As we are nestled in the Scottish Highlands and right next to the West Highland Way, we have a wide and varied selection of running routes on our doorstep. Whether you enjoy running for fun, or are looking to train for competitions, the are routes that can provide for your needs. For those seeking a challenge, there are 4 Ultra-runs that take place annually on or near the West Highland Way – please see our Ultra-runs page for more information.
Kirsty, who owns By The Way with her husband Ranald is a keen runner and runs daily on the amazing running routes that either start or pass through Tyndrum. Check out ‘Kirsty’s recommended runs‘ page for details of all the best routes, including detailed Google maps of each run and nice pictures of the scenery you can see along the way.
Kirsty is a keen supporter of the Ultra-runs that take place in the Scottish Highlands and has completed the Devil O’ The Highlands race. The 3 main Ulta-runs (The Highland Fling, Devil O’ The Highlands and the West Highland Way Race) all either start, finish or pass through Tyndrum, so this is an ideal place to prepare if you plan on entering one these races. Please see Kirsty’s Ultra-run page for more information.
I can’t believe we are nearly into May of 2017!!!! So far this year I have only done one ultra run, which was the John Muir Way 50km. I did not feel the best before the race and I didn’t think I would do that well. My sister was over from South Africa and she is very supportive with my running. The last time she was over, I was first lady in the Glasgow to Edinburgh Ultra, so I wondered if she was going to be a good omen this time. As it turned out she was – my time was 4.46 which I was very pleased with.
This weekend (29th April) is the Highland Fling (already!!!). By The Way once again hosted three training weekends, which were all very successful. I am not doing the full race this year. I have opted for a leg in the relay, just for a change. I am doing the final leg (glory leg) from Bein Glas to Tyndrum, which is about 12 miles. I have heard the weather is not going to be great, but you never know, we will see what the day brings.
The relay went well and the weather behaved for some of the time.
The Glen Lyon Ultra is next weekend (6th May) which I am doing. It’s about 30 miles. I know most of the route and I am really looking forward to it. This run was amazing, especially the weather. I just missed 3rd lady position, but the much younger girl was a far stronger runner (I have to make up some sort of excuse!!). The hills were hard, but I marched up them listening to some good beats, which I find really helps. Definitely want to do that one again.
I had entered the Devil o’ The Highlands which was last weekend, but due to an ongoing niggle I decided to pull out. I probably could have done it, but I have the OCC (which is part of the UTMB series in Chamonix) coming up at the end of August, and felt that I did not want to do the Devil and then not be able to do OCC, due to my niggle becoming an injury!!! I am very excited for the OCC and will update here once I have completed it (all being well!!)
I can’t believe how quickly time flies and I have not even put an update on my OCC adventure – my goodness it’s nearly time for the next UTMB Series!!! I went over for a few days, and on first arriving, the weather was spectacular. I stayed with friends in a very nice apartment right in the centre of Chamonix. On the day on my run the weather changed and it was very wet!!! Apart from being cold and damp, I was upset that I couldn’t see all the lovely views from the big ascents. I did enjoy the sounds of cow bells in the mist!! There were a few periods of brightness, but my mood was okay and it was great seeing people at various checkpoints who were supporting me. So all in all it was a great experience, and one I will not forget in a hurry.
My last competitive race in 2017 was the 7 Reservoirs Run in Edinburgh, at the beginning of December. The course is the distance of a half marathon. It was a lovely crisp, sunny winters day, which was amazing. It’s definitely not a PB half marathon course, but that’s was makes it such a lovely, scenic run. I would definitely like to do it again this year.
So far, in 2018 I have done 6 competitive runs, of varying distances. My eldest son has taken to running “like a fish to water” and we have done a lot of training together. We have also done some races together, which has been great fun. He is doing his first marathon in June – the Strathearn Marathon, which I am going to run with him. It will be such a huge achievement for him.
I am doing as many local races as possible this year. There is the Mhor 84 Trilogy Event, which consists of a 10km (already run) a half marathon in June and a marathon in August. After each race you receive a section of the medal, which is pieced together after the final race. It’s a fantastic idea, and all the runs are in and around Strathyre, Balquidder and Callander. Another race/challenge, which has a fairly local finish (Inveruglus), caused a bit of a stir when the organisers announced the day before that they had gone into administration and therefore the challenge was cancelled. This was the Three Lochs Way, which starts in Balloch and finishes in Inveruglus – approx 34 miles. I was really looking forward to this run and it was such a disappointment to hear that it had been cancelled. Anyway, as it turned out there were a lot of disappointed people, who had entered, and were determined to do the race. Through Facebook a “Plan B” event was organised and over 200 people ended up doing the challenge. It was amazing, and the support was fantastic too.
Going back a bit, I did the Glentress Marathon in February. Ellen, who owns Glengarry B&B in Tyndrum came along with me. She was supposed to run, but had been unwell, so unfortunately she could not run on the day. She did, however, save the day by helping at the halfway checkpoint and at the end of the race. We had such an interesting trip from Edinburgh to Glentress – sometimes using GPS is not such a good idea, as we discovered that day. We were directed to drive up and over a mountain. I suppose if we had been on a quad bike it could have been quicker and quite fun!!!
Two weeks ago I did the Kintyre Way Ultra which was about 36.5 miles. I really enjoyed it and felt so energised. I was 4th lady in, and chuffed with that. I hadn’t been on the Kintyre coast for such a long time, and had forgotten how amazing it is along there.
I have a few more ultras this year – The Devil of the Highlands at the beginning of August, which I have done a few times and really enjoy. Then in October I have two ultras, the first is Dunoon, which I have not done and towards the end of October the Ultra Tour of Edinburgh which is a Rat Race event. I know Edinburgh very well, so I am looking forward to the “tour”. Hopefully I will also be doing Glen Ogle 33 again this year. I have done it twice before and feel it’s time to do it again, seeing that it is “just down the road”.
Well, it’s certainly been a while since I updated this page!! So after the Kintyre Way Ultra I did the Mhor 84 Trilogy Half Marathon and the Strathearn Marathon. I mentioned earlier that my son was doing the marathon, which he completed in 4.54. It is quite a hilly course, so I was very proud of him, and I am sure he was very chuffed with himself as well. The Devil of The Highlands was at the start of August. I got a PB which I was very chuffed with. My time was 7.57 and I was second 50VFon the podium. I must say, I was very pleased with myself. The following week I did the Mhor 84 Trilogy Marathon, which was a great run. We even got a Pims as we were transported over a rather deep river by boat.
At the moment I am doing “maintenance miles” – meaning that I keep up my fitness by doing a lot of hill reps and fartlek runs, with the odd long run thrown in. We got a puppy in June, so I have to find the time to walk the dogs a few times a day, as well as get my runs in. I have three ultras coming up, all two weeks apart, which is ideal. The first one is the Dunoon Ultra on 6 Oct, then Ultra Tour of Edinburgh (Rat Race) on 21 October, and at start of November the Glen Ogle 33. The 7 Reservoirs Run (Balerno, Edinburgh), which is a half marathon distance, is at beginning of December, which I plan to enter again. I did it last year and really enjoyed it.
So, that was a very condensed version of what I have been up to.
I can’t believe I didn’t update my runs from last year!! So here is a very brief summary. I had two very good runs to start off the year. At Glentress in February, I got a PB by 20 mins, which I was very happy with. Then at the John Muir Ultra I took 5 mins off my previous year’s time – also very chuffed with that. The Highland Fling was a disaster for me, in April. I started the race not feeling the best, and by the time I reached Drymen, (only 12 miles in) I decided that I would pull out at Balmaha. Probably a wise decision, as the weather deteriorated as the day progressed, but also, if I had decided to carry on, and then felt awful later on, it might have been an issue to pull out, especially if it was on the side of Loch Lomond!!
In July I did the Edinburgh Ultra – there is a 24 hr, 12 hr & 6 hr option. I went for the 6 hr option and really enjoyed it. I was first female as well. In August I did a race in Salisbury. It was a 50km and the route was great, as well as the weather. In October I did two ultras – The Dunoon Ultra and also Rat Race’s Edinburgh Ultra, both of which I really enjoyed. To finish off the year in November, I did the Brecon Beacons Ultra in Wales. The weather was a bit touch and go, but the race was fab.
RACES FOR 2020
My first race this year is on 22 February. A race I haven’t done before (in fact, I am doing a “bucket list tick off” this year – so, mainly races that I haven’t done before, and also further afield). This race in Northumberland – part of the Coastal Series, in the Bamburgh area. I love that part of the world. The distance is only 50 km. My husband, Ranald, has started running, and he is doing the 10k. It’s also his birthday on 22 Feb, so hopefully we both have a good race, so we can celebrate later on.
In March I am doing the D33, a race that I have never really thought about doing, mainly because I have heard that it is very flat. However, I thought I should give it a go this year. Also, I am trying to do an ultra every month (if possible) this year.
At the start of April I am doing a High Terrain race – The Kielda Ultra 82kms. There are two distances of 50km and 32km. A few years ago I did the 50km and really enjoyed it. This year they are combining the two distances for the first time. So, it’s about 50 miles. Hopefully the weather is kind!!
I have never done a two day race, so I thought this year I would give it a go. My first one is in May – The Jurassic Coast Challenge. So, as the title suggests, it’s not really a race, but rather a challenge. The total distance is 100km, which is divided into two days. We are going down a few days earlier, staying in the campervan and making a bit of a holiday of it.
In June I have another two day challenge, which is in Northumberland. It’s called “Race to the Castle” – the castle being Bamburgh Castle. This is also a distance of 100km. So, between May’s challenge and this one, I will have to take it quite easy and not over do it!!
July is time for the Edinburgh Ultra (24, 12, 6 hr races) around Arthur’s Seat. This time I am going for the 12 hour event.
I had hoped to do the Mhor Marathon again in August, but this year the race has sold out so quickly. So I am now doing the marathon relay with my son, Cameron. The distance is split into 10.2 miles and 16 miles. It is such a well organised event, and so close to home.
Hopefully I will get an entry into the Ochills Ultra, which is towards the end of September. I haven’t done this race before, but have heard good reports. Entries open at the end of January.
In October I might do the Dunoon Ultra again. I really love this race, and again, it’s so easy to get there and back in one day.
So that’s what I have planned for this year. Hopefully, I will get to do all the races/challanges.
TYNDRUM 24 – NEW EVENT FOR 2020
This is a new race, which is in mid January. The first event was this year and it went very well. The start and finish is at By The Way and the race director, Stacey Holloway, is a very good friend of mine. She has started her own event company and I am pleased to say that she started on a roll.
The route consists of a 5 mile loop, which is a mixture of uneven ground and also a good track. Part of it is on The West Highland Way.
There was a huge interest in the race, which I think is because there aren’t many races in January, and also the option of doing various distances, when the weather can be quite challenging, is a good idea. Luckily for us, this year (two weeks ago) the weather was great.
At the halfway point, a few of the marshalls had a fire going, and they cheered the runners on as they passed. For some of the runners, I think knowing that they were there was a good incentive to keep going.
Considering that it was such a success, we are hoping to hold the race again next January. No matter what the weather, there are always runners who want to run!!!!
Tyndrum is an excellent base for you to explore all the activities and outdoor pursuits available in Scottish West Highlands – please check out the Activitiessection of our site for more info.
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