I left Mallaig with Ryan to give me a lift to Aviemore at 4am.
Arrived in Aviemore around 6 am.
I set of around 6:20
It was cold, dry, no wind with a cloud cover which was perfect.
Started of very good following the road and then joining a very dark narrow first path which later narrowed down even more. The path was pretty straightforward but I had to stay focused all the way as there was no way markers showing the way.
By the time I got to Loch Insch I made 2 nav mistakes. One leading me up the hill instead of along the shores of the loch and another leading me straight into a bog at Loch Insch.
No drama. Got it sussed…
Arrived in Kingussie with no problems. Climbing out I followed a very narrow and slippery path up Cream Bheag. I got carried away and started climbing the hillside instead of following the path around… Mistake 3… Corrected it in time sliding through the rocks and some moss back to the path… I added some distance before Newtonmore taking a wrong turn. No danger all in control. The visibility was good and i could see where I was going even with slight nav mistakes…
Just before Newtonmore I ended up on a farm and had to get back a little bit as the No Trespassing signs/No Public Access weren’t very inviting. I was on the wrong side of the river going down to Newtonmore. No big deal, it all goes downhill to the village. Just before I reached the road in Newtonmore Igor chased by a Dash hound. Ahh those cute little sausage dogs… Always the smallest ones want to bite your legs off…
Here I took the Alternative route to Laggan on the road as river Calder was overflowing and there was no chance for me of crossing it.
I’ve driven this road so many times and touching the Center of Scotland stone was pretty cool!
Between Laggan and the Woolf tracks I’ve seen the biggest numbers of Pheasants in my life… There was close to 50 pheasants Infront of me running away. Possibly double that on the sides in the fields and trees.
At Kinloch Laggan the longest section started. Loch Laggan stretch felt like ages. The climb was gentle but it lasted for ages and it was sapping energy out of my legs at this point…
At the highest point i made another nav mistake and added few hundred meters to my run..
When I reached the shores of Loch Laggan I continued to run at a steady pace but After doing some maths I knew I have to keep the pace up in order to have a sub 12h 50min finish.
Finally after a longer while I’ve spotted a sign to Fersit. I was very happy as that was the first sign I recognized all day and I knew where I am!
Running through Fersit made me feel great.. the climb out of Fersit not as much but It was good to get to the top and see what is behind me! I’ve ran that I thought!
My legs were hurting badly from Fersit. Thankfully the path from here was wide and easy to follow.
Just before I reached Achluachran the path disappeared. I reached the shore of the beautiful River Spean. I only knew to follow the river.. thankfully there was some sheep trots to follow which made it easier.
It got dark again…
I encountered a bull on a downhill which got scared more than I did.. thankfully he ran away. With all the cows..
When I was at the height of Roy Bridge I made another nav mistake following the road straight and I missed the gate taking me through a field of sheep and into the dark woods.
I was back on the track from now on and the nav became so much easier even in the dark.
Just follow the road.
One foot in front of the other.
I reached Leanachan area above Spean Bridge. This gentle long incline drained all of my energy. It was a tough battle up but I managed to keep a consistent pace.
Running on the side of A82 gave me energy as I knew I’m not far from home.
I crossed the road leading up to Nevis Range and finally reached Torlundy and the North Face Car Park.
The steep climb to the Puggy Line destroyed me.. possibly I was done before this happened but this is how I felt…
Thankfully the easy downhill behind the Aluminium Factory gave me a boost.
Finally I reached the High Street. The beautiful lights and Christmas decorations made it even more special.
I was greeted by my wife Ashley with our children, Roman and Piotr.
It felt great to be finished.
I was truly done and sore. Very happy with the time.
Thank you everyone who dot watched all day.