The Deer Runner

The Deer Runner

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Ythan Valley

As usual, low running means no blogging.  I just couldn't be bothered running high miles, settling for 3 mile lunchtime outings instead.  Even these short runs became a chore but it all changed on Saturday the 1st November.  I actually felt the urge to run long, and by "long" I mean further than marathon distance.  The GO33 ultra was held on the same day, I thought about sending a cheeky
e-mail to the race organisers asking for a late entry but decided against this due to the eight hour round trip.

I didn't want to drive anywhere, so a local North East Scotland run it was.  I decided to take my camera to keep the interest high and some music for the long road sections.  Here's how it went -

It's a beautiful day as I set off, shorts and tee shirt weather, I have a long sleeve top packed into a backpack that's not been used in a while.  The waist buckle needs adjustment, I've put on a bit of weight.  Fuel is egg sandwiches, crisps, a bounty and a chia charge flapjack.  A bottle of fizzy flavoured water means the back pack is stuffed full.

With the day consisting of mostly road it is an opportunity to really test the Rappa Nui Trail shoes.
I am a big Hoka fan but I must admit, these shoes have taken quite a bit of breaking in compared to the Mafate or Stinsons.

It's not long before I hit some farm tracks before reaching the road to Gight.

With weather like this, even the most mundane road routes are scenic.

I drop down into the Braes.  I must apologise for taking more pictures here but it's my favourite training place and is simply stunning today.

Gight's version of "cow poo ally" leading to the castle ruin.

First glimpse of the river Ythan.

According to ordinance survey, this is an otter pool.

My wooden bridge but I'm not crossing it today.  I'm going to follow the river as far as I can upstream.

The track winds it's way through a reed bed.

I follow the track hoping to find a way to Fyvie but it's not to be.

I'm at a dead end with a water fall.  Ahead is a stream, marsh and fields of cattle.  There's no track alongside the river.  I consider climbing over fences and continuing through the farmland but don't want confrontation.  I have no choice but to turn and make my way back downriver.

 This is the last view of the Braes as I make my way up to a farm and onto a side road to St Johns Wells.

After a few miles I can see the river again and the Ythan valley leading to Fyvie.

The A947, I have about a mile to go along this very fast road.  I spend all my time jumping onto the verge to avoid oncoming traffic before reaching a footpath.

I make my way to a wood, one I was told about a few years ago.  I didn't know it was a shooting estate so stand and ponder before running in.  Maybe I should phone the number on the sign.

I run in for about half a mile, Pheasant are scattering to the four winds as I go.  the place is deserted which isn't a good sign, normally dog walkers would be out in force at a place like this.

As nice as this place seems, I turn round and run back out of the estate, I don't fancy being accidently shot.  I also give this outing a nickname "The Chicken Run" as it's the second time I have turned back today.

Back across the Ythan for the last time today.

Up to Fyvie Castle, there's a wedding on where some very old cars pass with a party.  I don't go to the castle and prefer circling round the pond.

It's time for lunch, a bench with a view.

I share my sandwiches with the inhabitants before heading home.

There's a memorial in Fyvie at the junction for Methlick.  This is my route home.

Fyvie church is bathed in sunshine as I leave.

This bush is still in full bloom, fooled into thinking it's summer.

Millbrex church ruin and graveyard.

Iv'e came full circle, a couple more miles to go.

The countryside is very scenic in the late afternoon sun.

Home sweet home 27 miles later, tired but happy to get my long distance mojo back.

Week ending 12th Oct - Mon 3, Tues 3, Wed 3, Thurs 10.  Weekly total 19 miles.
Week ending 19th Oct - Wed 4, Fri 13, Sun 4.  Weekly total 21 miles.
Week ending 26th Oct - Mon 3, Tues 3, Wed 3, Thurs 3.  Weekly total 12 miles.
Mon 3, Tues 3, Sat 27.  Weekly total 33 miles.


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