Saturday, 22 December 2018

Headtorch run for the Unadventurous.

A city centre head torch run
It’s an aspect of winter that I love, heading out to the hills at night after work and running by the light of a headtorch. Following on from the great turnout at Scolty two weeks earlier there was slightly less enthusiasm for this run and understandably so as hill runners like adventure don’t they? But given it wasn’t the most adventurous course, it was flat, and actually pretty well lit from streetlights in neighbouring streets, as well as being in the depths of party season it wasn’t too bad a turn out of “unadventurous” headtorch runners. 

After the Scolty run where there was quite a lot of stopping and re-grouping I thought that this run might be more popular amongst the faster runners as they could charge off without having to re-group and amongst the slower runners as they didn’t have to worry about keeping up with anyone – after all its virtually impossible to get lost on this route. Getting to the correct car park at Duthie park however did prove problematic for some and they had a bit of an adventure locating the start of the run.

A wee group of 6 set off with the plan of running out for somewhere between 25-30 mins and then turning round and running back, that way we would all finish at approximately the same time (and we managed to pick up the latecomers who had gone to the wrong car park) This run was notable however for its lack of 4 legged Cosmics runners, even wee Harry was having a rest day. Probably a wise move though as cyclists shift up and down the track at speed and would struggle to stop for a runner, let alone a dog.

Its been surprisingly mild for December so no ice on the path to contend with and the run proceeded without incident other than the latecomers having to run fast to play catch up. Headtorch run for the unadventurous. It did exactly what it said on the tin.
Post run tea and cakes
Rudolph cakes - it is Christmas after all!
Two weeks earlier we had tackled Scolty as a headtorch run. Amazingly the torrential rain of the afternoon had given way to a bright clear night although there was still a strong wind. Most of this run was in the trees though so the wind was not really a factor until someone had the bright idea of climbing to the top of the tower on Scolty hill where it really was blowing a hooley. 

We stuck to the main forest tracks with no “off-piste” adventures and this was probably a wise move as even the wide tracks were running with water and this allowed a few more stops for re-grouping and making sure that no one was missing.  We climbed up to the summit of Scolty and some took the opportunity of the wee optional side trip to the top of the tower while the others admired the view looking out over the lights from Banchory in the valley on an unanticipated clear night. 
On the top of Scolty
Banchory in the distance

The descent was back down via the race route and there was a moment of nervousness when Martin and Harry didn’t appear, being adventurous they had gone for the “off-piste” option, but they appeared soon after we had got to the car park so a search party wasn’t required. There was a bigger turn out for this run which is understandable – after all we are supposed to be a hill running club. And we are supposed to be adventurous. And even if we are feeling unadventurous there is always cake at the end of the run which makes everything ok.
Tea and cakes

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