Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Slipping Away

A Rowan Riot:
According to folklore, loads of berries in the autumn herald a harsh winter to come. Here's hoping.
It seems that August has come and gone just as fast as July did. The shortening of the days, the gaggles of uniformed kids waiting for the school bus, the stark red rowan berries, the first sign of condensing breath in the morning air; they all mean one thing: Autumn approaches. A time for showers and gales and piles of dead leaves; for coming in out of the wet and the cold and lighting the fire and drinking giant mugs of tea in your biggest, warmest wooly jumper; for feeling content with a summer well spent and the rising tide of excitement and expectation as winter’s first snows creep ever nearer.

For me, autumn means that the running season begins, as I try to ready myself for the Original Mountain Marathon in late October. Having done reasonably well in the A-class event in previous years, my regular running partner Duncan and I have decided to try the Elite class this year, which could prove a mistake. It seems to me that Elite running really is the preserve of proper hill-runners and orienteers, while I consider myself a lucky amateur who does a bit of running when climbing’s off the menu. Maybe if I take my training seriously this year we’ll at least finish the race.

On that note, where’s my lycra?

Shower dodgin' and bolt clippin': Strong Ewen cruising Inverarnie Schwarzeneggar (F7a) at The Camel

Guy Stephen (l) starting Inverarnie Schwarzeneggar and me on the amazing Stone of Destiny (F6c+).
(Photo: Blair Fyffe)

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