong.... I eventually turned around and headed down towards Drymen and failing to spot any further posts or signage I carred on through Drymen and out on the (A811) looking for my missing link. I didn't find it.

Having done 11 or so miles already and only really planning 16 for the day, I concluded I was lost again and turned around back to Drymen. I successfully found my way back to the forest, decidedly pissed off that I still had a bit missing. I had a great run through the forest and met Debs at the bottom of Conic Hill pausing for a few minutes chat. I started the climb up Conic and spotted another runner coming up behind me. She was storming up the hill while I was walking (wuss) so I let her get on with it. Towards the descent I could see she wasn't too far ahead so I blasted my way down through the mud, snow, slush and stones to catch up. It was working. I was definitely stronger on the downhill and confident I'd catch up. I nearly did but come the bottom of the hill and into the forest she was off like a rocket. I was pumped up by now and pelted past more walkers hoping to catch up in the car park. I never did, but it had been great fun and my own mini race.

But again something was missing. That tiny section of about a mile or so that I just cannot get. I more or less found it in the car afterwards, but it's just not the same. I think I feel another trip coming on.....


  1. Getting lost again! I'd call you a numpty but that would be a bit pot and kettle!

  2. I couldn't work how we both did out and backs, but I only saw you once!

    I saw the same girl - in a pair of road racing shoes. Saw her the week before near Rowardennan. Flying she was.

    See you next week

    Debs x