Ackhuba

I met Craig on his training run and tagged along for a bit before cutting off and heading up the Kilpatricks. He’s doing well, finding pace and distance far too easily it seems. I’m a rubbish runner, but I’m trying. Starting from scratch again is difficult though. The difference in kindness to one’s person from the different surfaces of tarmac, hardpack, rough trails and open hillside are marked indeed.

I was wearing Salomon XA Pro’s for a change. I had comms earlier in the week about the Trail column revamp and the phrase “Salomon trail shoes in Knoydart” came up and I realised that I hadn’t worn Salomons for ages. I got them when I was still fresh to the whole plimsoles in the mountains technique and didn’t adapt to them. I was still wearing thick socks and the sole requires a little concentration in wet conditions. However, this time they were a revelation. Incredibly comfy, very secure feeling and grippier than I remember. I was in (very cold, I’d forgotten it’s still February) water quite a lot and they drain very quickly, the mesh dries well and on the tarmac they were cool. I can see why so many racers wear them.

I’m up here every couple of days, but I never get bored. I varied my route as usual and a had a fine few hours among the trees and crags. But, there were a few things that caused me to raise an eyebrow. Or two.

  • Two stupid bastards letting their dogs run wild around the trail where there were very nervous and pregnant looking sheep.
  • Fishermen trying to explode themselves with a heady cocktail of campfire, badly leaking propane bottle, cold hands, carry oot and stupidity.
  • A ferocious and sudden hail shower that had me running for the treeline with my eyes closed, waving my hands in the air whilst screaming like a girl.
  • A new farmyard bypass path with four feet high fences either side, a couple of feet apart and rows of barbed wire. The landowner is notorious for having a go at folk in a dogs-and-crooked shotgun way, and of course we’re all going to use this new path. Yes indeed you stupid bastard.
  • That Haglöfs Endurance pack is absolutely marvellous. Totally stable whatever I do. They really have to do a 25 or 30 litre version.
  • I dropped my Honey Stinger bar in the mud

Looking at it, it’s obvious that the day was a victory for the powers of good. The forces of darkness are weak and feeble and rubbish. We have nothing to fear with a grin on our coupons, joy in our knapsacks and metal on our ipods. Alright!

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