Thursday, 14 January 2016

Running Frozen in Time

Along the Duchray Water
Round to  Lochan a' Ghleannain
A frozen Lochan a' Ghleannain 
Loch Ard
Looking across Loch Ard from Rob Roy's Cave
Running Nirvana
Ben Lomond in the distance

At last a day to celebrate winter. The snow of yesterday evening had been welded to the ground by an overnight frost and whilst at first light the mists concealed the winter snowscape, by late morning the panorama of sculpted white mountains was magnified by the still crisp air. I had an impulsive urge to get out and run.

It was still below freezing and the thin cover of snow on the hard frozen ground had a crunch that made it ideal for running. I decided to take the track up by the Duchray Water and beyond the newly converted cottage the trail was virgin snow apart from the deer, squirrel and fox prints. Despite the early afternoon sun it was still freezing and it was hard to generate any speed but this was a day to absorb the surroundings and to hell with the time. I rounded Lochan a' Gheannain and came across three people and a dog enjoying a picnic on a table overlooking the lochan, they hollered me a greeting to the effect that aren't we the lucky ones. The uphill section that follows had deeper snow and was followed by a longer downhill section to the shores of Loch Ard. I followed the recently opened loop to Rob Roy's cave, a narrow undulating path with views that make you intensely happy, it is running nirvana.

And then just three kilometres running alongside the loch feeling the sun dip and the temperature drop even further. I had covered 12 kilometres and it had taken well over an hour but time is a meaningless measure on days like this. I had the photographs to remember that winter days are the very best for running, walking and enjoying the great outdoors. The memory of this run is now frozen in time online. 

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