The Deer Runner

The Deer Runner

Sunday, 18 August 2013

A cliff top run.

I needed to shake things up a bit today, both running and blog needed a boot up the backside. Last weekend I completed a much needed 24 miles at John Duncan's superb event but I needed to get a longish run done today before the Speyside Ultra next weekend. I fancied a coast run, 5 minutes on Google and my mind was made up, Cruden Bay to Peterhead it was.

I parked in the centre of Peterhead and got on the number 63 bus at 1030. It didn't take long to arrive at Cruden Bay where I got off at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel. It's a quick jog down to the harbour where my run will start.

I climb up from the harbour and do a couple of circuits on the cliff top. Slains Castle is in view from here but I need to double back inland to pick up the path.

The path has been completely resurfaced since I was last here, a good few years ago.

Slains Castle, supposedly inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula and I can see why.
It is completely fenced off for safety reasons so I pick up the trail and carry on.

The cliff top path is overgrown in places which prevents sure footing when running. I walk these sections to prevent going over my ankles.

The scenery is spectacular, there are a few tourists on the trail taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

This youngster refused to move, even though the path passed close by.

The famous Bullers of Buchan is a bird watchers paradise but extreme care has to be taken here.

A secluded boulder strewn beach, this is where I'll have my lunch.

The drops are shear and only feet from the path. Some edges are fenced but the wood looks old and is not to be trusted. No bravado here, just walk along the path.

I find a spot on the shore for lunch in the sun where a seal surfaces and checks me out.

More precarious drops, the photos don't do it justice.

A memorial to two climbers, take care on these cliffs.

Boddam has been quarried for pink granite, they are now flooded and out of bounds.

The remote operated radar can be seen, formerly RAF Buchan.

More caves and an arch.

Peterhead power station stack can be seen in the distance.

The trail is well overgrown in places.

I reach a disused railway track and make my way through the cutting, Buchan Ness can be seen in the distance. This is a mistake though, the track is marsh and bog, stagnant bog that smells. I persevere for a while before climbing out of the cutting and find a faint track, other people have obviously had the same idea.

More quarried granite before the path is diverted onto the A90. The diversion is not welcome, this is a fast road I have to endure for a couple of hundred meters to the Boddam turn off.

A monument from the Boddam community to RAF Buchan service men and women.

A wee diversion to Boddam castle, or rather whats left of it

Buchan Ness lighthouse, and holiday accomodation.

Boddam harbour.

Path on the way to Peterhead power station.

The coastal path passes by the power station then over a water discharge point into the bay.

It's a bit of a scramble over these granite boulders, placed here to stop coastal erosion.

This is a beautiful bay but spoiled by plastic and rubbish washed up on the shore.

I spot a sailing ship in the distance, must have departed Peterhead but I've missed it.

On entering Peterhead I pass the prison, no photographs taken here, it would look suspicious.
Peterhead bay and the small caravan park is lovely in the sunshine today.

My run is not finished yet. I make my way through the harbour towards Keith Insch, a whale processing plant back in it's day. The bridge is up as usual so I have to take the long way around.
I want to get to the coast at Keith Insch but this is now taken over by Oil Companies with security huts and patrols. I end my run at the gates of the Oil Yard, disappointed I can't get to the coast.

It's taper time for the Speyside Ultra next week then no more ultra races planned for the rest of the year. I don't know if i can make it to the Glenmore 24 yet and if I do I will offer to help out.

I have a big plan for next year but I'm not ready to make it public yet, the ultra parasite keeps gnawing away!

Wed 8 miles Sat 3 miles Sun 14 miles  Weekly total 25 miles.