Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
From Point To Point
by Russell Turner - 13:14 on 17 September 2023
The Running Gods aren’t always cruel. When I first planned my Point to Point jaunt it was as a 12-mile long run, all on roads, with a couple of big hills, which I invited the Black Isle Runners to join in. Someone suggested including some trails, which expanded it to 13.5 miles. The 12-mile run would have been last week, at the peak of the heatwave. We dodged a bullet there.
Friday featured some ferocious wind. Yesterday was mild and calm – more luck – when I led another five runners from Udale Point to Braelangwell on the first section of the winding route to Chanonry Point. I’d warned them that I’d be taking it easy, with an estimated finish time of 2:45, so the first two miles were both around 11m/m pace. Perfect (for me, anyway). Then the ascent began.
Most of the five continued running but I put in some walks until we reached Millbuie Woods where the ascent continued but at a less punishing gradient. Despite that, I was soon leading from the rear, although a few regrouping stops – some involuntary (a chatty cyclist; a friendly dog-walker), some voluntary – kept us together.
We summited after six miles then enjoyed two downhill miles to exit the woods and reach the outskirts of Killen. The weather continued mild and still. I’d intended to run through Killen and then take the direct road to Fortrose until someone with more local knowledge indicated a no through road sign which led to a traily track into the top of Rosehaugh estate, from where we emerged on to the road I’d planned to take but having avoided the huge dip that would have meant a brief but very steep climb. There’d been uphill through Rosehaugh but of a much less challenging kind.
Ten miles was the magic distance. After that it was downhill all the way to Fortrose, then flat for the final run-in after passing the campsite at 13 miles, although I did walk a little on the tussocky edges of the golf course. We hit the Point car park at 13.9 miles so of course had to continue on to the shingle to round it up to 14 miles – and almost exactly at my estimated time.
At Chanonry Lighthouse, courtesy of a passing tourist.
I wasn’t always trailing behind, so there was plenty of chat along the way, mainly involving which races everyone was training for. A splendid morning out.
The day’s only drawback was an evening gig. Fortunately it was a good one but, between the run and the late finish, I’ve little energy left for activity today. Next week the plan has only three runs so I can do the long one (16 miles) on Friday before another wedding on Saturday. Then it’s a mere eight miles the following week and Royal Parks Half Marathon the week after that. And the last-minute Yorkshire Marathon the week after that. Will I live to regret it? Time will tell.
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