Tick tock, tick tock – every time I look at the clock it seems to shout loud that time is running out before the Original Mountain Marathon and I’ve not done enough training!
With a break in the weather and the stars in the right arrangement I managed to get out at the weekend onto the hills of Glen Luss. This pretty wee glen sits between the South of Loch Lomond and the top of Gare Loch so within an easy stone’s throw of Glasgow, however, it boasts no Munros so is generally passed by for the bigger hills just a bit further north. I took the dogs out for a long training run with the mission to spend a good length of time on my feet and to hammer my quads into shape with some solid downhills. Getting off the beaten track and getting my head into the map I ran a route around the South side of the glen, an area I’d never visited before. With clear skies the views from here were fantastic from a vantage point that takes in Glasgow, The Firth of Clyde, Arran, Faslane and a mysterious massive near chimney near Gourock. (I was told later that submariners at Faslane use it as a navigation marker and in all guide books it’s simply called FBC or Fucking Big Chimney!).
The dogs were having a great time running around in the breeze and I’m sure they appreciate the views themselves. Poor Islay gets a bit confused about distance, size and perspective. Think Father Ted explaining small cows and far away cows to Father Dougal and you can appreciate the advice I had to try and convey to the pups about deer running on the other side of the valley and rabbits closer at hand. She didn’t seem to get it as she tried several times to chase some deer over 2km away – the confused look on her face was priceless!
I had been very tempted to skip the hills and hit the pub to watch the Scotland v Norway match, but thank god I didn’t, it sounded like a total waste of time and I was happy to have discovered a little gem of a glen and given the legs a good workout. I didn’t cover the distance I’d hoped in the 4.5 hours I was out, but the dogs were getting knackered and I was happy to have got some good, fun miles in and tried out some of the kit I’ve got lined up for the OMM. So far, so good…