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Published: February 8th 2020
After a couple of stages which had been fraught with logistical challenge, I to M was a totally breeze. Indeed, I was so confident that I could pull this run off without any risk of becoming a Hitchcock style murder victim that I invited guests. Even better, we arrived on time so Don Reid, life long Westie , top trail runner Lucy Colquhoun, Otto and Isaac left the Iron Bridge after parking 50 metres away at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
I was confident this would be a run that Don, Lucy and the dogs would enjoy and the wee warm up to the John Muir Trust shop
on the High Street gave a nice illusion of progress.
Even better was to follow as we left the tarmac of the High St and found a wee riverside path and headed for Faskally. Otto and Isaac were showing signs of enjoying themselves and set a cracking pace through the woods whilst whooping with delight at the location and the freedom that running brings. They would have fitted in well with the 1:59 marathon project although probably a bit speedy for Kipchoge and his pals. The weather was equally as good
as the previous week although I took fewer photographs, I was enjoying the company and the chat.
I reckon I reached Killicrankie
a good 15 minutes quicker than the previous week. The soldiers leap was chosen as the turning point and the info board informed us that a red coat had jumped 5.58 metres to evade the chasing highlanders although it is expected that even he is “YES” NOW!! I asked Don if this was a longer leap than the Westerlands Club long jump record. It probably is.
The links between HBT and the Westies go back to when the Trotters were formed. At one time an annual “grudge” match between the Edinburgh & Glasgow clubs was held in a variety of interesting locations. Generally, there would be a bit of a race and then a wee bite to eat and several pints. The one I organised at Tillicoutry had the owner of The Woolpack demanding that we came back regularly as the business we gave him was that good. It was a great way to meet new folk and spread camaraderie between clubs. Runners that switch cities usually join the other side and there
are a number of folk who have run in brown and yellow down the years.
Rather than taking the wee road I had used the previous week, we retraced our steps on the woodland path to the Garry Bridge and crossed over to track down the Linn of Tummel
. The monument is at a lovely pool which looked ideal for swimming. If any point epitomises this area in Perthshire it would be here. I was starting to fade by this point however was giving limited information to Don and Lucy so they had to keep stopping at path junctions for me. Lucy’s dogs are a talking point and we were stopped several times as walkers enquired about their breed and to have a wee chat. As I was blowing really hard, I was only too happy to oblige!
The dogs looked as though they could run for ever. Striding out, ears pinned back almost grinning with enjoyment. Running for pleasure in its purest sense. This enthusiasm is infectious and although this alphabet nonsense may seem a tad contrived, I did get the feeling that Don and Lucy were enjoying the run as much as I was.
After crossing a bridge over the Tummel we joined a wee road back towards Pitlochry. We had a wee stop at the Clunie arch at one of the original hydro electric power stations. This is a memorial to the workers who were killed during the project and is a fitting memorial to the price they paid and the positive impact hydro power had on the environment. After we entered the town, we climbed the hill by the Golf Club to get to The Moulin Inn
. As we entered the bar there was a wee cheer from a group of guys and a spaniel who we met on our run to Killiecrankie. They had beaten us to the pub but had used a car for most of it. It was a brief stop in the pub – I reckon I may stay over when I do V – and the run down the hill to the car was a nice easy finish to the day
I was delighted the guys had joined me on this and also seen a circular run that is in a beautiful part of the country. There will be more to come and although racing
remains important to many of us, its nice to have a different focus on our running. While contemplating the second half of the alphabet, Im hoping autumn will hang around for another few weeks.
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