Thursday, 19 April 2012

Going, going, goyne / Kaim Hill Race


Most of us are guilty of tearing past the Glengoyne Distillery and take just a fleeting glance up at it. Most of us run past it on a regular basis when we run training runs on the WHW on our way to or from Milngavie or Drymen without giving it a second glance. I speak of course about the little hill called Dumgoyne. Or as I now affectionately refer to it as 'that little shit of a lump'.
It hadn't been my first choice of a run. I had been heading up to Arrochar to run the Glen Loin Trail, but the rain started and I remembered the last time I ran on the GLT in the rain. Muddy as hell. I therefore decided to turn around and head to Milngavie and do a short WHW run instead. On the road back down the sun broke through the cloud and beam shone onto Dumgoyne. I was immediately drawn to it. It's only 435m high, but it's a steep wee bugger. I parked in the layby outside the Distillery and off I ran.

Over the stile and up a gentle incline, through a sheep padock. After the next double stile it goes straight up at a very steep angle. From the bottom it looks brutal. It is!
There are two paths up, and as it turned out I took the crap one! The higher I climbed the more loose and irritatingly gravelly it became. I had on road shoes which added to my difficulties in trying to gain any kind of traction. Despite the low cloud the views were great and to the north I looked to Conic Hill and Loch Lomond, to the south my eye followed the WHW to Carbeth and Craigallian Lochs and beyond. I looked down onto the conical volcanic plug of Dumgoyach and decided this would be the target on my decent. So, on I climbed and by the time I got to the top the wind was picking up and the cloud covered Earls Seat. I spent a few minutes at the cairn watching a group of walkers vanishing into the cloud as they made their way up towards the 'Seat'. Down I went. I ran back down using the other path which made the decent so much easier. I was back at the road in no time.
I had managed to get up and down Dumgoyne in 50 minutes. I joined the WHW and climbed up onto Dumgoyach. Nothing special I'm afraid. When I got back down I ran around it to Southbrae wood and rejoined the WHW to run back to the Distillery and my car. A short and sweet run. Despite the tough climbing I enjoyed the accent. On a better day I'll run on up to Earls Seat.

Photo's from another run from Erskine Sports Centre. (Under Erskine Bridge, passing through the woods between Earl of Mar and Erskine Golf courses. Then behind Hewlett Packard to pass through Erskine Hospital's grounds to return to the Sports Centre).

West Highland Way Training Run: Rowardennan-Rob Roys Cave-Rowardennan.
My last WHW run before the the 'Fling' wasn't my best outing! I felt great until Inversnaid Hotel (7 miles in 1 hour 20 minutes) but after I had clambered up to Rob Roys cave I just seemed to loose interest and enthusiasm. I had a few stops on the way back at a couple of the small beaches and just couldn't be bothered! I spent more time enjoying the views rather than enjoying the run. So 16.5 miles in 3 hours 30 minutes wasn't really that impressive. But as Fiona Rennie said to me, there aren't rubbish or bad runs, just tough ones. And Sandra McDougall quite rightly pointed out that having a bad run makes you appreciate even more the good ones. Hopefully this was just a tough day and wont affect my approach to the Fling. Bring it!

Kaim Hill Race (Fairlie)
Whist in work yesterday afternoon I received a message from Mark Caldwell asking if I fancied this Hill Race. I've never taken part in a Hill race so when I got out of work a bit early later in the day I decided to give it a go, I rushed home, changed and headed down to Fairlie (nr Largs). It was a cracking night and wasn't sure what to expect. Met Mark, said hi and while he got ready and registered I went for a quick reece on the first bit of the route. Assembling at the start it looked like a good turn out. The first 200 or so metres is on a road before it turns onto the hill side and gets steeper and steeper! It was a fast start so I decided to stick at the back and try and work my way through the field. Mark was off like a rocket, near the front. So I settled into a lung bursting, thigh burning pace!! It was a brutal climb. Wet, boggy, muddy, slippy, but great fun. The climb was energy sapping and was just a case of head down and push on. After crossing the burn at a kissing gate it was a case of on all fours up a muddy grassy bank that went up almost sheer. After that it was up and up through heather and bog. A couple of times I was up to my shins in mud. No point in worrying about getting wet or mucky as it was too late for that now!! I began to pass people towards the Cairn and soon Mark came thundering past on his return run. After the turn it all changed. The views were stunning, but I couldn't take them in as the decent was sheer mentalness!! One wrong footfall and it would have resulted in a face plant into a bog. I careered downhill totally out of control! It was just sheer luck that I managed to stay unright. A few times I skidded on the mud but the adrenaline kept me pushing all the way. The rocky last section was a nightmare, but I somehow managed to keep it under control. With a short tarmac section to the line and it was over. What a Blast!!
3.5 miles in 42.26 (TBC). I'm glad I made it for this race and I might be doing a few more Hill races later in the year.

1 comment:

  1. It certainly is a steep wee bugger. I used to have the pleasure of being able to go for a morning run up Dumgoyne and out to Earl's Seat on my way to work, if I got up at 5am. The buggy tracks out to Earl's Seat are great to run on, with brilliant views to the North. Well done on the hill race.