Glen Doll and Loch Muick Training Run, 3rd August 2013
Yesterday I had the chance to explore a brand new area with some friends from my running club. John had spotted an interesting route in the latest issue of Trail Running magazine which started in Glen Doll and went over some really big hills to reach Loch Muick. We would career down the steep path known as the ‘streak of lightening’ to the lochside, and after circumferating the Loch we would climb out back South over the Capel Mounth before a second descent back to Glen Doll. It would be 16 miles and roughly 3,000ft of ascent and promised to be an utterly gorgeous route.
We started at about 8.30am and ran through some forest before running along the bottom of Glen Doll. The steep escarpments on both sides made me feel very small as we began the climb up! The route was rocky and unrunnable in places, and the final ascent of about a mile of steep switchbacks was tough.
Reaching the edge of the precipace overlooking the Loch was breathtaking. I loved the streak of lightning and flew down the technical ascent well ahead of the others and leapt, twisted and hopped my way down.
The route around the Loch was familiar but I’d never been over the Capel Mounth before – this was a long neverending climb which lasted nearly 45 minutes before it levelled out and became runnable. The rain started and soaked us through as the wind was howling around us; everyone found this part a bit of a struggle. We finally reached the edge of Glen Doll again and another perilous descent awaited – again I flew down and am paying for it sorely in the legs today. After 4 hours we made it back to the car – stiff and sore but delighted to have explored this amazing area.
Here are some pictures; hopefully the formatting will be ok as i’m blogging from my phone in Edinburgh Airport. This week i’m in Budapest for work – it’s going to be very hot so I don’t think there will be much running unfortunately, but I have my trainers packed just in case…