Started out from Drover's Inn at 9am - joined by Sharon, Graham and Jim. Weather was perfect, unlike previous WHW training runs. Wind-free, rain-free and almost sunny.
Been having a few problems with my right hip for the last few weeks and today it really played-up. There was more serious dramas though. Ian went a*se over elbow before Bridge of Orchy and bounced back to resemble a post-match rugby player - head-to-toe in mud with complementary black eye. Ellen also took a tumble, resulting in a tennis ball size lump on the back of her hand. Didn't make me reassess my moaning over my hip though. In the right location, I could have made money out of my hip loosening rotations.
Jim and Graham left us not long after the start. I was chuckling with Sharon, just waiting for them to blow up. We gibbered most of the way, so the time flew by. The regimental high-five at every mile mark, was really uplifting. I had to laugh at Sharon when she asked why the route had to pass over the main road, up to Auchtertyre and back over the road again. I told her that I would ask our ancient ancestors why they followed the Way instead of using the A82 ;-)
Right on cue we passed the boys just after Auchtertyre. Unfortunately, they passed us again when we stopped at Brodies in Tyndrum for some fluid top-ups. The shopkeeper was very amused by sandwich bag purse. I told him it was designer and there was a waiting list for one of them. He asked if we were out for a jog and looked even more amused when we told him of our route. We walk and ate, then set off for Bridge of Orchy. Most of the other runners passed us on this section - only because we were desperate for a toilet stop and had to let everyone pass. Honest!
We re-grouped at Bridge of Orchy for a short break and then headed off. Jim joined us, as Graham had left him on the hills. Jim was convinced that Sharon's ankles were bleeding, but it was really the clumps of fake tan that had dried a deep-orange colour. We don't call her the Terracota Warrior for nothing. He looked at us quite sceptical as we tried to convince him that we were both sporting our natural skin colour. We did find Sharon's perfect haven whilst waiting the browsing the boutiques on the Champs Eylsees after the Paris Marathon last year.
Anyway, I digress. The Bridge of Orchy hills are one of my favourite bits of the WHW. Unfortunately the tarmac road up to the Drover's Road is one of my least favourite. My hip wasn't so good, but I'm very stubborn. Failure is not an option in my world. Plus once you're in that far, you're pretty much committed to getting to Kingshouse.
Mike caught up with us just before Rannoch Moor, so we all the chummed along for the rest of the course. I was scared to stop in case my hips seized up, so I ran all the hills. Mike caught up and passed and Jim wasn't far behind. Passed Stoo on the way to the ski centre. Graham was only just in front. We arrived at Kingshouse and ran straight to the pub for some beers. After two pints my hip didn't hurt anymore. Although I'm sure Neal will be filing fo GBH to the ears after having to listen to me wibber on all the way home.
The plan was to run to Tyndum in 2:30, then to Bridge of Orchy in 1:15 and on to Kinghouse in 2:15 (total 6:15). I have been told you can set your heart by me. Lets just say pacing is my forte. Speed is the speciality of my side-kick. Finished the route in 2:30, 1:15 and 2:05 (total 6:05). Hip knackered and toes have a pulse have their own, but had the best day on the Way EVER. Huge thanks to John Kynaston for organising another fantastic training run.