Running and hobbling along Ryvoan Pass

I set off this morning to to a long run along forest and moorland tracks, near Glenmore in the Cairngorms National Park.

I know this route pretty well having walked and cycled along the Ryvoan Pass many times over the years.

Ryvoan Run

As the photo shows, this is a smooth, level track as it heads north running parallel to the minor road towards Glenmore Lodge. However, although it’s an easy route, I’d only gone about 1km when I tripped over a wee, narrow drain across the track and fell forward landing on my knee – whacking the knee cap on the stony ground. Hard. I stuck a plaster on the minor cut, but was more concerned about the sore bone. I decided it was too nice a day not to run, (what a ridiculous reason to keep running!) so continued on my way heading north through the Ryvoan Pass. My knee was sore, but bearable.

Ryvoan Run

I soon arrived at An Lochan Uaine (the green lochan) and, as always, was mesmerised by the vivid green colour of the water. A group of children arrived as I was there and I heard one boy comment that it looked like the Maldives and another ask if they could swim in the loch.

Ryvoan Run

Continuing past the loch I soon came to Ryvoan Bothy.

Ryvoan Run

I had a nosy inside and was disappointed to see it looking very untidy. Pages from the bothy book were scattered about as was a Sunday paper. I gathered up the loose pages from the book and put them in the cover and placed the newspaper neatly in the hearth ready for fire-lighting.

After leaving the bothy I passed the lovely wee Loch a’ Chait.

Ryvoan Run

The next section of the track passes through the Abernethy RSPB Resrve and the heather moorland gives way to pine woods and conifer plantations.

Ryvoan Run

At an opening in the trees I could see the old cottages up the hillside at Rynettin.

Ryvoan Run

I reached this point about an hour after starting so stopped to have water, trail mix and a jelly baby. When I started again my knee felt very stiff and sore, so I thought it wasn’t wise to keep pressing onwards. I turned around and decided to walk back along the track.

Half way back I stopped beside Loch a’ Chait to rest and elevated my leg. I think I nodded off as I see from GPS this wee stop was 30 minutes.

Ryvoan Run

The final stretch of the track passed the southern shoulder of Meall a’ Bhuachaille, and back past Glenmore Lodge.

Ryvoan Run

Now I’m home I have my leg elevated and with a bag of frozen peas on my knee.

Winter Feast Duathlon: The Main Course

After my success in the wee duathlon I participated in last month, I thought I’d give the next one in the series a go. This series of duathlons organised by No Fuss Events is termed the Winter Feast series and this month’s event was the ‘Main Course’. Naturally this was bigger (tougher and longer) than last month’s ‘Appetiser’. This consisted of a 8 km run on road, beach and ‘trail’ ie on the rough grass and gorse at the top of the beach; followed by 25 km (two laps) of a hilly road cycle section and a final 5 km of the same road/beach as before. All of the above took place in the glorious setting of the roads and beaches between Arisaig and Morar, on the northwest coast of Scotland near the Isle of Skye. This location, as you may have realised, is on the edge of the Atlantic ocean and as we were in the middle of a weather pattern with westerly winds and rain and sleet coming in with those winds, was not the balmiest outing.

Duathlon event
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Winter Feast Duathlon: The Appetiser

I'm a medal winner!

Two firsts for me this past weekend! And both good! It was the first time I’ve entered a duathlon, and the first time I’ve won a medal for a place! I was second Female Super Vet (super veteran) in the No Fuss Winter Duathlon in Glen Nevis and came 51 out of a field of 70!

This was a wee taster duathlon (the first in a series of three): 3.5km run, 12.5km cycle, 3.5km run. Both running and cycling sections were half on-road, half off-road and were wet and muddy.
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Cairngorm and the northern Corries

Last weekend Neil and I followed the good weather which MWIS showed to be in the East Highlands and choose to do an short walk on the Cairngorm Plateau. The ski resort had opened for the start of the skiing season on Saturday and the carpark, funicular railway, Ciste piste and immediate surroundings were quite busy with Skiers and snowboarders, but once clear of these area they rest of the mountain was quiet.

We chose to walk clockwise passing the Ptarmigan, Cairngorm Summit, and along the Northern Corries (Corie an Sneachda, Coire an Lochain) and back along the ridge above the corrie.

The start of the our walk was in thick cloud, but by the time we arrived at the summit of Cairngorm the cloud became more broken and we enjoyed some lovely clear stretches.

Cairngorm plateau walk
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Run around Loch Affric

I and my son, Craig went out for a wonderful run yesterday in the beautiful Glen Affric. We did a circuit following the track and path around Loch Affric, starting from the end of the public road.

The route is about 18km/11 miles, about half on forestry track, half on very rough, boggy and rocky track/path.

We did the circuit anti-clockwise, ie started by following the track/path on the north side and returned by the easier route on the south side of the loch. The track on the north is pretty wet in places and crosses several small burns (and one larger one) by several fords. Starting our run on this side meant I had wet feet for almost the whole two hours, but left the easier track for later when we were tiring.
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Of bogs, burns and big hairy beasts

Glen Strae is a small, narrow glen at the head of Loch Awe. The glen is practically uninhabited, with only one farm about a mile from the start of the glen, but it wasn’t always this way as there is evidence of old settlements marked on the OS maps. One of these used to be Tigh Mor, the old house of the MacGregors apparently.

Glen Strae run
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