Last long training run today before Loch Ness so an old tried and tested route used by many generations of Vicky Park marathon runners, the Pipetrack which is West Highland Way to the Beechtree, back along the road and then up the hill at the Dumgoyne distillery and follow the water pipe (which takes Glasgow's water from Loch Katrine to Mugdock reservoir) back down to Blanefield through Mugdock village and back to the start.
Dumgoyne Hill in the background
I had a few runners for company today, Duncan ,Mark Chris and Chris's pal Michael. Mark is doing Liverpool marathon and Chris and his pal are both doing Loch Ness while Duncan in his own words 'just needs a long run'. It was a bit wet and windy but ideal temperature as we set off from the Allander.
After reaching the Beechtree Inn we headed back along the road into a stiff headwind and began the climb at the distillery at which point the talking disappeared and the heavy breathing began.
Chris Sheridan cruising uphill
A few more ups and down and a little history lesson for Chris about the pipe we were soon descending towards Blanefield and encountered a few highland cattle who were not for letting us follow the path they were blocking, and none of us being brave enough to insist they do, a minor detour of the road had to be taken. They are seriously large animals up close!!
A gentle cruise back to Mugdock and then downhill for the last 2 miles at a rapid rate as Duncan and Chris's pal obviously had saved a bit for a sprint finish. Just over 17 miles in 2hrs 10mins.