Saturday, 18 August 2012


We headed up to the Lammermuirs today for a change. It was meant to be bright and sunny but ominous clouds were gathering just right above the hills we were heading for as we approached and as we parked up at Blinkbonny Woods a heavy shower was passing so we sat it out.

Starting up the hill into the wind wasn't easy...neither were the first 2 miles in fact. What idea had inspired a super-hilly 12 miler I couldn't really remember. Some notion that maybe hill training at the moment is a bit like altitude training for me so maybe I should keep at it. Also its just nice to get up somewhere high with a view.

As we've noticed before there's more death and destruction in them there Lammermuirs than there is in the Pentlands. Right off we jumped over a dead hare on the path. "That's the start of the body count" quoth Peter. He was joking but it was true. Notable among the dead were a stoaty thing caught in one of the many traps. Notable among the dying was a lovely barn owl with a broken wing.

After 2 miles of climbing and another mile of undulation we hung a left down the road that goes past an empty wooden cabin and then rises steeply past a sweep of huge buzzing pylons. I turned around at exactly 6 miles, feeling that would be plenty. Peter went on a bit to investigate some new windmills just over the horizon.

Along this lonely stretch of road there was a Land Rover parked at the side of the road and just beyond it three men with guns and dogs. We just had to hope they didn't "do" runners. Evidently they didn't.

The rise from the wood cabin back onto the main path felt really hard and only bloody-mindedness kept me from walking. The 2 mile descent at the end is quite a good reward.  The fastest I've moved in a while.

It was nice and hot and muggy for the Haddington Half Marathon today - something of a tradition. We skirted round the edges of it on our way home but didn't stop.


coastkid said...

Out today too and noted the SSW breeze, also i agree about the amount of animal trapping in the Lamermuirs, worst still once around Mayshiel Estate. Working on a Golf course that co xists with all the wildlife (including rabbits!) i think there is no need at all for all the trapping..

"Give them a gun and cartige belt and they think their Rambo..."
is a quote i often say!

Yak Hunter said...

I'm impressed you live alongside the rabbits on the golf course! Loved your latest wee film Bruce, its great.

runtwo said...

Lovely looking route, despite the carnage...good to see you are getting decent runs in now. Agree with Coastkid, some estates seem to want to obliterate everything up there, to protect an artificial monoculture of grouse (only there to be shot). Then they create roads everywhere to ferry the 'guns' about, sanitizing the hills further. And then the windfarms...Sorry, i'll stop there - rant over!!

Shame about that barn owl too, as they can often be rehabilitated quite easily if its just a broken wing.

Any chance you could share your route?

Yak Hunter said...

Thanks Brian, route is now shared on the blog - which means I had to share my pace too which hurts a bit...but very good to be out there. Liked your rant. We just had no idea what to do for Mr (or Mrs) Barn Owl so left alone, he's at about mile 5. Hope this link gives enough detail for you to see where we went. I find the Lammermuirs quite hard to navigate. Maps of them never seem to show all the roads. Best of Luck in the Speyside Way by the way, looking forwards to the report.

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runtwo said...

Many thanks Mary - as you have probably gathered I don't have a good navigational record in the Lammermuirs! We ran the Carfraemill-Gifford route with HELP last Wednesday and the 2nd half takes in part of your route from around Lammer Law back to Gifford. We didnt see much of the route though, weather was foul from the off and we were all soaked about 10 mins into the run.

Thanks for sharing - will report back if I complete the Speyside!