Such a simple thing at times, get the shoes on and just run. We are spoiled here In Scotland with such a different array of running routes and surfaces – road, track, trail, sand, hills flat, everything, and it’s easy to forget the beauty on our doorsteps. Before I joined Motherwell AC I would run the trails of Chatelherault twice a week to lose weight and get myself fit, and even after joining would tend to do it at least once a week. Work gets in the way though and you go to the club less but still on my Sunday runs I try to get in sections of trail, the heritage trails on the way to the Blackhill transmitters for example. Every holiday abroad and the first thing I do is get the trainers on and check out the trail – I’ve documented these runs, along the Seine, the vineyards and hills of Cabrerolles, the sand and dune routes of the Chamelon trail at Islantilla, and I love it.
But for some reason I have never raced on the trails.
My mindset has over the last few years been obsessed with times, splits, comparing performances, power of ten, targets etc and that can’t always be good. For some people yes, for me? Probably not. And to be honest my last couple of races haven’t been great as I obsessed over times and targets, the track in particular being utterly honking. It was therefore an opportune moment when I heard that TrailFest Scotland were looking for bloggers to cover their Solstice Trail Series race information and entry here and to cut a long story short I am delighted to have been invited to run the series which starts next Thursday at Mugdcock Country Park.
A summary of the series – The inaugural Solstice Trail Series is a three-race series featuring some of the best trails to be found between Glasgow and The Trossachs. The routes have been carefully designed to challenge and reward runners, whether you’re chasing a time, or running your first trail race.
So what do my next few weeks entail? I am going for the best of both worlds. My weekends will have road races with the Alloa Half, Roon the Toon 10k and Mens’s 10k lined up. I am withdrawing from the two midweek track races I had lined up as my legs and heart aren’t in them, and I will be embracing the world of trails across the three nights of racing, from 7k to 15k, over the next three weeks. And I will tell you all about them. You know the script by now, I will be 100% honest and reserve the right to moan like a floundering haddock, but do you know something ? I am really looking forward doing this. So to all of those who have told me to the embrace the trails properly, Roger of Irunoffroad, Andy Jannetta, Supertramp Osborne, Mr Roach, Chuck the Brom, Mrs Zabek, Stu among many others I am coming into your world.
A big thanks to TrailFest Scotland for the invitation, and to Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports whose Salomon advice and gear should hopefully get me through the series.
#SolsticeSeries #RunDirty #LiveBreatheRun
A bit more about the series for those of you who may fancy joining me:
Each evening race will start and finish at Mugdock Country Park Visitor Centre and will feature wide tracks, technical singletrack, hills and stunning views on the extensive trail network both within the Country Park and in Craigallian Woods.
- All races start at 7pm
- Mugdock Country Park, Milngavie, Glasgow G62 8EL
- Race 1: 7km Thursday 7th June. £14
- Race 2: 12km. Thursday 14th June. £19
- Race 3: 15km. Thursday 21st June. £24 (Summer Solstice)
- Overall Series entry. £50
Entry Fees Include
- Solstice Trail Series technical t-shirt. A different colour for each race.
- Chip timing
- Prize categories: male and female 1,2,3 per race and male and female 1,2,3 for overall series
- Spot prizes
- Invitation to an exclusive trailrunning evening at Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, Glasgow
- Fully marked and marshalled routes
Hope to see some of you there, and go easy on me 🙂