Film Friday – The Ginger Runner – The 100 Mile Training Week (Iain)

Film Friday is a weekly (when I remember to do it) recomendation of one video to watch this weekend.

This week’s video is The Ginger Runner’s annual 100 mile training week video. Watching his 2019 video was the reason I attempted to run and video my attempt at it. It’s a really interesting challenge and I’d recommend people give it a try.

https://twinbikerun.com/2020/08/11/time-on-feet-video-running-100-miles-in-7-days-iain/

Please no photos (Andrew)

I’ve started the year by looking like Batman in this month’s issue of 220 Triathlon, which is called February even though it’s out on January and I read it on the Readly magazine app in December. Hopefully they have the dates of the events they feature correct as otherwise everyone will be turning up two months early.

It’s nice to be featured even if all you can see is my Batman ears and my nose. But even if you can’t see that much of me – it’s still better than being caught in the shower like number 3. Yikes!

Rugged Run – Campsie Three Peak Challenge (Iain)

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, outdoor and nature

 

Cort-ma-law is gaelic for “steep climb, boggy on top”

I must admit I failed Gaelic in school. The only phrases I know are “how are you?” and “I am cold” which in Scotland is appropriate conversation for 90% of the year.

So my translation may be wrong but its a steep climb as well as often being wet and boggy on top. I find the boggiest section is the run between Cort-Ma-Law and Lecket Hill. I’ve often ended up ankle deep in a bog.

This route follows a popular walks on well-defined paths. I’ve done it in mist and rain but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are familiar with the route. The car park can be extremely busy so get here early on a nice day.

From the car park, cross the road and make your way up the broad grassy shoulder going east. The ascent of Cort-ma Law is fairly relentless but the gradient eases off as you reach the high ground. Remember to look behind you to get the great view down the valley towards Strathblane.

Follow the cairns all the way to the Summit. Once at the summit. Walk north and jump over the fence. A clearly defined path takes you all the way to Leckett hull. Turn west and follow the path all the way back to Crow Road. Run down the road to finish off the route. Keep an eye out for Jamie Wright’s Well on the south side of the road, a memorial to a local angler who tapped the rock to provide drinking water on his walks to go fishing. 

VIDEO

Not yet!

MAPS

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A hilly 10k on paths that are easy to navigate.

Parking

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Parking can be tricky on a nice day as its a popular spot.

Facilities

Rating: 3 out of 5.

None although on a nice day an Ice Cream van is usually at the car park.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a good cafe in Clachan of Campsie and there are a couple of options in Lennoxtown.

Run Surface

90% grass, 10% road

Dog Friendly

There is normally sheep roaming on the hillside.

Elevation

207M of elevation.

Film Friday – Black & Whyte – A Norseman Story (Iain)

Film Friday is a weekly recommendation of one video to watch this weekend. I forgot to post this yesterday but better late than never!

This weeks video follows Greg Whyte who you might have seen on television helping celebrities overcome sporting challenges. He helped David Walliams swim the Thames and Davina Mccall’s 500 mile challenge, as well as many others.

This shows what it takes to do Norseman when you are as dedicated as he is. I did none of this when I did it. Its fair to say we had different experiences https://twinbikerun.com/2018/08/08/i-am-a-norseman-iain/

2020 Review (Andrew)

You can review stats and try and work out patterns to improve your training. How far did you run. how fast did you swim? Was it faster or further than a month ago?

If you want you can dig down further and check power and heart rate. You can consider zones of training and recovery time and whole host of metrics designed to make even a simple jog round the blog into a carefully monitored scientific experiment.

“Are you off for a jog, dear?”

“No, I’m heading out for a zone 5 steady state session with five times maximum power intervals followed by a CT scan and X-ray!”

Or you can take a more simple view, like I’ve done and ask one simple question: did I beat Iain? And, yes. Yes, I did. You can see his lesser stats here.

Rugged Run – Sir John De Grahams 10K (Iain)

I know ‘Sir John De Grahams’ as a car parking spot in Carron Valley but in the 13th century he was one of Scotland’s best knights. Although this did prevent him getting killed at the Battle Of Falkirk when the English overran the Scottish army.

The inscription on his gravestone reads:

Here lyes Sir John the Grame, baith wight and wise,
Ane of the chiefs who rescewit Scotland thrise,
Ane better knight not to the world was lent,
Nor was gude Graham of truth and hardiment

When I die I’d also like to have a poem written about me.

Here lies Iain the Todd, both clever and wise
He loved eating cake until he grew to twice the size
Now he’s buried 2 meters deep and 10 foot wide.

This is a great alternative route to nearby Meikle Bin. I think the views are actually better here as there’s more variety and much less people about.

The video below will show you what the route is like. It was from a run done on the same course but with some off road sections added to it.

VIDEO

MAPS

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Quiet, good surfaces and easy to navigate.

Parking

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Parking near Mikle Bin can be tricky on a nice day as its a popular spot.

Facilities

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

None

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is nothing close but there’s two good options a short drive away. The Fintry Inn is great for beer and hot food and on the outskirts of Fintry the Cafe in the Courtyard is great for for soup and treats.

Run Surface

100% fire road.

Dog Friendly

Yes – no sheep or animals spotted on route.

Elevation

207M of elevation.

Film Friday – The Big Chill – Gary Robbins Backyard 100 (Iain)

Film Friday is a weekly (when I remember to do it) recomendation of one video to watch this weekend.

This weeks video is the story of Gary Robbins, a Canadian trail runner, and his comeback from injury to run a 100 mile route near his house.

Its the perfect example of how much fun and adventure you can have by creating your own event.

Hello, Outer Mongolia (Andrew)

According to internet search stats the biggest increases in search terms during 2020 were for “how to grow tomato plants” (up 300%), “weights” (up 200%) and “face mask for sale” (up by over 5000%, an increase normally only seen on Halloween by people who’d forgotten a costume for a fancy dress party). While lower down the list “dog for sale” was closely followed by “puppy for for sale” and then “horse for sale”. Which makes me think that somewhere, someone is currently looking at an Arabian Stallion in their living room and wondering if they may have just been a little bit rash when the Chihuahua’s were sold out.

“I’d like a dog please!”

“Sorry, we don’t have any dogs.”

“How about a puppy?”

“Gone too. But can I interest you in a three year old jump racer?”

“What the hell, you’ve got a deal!”

But just as people were looking for plants to grow and pets to love there were a few other things which benefitted from a lockdown bounce and one of them was Wild Swimming – as every loch filled up with people desperate to swim while pools were closed. And while the lochs were full there were also a lot of people looking for information about where to go as we noticed a big boost this year in our visitor stats as TwinBikeRun was viewed over 10,000 times and by far the most popular posts were about wild swimming.

Top 10 Posts:

It was also great to see the number of countries that visited us this year (in a COVID safe, non-travelling, visit over the internet and not in a superspreading global pandemic creating way). We had vistors from most of Europe, North America and parts of Asia and South America. Africa was a notable gap but I assume that when you’re wild swimming consists of dodging hippos and crocadiles then reading about the danger of not wearing the right wetsuit when the temperature drops in a Scottish loch is hardly going to cut it.

Countries

And while the majority of visitors were from the UK (over 9,297 of them) it was great to see the countries where just one person had visited us because it kind of suggested that one person checked out the site and went “no, never again, this is not for me!”.

Also, during a pandemic, it suggested that there were genuine visits from other countries and it wasn’t just our Mum on a world tour checking in from every country she visited. With no one travelling anywhere, then each visit had to be from someone we didn’t know. So, hello to Ukraine, Brazil, Iceland, Pakistan and a big shout out to our one and only visitor from Outer Mongolia!

2020 was a difficult year for everyone. We’ve been lucky in that we’ve not been directly effected by COVID and we’re both in jobs where working from home was a possibility throughout lockdown. And while working from home we were also lucky to be near so many great spots where we didn’t break COVID laws (and tried to keep within the guidance too!). We hope you enjoyed the stories, that you found the reviews helpful and that you have the chance to run, bike or swim happily in 2021 too!

Rugged Run – Earl’s Seat (Iain)

Earl’s Seat (578 m) has been described by The Scotsman newspaper as “…at times a tedious traverse, but the effort is well rewarded.

I’ve done this route during the Summer and Winter. I don’t think its tedious although it can be a bit of a bog slog in wet weather. It is actually a great Winter route on a cold frosty day. The bogs are frozen and the heather has died back. It’s much easier to run than in summer.

The common route is to do Earls Seat from Dumgoyne as an out an back route https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=62636 I met some cyclists pushing their bikes along this route as they planned to cycle back down. They’d never done it before. They asked if they had far to go. I gave them the same answer my Dad gave me whenever I asked that question – “its round the next corner and over the next hill.” Which basically means, its miles away, stop your moaning and get on with it. I felt sorry for them as they looked knackered pushing their bikes and they’d barely reached half way.

My prefered route is to start at the car park in Clachan of Campsie and run to the war memorial in Strathblane via Earls Seat. Before starting out, I left a car in Strathblane so I’d be able to drive home. If you fancied a longer run you could run back to Clachan from Strathblane via the old railway track

Run up the road next to Schoenstatt until you reach a sign that says “walkers this way.” Follow the path until you are past the houses and then cut down off the track and follow the wall of the stone house. This will take you to a small bridge over Finglen river. Head over the bridge and aim for the top of the hill. Eventually you will find a fence. Follow the fence to Earl Seat. Easy 🙂

That’s the directions I was given when I first attempted it. It did work although If you are stuck I’ve included a map below.

The video below will show you what the route is like. It was a beautiful day but the video doesn’t show just how cold it was. It was difficult to start the camera as I’d lost feeling in my fingers!

VIDEO

MAPS

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Quiet but can be slog if the ground is bad.

Parking

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Plenty of parking in Clachan but parking in Strathblane near the war memorial can be trickier on a nice day as its a popular spot.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None on the route

Nearest cafe

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is a cafe at the start and end of the run.

Run Surface

80% moor/grass. 20% off road (through trees)

Dog Friendly

No – the farmer who has the field at finglen has a sign requesting no dogs even if they are on leads.

Elevation

722M of elevation.