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Saturday, 17 January 2009

Hill tops!

Dumgoyne is the first hill I ever ran with my husband (after a big night out and with a hangover. But that's another story!) – and the place where we subsequently got married in 2006. Standing proud at the edge of the Campsie Fells and only about 15 miles from Glasgow, the 1400ft (400m or so), rounded-top hill is a pretty well-known landmark. 

... And it's a place I can never resist for a short, sharp hill run. Today was a case in point.

Setting out from Blanefield with a couple of pals we had every intention of running the undulating trail that skirts the base of Dumgoyne and heads on towards Killearn. We reckoned on about 45 mins out and similar (!) back. We had absolutely no plan to climb Dumgoyne.

...But then as we rounded the corner towards the path that leads off and up Dumgoyne I somehow couldn't resist the suggestion that we make a diversion to the top of my favourite hill. 

And so we pushed up the steep, leg-zapping front of the hill before finally linking with the flatter path that heads round the back of Dumgoyne to the summit. 

The only problem was that because we thought we'd be doing a trail run we were wearing normal road trainers. I have never climbed Dumgoyne without wearing my trusty Inov-8 off-road trainers - and I doubt I will again. Much of the hill was water-logged (kind of like heading up through a muddy waterfall!) and rather than being able to run we kind of slipped and slid our way up and down the hill. 

Still it was totally worth the effort. Every time I reach the summit of this hill I am over-awed by the views. On occasions I've been able to see as far as Ben Lomond, Scotland's most southernly  Munro, but whatever the weather and whatever the season the view is fantastic.

However, there is always a little touch of anticlimax compared to our wedding day. On that day, Glengoyne Distillery, which sits at the bottom of Dumgoyne, sent up some of their staff with whisky to greet our 60 or so guests. They did not charge us for this amazing service, but seemed as delighted as we were over our special Dumgoyne wedding! (Actually, when i think about it: Whisky combined with the skid back down Dumgoyne today would have surely ended in disaster!)

In total we ran 7.2 miles and climbed a total of 1000ft elevation. Not bad for a wee Saturday afternoon jaunt.

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