Do a 12k race in the heart of Braemar, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. So blindly enter, I did. I really should read these things first, then I would have known all about the swamp, river crossings and bog that we had to run through; the steep climbs involved and even a wee wall to run along the top of.
The race started in the stadium where the Braemar gathering is held every year and heads up some steep tracks immediately. You are very quickly presented with the first river crossing. Thankfully though, the sun was shining and the water was not too cold. At the other side of the river, your feet immediately get working and begin to dry out as you run downhill on grass. Don’t enjoy it too much as shortly after you come across the bog. A large, smelly, muddy patch of stagnant water and deep mud. Euch! I lost a lot of time here as I basically tried to get through this without getting dirty. Or stuck. Yeah, it didn’t work. Immediately after, there is a very steep climb before hitting landrover tracks and a nice downhill bit. Again, don’t enjoy it for too long as you are soon presented with a technical and difficult climb down a steep bit of hill.
At the bottom of this hill was roughly the half way point and things begin to change. I was now faced with thing, winding forest paths and some ups and downs. Great fun twisting and turning through the forest before coming onto a road section and more thin tracks. As you turn left out of the tracks, there was an old wall which we had to run along the top of alongside the river. Another river crossing, then the warm and stagnant water in the swamp. Ick! Thankfully there was one more final river crossing to clean ourselves off a little, a short and steep climb up a bank and then the final mile home.
A race I was not looking forward to (due to the fact I hate getting dirty or getting my feet wet), but one I thoroughly enjoyed and will probably end up entering again next year. Drat!