18/02/23 – What a fun morning. Westerlands Cross Country Club arranged a C.U.T.E (competitive Unofficial Training Event) all across the Kilpatricks. This caused me must confusion when tryin to categorise this for the page….was it a race or trail…I decided to put it under trail. Lynz and I took on leg 2 for our team. Plan was Overtoun House to Doughnot hill across to Duncolm and finally the trig at Queens View before heading to the carpark in the quickest time/route possible.

First was Doughnot where the sun was shining and our card stamped. Next was over to Duncolm. We’d reccied this bit but finding the initial trod off Doughnot was always a bit tricky. Found it and then then fence climb, stile climb, nearly lose shoe in the bogs, skirt round Fyn Loch, over a wall and then across some tussocks until Duncolm was in sight. What made it harder was that, despite knowing the route, the cloud was down and couldn’t see the usual landmarks aka big hill.

From Duncolm we had options, the normal way past Lily Loch to Burncrooks or through the tree cut and onto forestry track. We opted for more bog and via Lily. When we popped out at Burncrooks the next choice was left or right. We went left, over the damn and then then up the trod towards the Whangie, popping out at the muddy gate and then straight to the trig. We were met by runners on leg 3 heading out so felt the pressure to get to the carpark checkpoint.

Final part was from the Queens View trig down. We ran straight into a group of 20 walkers who kindly shouted ‘runners’ to let us through and then cheered when we ran (and nearly lost a shoe) in the deep bog they were carefully walking round. About 500m from the end another pair suddenly appeared behind us. They’d overtaken us earlier so did wonder which route they’d taken. My race head switched on and I literally bombed it down to the handover. 13.4km and 530m elevation.

Card handed over to the leg 3 pair and time for Lynz and I to eat cake and chat to the other runners to find out their routes. Because this was point to point there was a logistical challenge. I’d earlier dropped the van at Queens View and cycled home. Lynz had driven us to Overtoun house so it was van trip back to her car.

Now that’s done it was home to wash the shoes and save the loomi life socks then have my DIY spa afternoon. My youngest had made me an invitation inviting me to a spa afternoon with her. How could I refuse. So home for facemasks and nail painting. Legs and feet already had the bog mud treatment earlier.