I had seen from the forecast that Tuesday was likely to be phenomenal. I took the day off to go running (the joys of being self employed) and it did not disappoint. I had been planning a route - a triangle from North Berwick to Traprain Law (via East Linton and the JMW) then over to Ravensheugh and back on the beach. Today seemed an ideal day for it: I got off the train in NB at 12.15.
I really enjoy a hike a up the Law on a sunny day - the views are superb. I had thought about checking the tides before setting off but had forgotten. I thought I'd find out soon enough then realised I'd see as I climbed the Law. It was on it's way out, or in. (As is often the case.)
There are now wild ponies grazing on NB Law. I assume they are on an asbo from Exmoor. They are friendly although handling and feeding is verboten. I believe there was 7 introduced last October but one had a fatal fall and there are now six. I was too busy filming and taking photos to count. They are part of a conservation grazing project.
Today, one of the the themes was whiskery faces.
Utterly beguiling on ponies and horses and yet so unwelcome to ladies of a certain age.
Lucy had mentioned that just past the field perimeter walk on the JMW, just as you go into the woods there was a perpendicular path that skirted a pond thick with bullrushes, where posh people were having a picnic outdoors (and didn't discourage Lucy from walking the dog there.) I followed the circuit round and then the path on the other side climbed and eventually went past a big house. Nobody told me to clear off although I wouldn't have stopped to eat my sandwiches on their front lawn.
The day was full of these drab brown butterflies that are very tricky to get a decent snap of.
The biggest challenge today was resisting stopping every 80 yards to photograph something. Most of the wold roses were past their best and I've covered that ground earlier in the season. But the strong light made everything shine and it really was tricky keeping it to just 628 photos and videos. I have put the best ones here and will make a wee film when I get a chance.
And the crops were all doing their thing too.
I particularly like the tiny flying ant thing in the centre of this pic.
I was so distracted by the scenery it took 2 hrs to get 9 miles to East Linton. The main objective in this direction was to run the course of the Traprain Law Hill Race and visit the 13 ponies on the hill. As I'd already chatted to the ponies on NB Law I wasn't sure I absolutely had to do this but I wanted to get the mileage into ultra figures and had measured the large triangle at over 27.
Lunch - sandwiches I'd carried and extras I bought at the East Linton Co-op.
(Maple Pecan bakery, Soreen Loaf and Red Bull - I'd started to flag a bit at 9 miles.)
Running up the path on one side of the Tyne I saw this deer on the other side.
Lucy texted while I was at Hailes and I said I would probably call past
but be out for another 4hrs or so
Traprain Law ponies.
Signs up ask not to feed the ponies - but these guys are definitely familiar with the rustle of a tesco's carrier bag and aren't shy about hustling you for a look in your back pack.
On Traprain Law I did the opposite of the race route. (Due to crossing the bridge rather than the stream.) So I climbed up the shallow side and descended the steep side ignoring the warning.
Back by the riverside paths to East Linton and a refuel at the Co-op. Smartest move of the day was to buy a large bottle of water and a bag of ice. I half filled my Camelbak with ice and filled the rest with water. I had deliciously cold drink for the next 15 miles.
Leaving East Linton I took the road rather than the JMW and then a bit down the road took a left and headed down to Binning Wood. It was a sustained stretch of road running and I was glad to get back into the trees and off road again. I nearly always take a different path through these woods - there is a mix of pleasure and anxiety in getting lost on the smaller twisty paths and scampering about in the undergrowth. I was pleased to see my line on the garmin output is fairly straight cutting a diagonal from one side to the other. There is a wee blip about a third of the way in where I had a time out. I forgot I had switched the Garmin off auto pause and so the whole trip today was recorded
After the woods there is the long haul down Limetrees Walk and this view of Tyninghame House. It was very much to the front of my mind that last time down this road I stepped half off the kerb and badly twisted my ankle. I gave a dirty look at the tiny ledge of tarmac - difficult to believe it could have cause so much pain. What a joy to have both ankles working today and the weather couldn't have been better.
However there was a breeze on the coast throwing up some surf and I cancelled the swim I had pencilled in. I even took the compact camera and aquapack to record the splash, however the run was taking longer than planned and it was now time to make tracks back to the station.
I arrived 5 mins too late to get past this peninsula with dry feet and was forced to climb the headland
However it makes for better shots along the beach.
I ran along to the Peffer Burn then followed it upstream where it leads to a cement road that eventually becomes the road up from Seacliff. It's the longest stretch of tarmac and I haven't really found a better route back to North Berwick and the station. The coast at this point gets very stoney and means rockhopping which is not what you want after a marathon distance. The road is at least fast and scenic.
There was something Edward Hopper-like about these 2 scenes
I realised there was a train at 8.21pm. That would get me back in time for dinner with Mary at 9. However I said I would call in at Lucy's in NB and time was getting on. I picked up the pace and recorded mile 30 at the somewhat unlikely pace of 6.21, by far the quickest of the day (most had been twice that time) and arrived at Lucy's in a bit of a lather, however I received a glass of red for my troubles and a quick chat to swap running stories (herself and Jamie had been down to Dunbar) before catching a train almost exactly 8 hrs after setting out. Days like this don't come round often and I realise how lucky I am to be able to enjoy them in the best art gallery in the world.
I didn't put the garmin back on for the last bit to the station and didn't have it on for the mile to and from Waverley. Total aprox 32m. Average pace 14min miles!