Very wet run around Little Cockcairn last Saturday. I was out for over two hours and only saw four other people. Two of whom were fellow Deeside Runners Ben and Clare who were coming back from a CP!
I have clearly lost the knack of uploading these posts but hopefully it will work this time. Andy’s first CP since his accident. I thought we better take it easy for the first one so we went for Knockargety. The start didn’t look very promising as forestry work has made the track very muddy and fairly unattractive. However a lovely single track lead to the summit and a fantastic view of the Dee valley. A lovely walk for a sunny Thursday morning.
I had a free day yesterday so under Andy’s instructions I did km intervals in the morning before going for a long walk with my Mum. We had planned to go up Derry Cairngorm but as the weather wasn’t great decided to stay out of the clouds and do a low level walk. We ended up starting at the Keiloch car park and walking up to the Slugain ruin and on through the upper reaches of the Gairn. Over the shoulder of Culardoch and back to Invercauld House. It was only when I was out for a jog round Loch Kinord this afternoon I thought about the challenge points and wondered if any were on our route. I was pleased to find I had got two without even trying. If I had checked the map before we set off I would have taken my Mum on a little detour to the fog house at Invercauld on our way back but will have to save that one for another day.
20 of us raced up cp70 last night before the AGM. Results:
Dave H – 25:31
Steph – 25:33
Dirk – 25:34
Jamie – 25:36
Dave C – 26:19
Andy – 26:20
Miles – 28:28
Trevor – 29:23
Sam – 29:28
Katie – 30:18
Warren – 31:07
Amandine – 31:43
Dave O – 33:53
Patrick – 34:47
Clare – 35:12
Jeff – 36:04
Joe – 37:11
Kathy – 38:45
Duncan – no time because he went off to the boardwalk before the start. Derek – marshall.
A fine day for a race with 48 runners of which 11 were from Deeside as well as 2 summit marshals.
Thanks to all who helped.
Unfortunately we didn’t read D and E’s perfect directions but instead set off up the landrover track and took the left fork. We continued round until we were on the high point of the track and Lucas choose where we should veer up through the trees for the summit. Unfortunately, again, there was a carpet of fallen trees which was pretty much impassable so we skirted back down a bit and round the worst of it to pop out at the top not far from the cairn where some chocolate eggs were unfairly distributed. A better route was taken down and fun was had playing on the huge pile of sand, Page found a caterpillar. From here we headed down a single track and then followed the fence line back to the road. An easy check point with a good view. Approximately 3.5km and about 1hour 15mins! We did read D and E’s blog once we got home and agree that it would make a good handicap race for the summer.
As we were now in British Summer time we thought a trip into the countryside above Ballaterach was in order, after a wee CP hiatus we decided to visit the Rocking Stone and Black Craig. Aboyne was left in glorious sunshine and mid 30’s temperature (well in Fahrenhieit anyway), once we parked on the Ballaterach road the skies turned a leaden grey and it appeared that winter was returning with a vengenance.
Being hard core hill runners we decided to go to the Finzean tea rooms (no that was reward for afterwards!), weinstead headed up through the farm dubs and onto the hill via the field north of the small tree plantation.
Once the main track was gained we slowly trudged up, definitely feeling the after effects of the last couple of weeks racing/training, the snow quickly intensified and became a mini blizzard. We climbed to the cairn on the main track and then headed off directly down the hill, probably a bit too far down as we found a wee trod which ran parallel with the burn below. Once we climbed back up to the rocking stone an impromtu bouldering contest took place to try and ascend the rock (see photo). After a little sheltering time we decided to forgo Black Craig, mainly due to poor visibilty and lack of energy.
We dropped down the main path, back through the dubs and past the friendly sheep who thought these fools in colourful gear were going to feed them. Back to the car, showered, small girl picked up from nursery (apparently donkeys are visitors to Aboyne nursery on occasion) and comfortably ensconsed in the aforementioned tea room with nice soup and frittata on the table trying desparately to turn down the rhubarb crumble, we reflected that all in all it was a nice April Fools Day!
Lovely sunny run up Craigmore wood and Ord More from Potties.
Geallaig hill is a nice climb, well unless you have to race up it in the dark and cold whilst being chased by people with headtorches on and sporting slightly questionable fashion sense (me included!).
The climb starts on the track opposite Braenaloin and goes up for 1.8 miles and 1,144 feet (12% grade).
We all set off at various times, worked out by Dave Hirst, he seems to work some magic every month for the handicap which ensures that we all get to the finish roughly together.
We all survived the climb, Tilly was first up and Steph was fastest and I managed to get up without being sick due to all the birthday cake I consumed at work beforehand.
Once we all jogged down it was time to adjourn to Chez Mardall for pasta, lovely bread and extremely rich and very tasty chocolate birthday cake baked by Steph.
Hope you all don’t mind me tagging you for the CP, I couldn’t remember the dogs’ names but they certainly beat me to the top and deserve a tag as well.
Thanks to Lina and Nick for their hospitality, to the boys for their entertaining menagerie and Steph for baking a great cake.
All in all a great way to spend my birthday.
It was surprisingly cold when Andy and I set off for an easy checkpoint from the shooting greens car park this morning. Nice run to the top of Goauch Hill and then a fun descent all the way down the single track. Didn’t have time to go along to the other checkpoint by the river as I had guinea pigs to take to my sister and a tubing party to go to!