Steve had the very good idea that we do a recce of the Baddinsgill Round on Sunday. The race (we have Nick Brown of CAAC to thank) is on the 24th Aug and only £5. My feet and legs were a bit trashed from all that road stuff on Saturday so the idea of soft ground and scenery was appealing.
Steve was trying out his new shoes, the upmarket version of Fellraisers; Salomon Fellcross.
He said they were excellent.
The route (after a couple hundred yards of road to get warmed up) quite quickly becomes a long (at times steep) climb up to the first top.
The race route avoids the usual Pentlands (C5, Skyline etc.) which you see in the distance but never get that close to.
Although there are faint paths and sheep trods the route followed is not as obvious as the more familiar Pentland paths and there are fewer dog- and hill-walkers. Some of the dips are very damp though they are considerably drier this year than the last 2 years when you would risk losing a shoe in the several swampy areas.
The route is more rolling and runnable than the high tops of the Pentlands.
Between the hills there are a couple of damp spots. Last year you could have gone up to your waist in this pond so it was less daunting today.
I have done this race both times it was held and yet there were areas I had no recollection of. And there seemed to be more hills. Probably just a bit tired from Saturday.
This is Baddinsgill Reservoir which is in centre of the circuit we run around.
We have come from the centre of the image along the rising ridge on the left and will be returning down from the right.
The descent off East Cairn Hill is pretty horrible. I lost sight of the leaders 2 years ago and took a bad line off the top here. However as most lines are bad and there isn't a path an idea might be to head back to the fence line and find the path.
Looking back at East Cairn Hill: you come at it from the right side of this pic, and the path you want is down the fence line after you have visited the summit.
This path goes on for some time but keep your eyes peeled for a swing off to the left into unmarked heathery hell. You can either head in a straight line into the valley and up the next hill or follow the fence round to Wolf Crags and then head into heathery hell up to the next summit. I hadn't ever seen Wolf Crags up close and wondered where they were. We reckoned this (below) was they. Neither route is particularly advantageous!
Looking back you can see the fence line left of centre. A straighter line is to head from the horizon (top right) directly to David, travelling East of the crags (keeping the crags on your right.)
Around here you might catch sight of the finish flags but you still have a wee dogleg* to the last summit and then a good fast downhill on delightful bouncy ground to the finish. *A marshal will prob be stood at the point where you cross the fence and contour across to the last smaller hill.
The soft ground and hills mean this 11.4 miler takes maybe 30+minutes longer than half marathon if you are a seasoned hill runner. You will be required to carry usual hillrunning kit
It's a great local race and the course is in better shape than the last 2 years. More prizes this year! Also new for this year: a midday start to allow for travel, and all that scenery thrown in. (Which you won't see as you will be watching your feet.) Only 100 places.