Rugged Run – Meikle Bin from Clachan of Campsie

Should I run when injured? A doctor will say “definitely not” but I say “how injured am I?”

Like all runners I tend to ignore aches and pains by telling myself, “I’ll run it off.”

The day before this run I slipped and injured my back. I didn’t feel sore at the time. I was actually quite impressed by the quality of my fall to the ground. I managed to hold onto my phone all the way down. Even Tom Dailly the Olympic diver wouldn’t have fallen as gracefully.

I felt fine to start the run but during it I got sore twinges in my lower back so I did what any runner would do. I ignored them and hoped it would get better. It didn’t. By that evening I could barely walk as every movement sent a sharp paint through my back.

The next morning it took me 20 minutes to get up out of bed as I couldn’t twist without pain. I’d move a little bit of myself and then wait until the pain went away before trying again.

I had to get my wife to put my socks on me because I couldn’t bend over. Trouble getting up, scared to fall over and requiring a career – it was a good lesson in what old age will fell like to me.

Thankfully I feel better today but whilst watching the video below remember that I suffered for my art.

I previously wrote about Meikle Bin here. This is similar but it adds on some extra climbing by starting at the base of the Campsie Hills in Clachan of Campsie.

Check out the video to see the route.

VIDEO

MAPS

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

An interesting route but the road section might put people off doing it. If so you could start at the forest entrance instead

Parking

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Clachan of Campsie can be very busy

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None on the route

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a cafe and in Clachan Of Campsie

Run Surface

20% road, 50% path. 30% off road.

Dog Friendly

Yes as long as you go back the same way you came.

Elevation

635M of elevation.

Outdoor Swim Review – Pinkston Water Sports 2021 update (Iain)

“Pinkston is home to Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course, a flat water basin with bathing quality water, meeting rooms and storage facilities for clubs and groups, Pinkston Watersports is an official Glasgow 2014 Legacy project and is operated by Glasgow Watersports Ltd, a registered Scottish charity run by a volunteer board of trustees.”

https://pinkston.co.uk/facilities/what-is-pinkston-watersports

Threre is much debate about where the name Pinkston originates from.  Supposedly the Scottish version of the name originated in the old barony of Pinkerton near Dunbar. The barony had the motto “Post nubila sol” which translates to “After clouds sunshine,” which is a fittingly apt motto for an outdoor pool because anyone who uses an outdoor pool needs a positive attitude – it might be cloudy today but the next time I swim it will be sunny!

I’ve used the facility for the last few years. It’s a great place to get an outdoor swim in a safe environment.

Last year (2020) during lockdown, Pinkston offered a pay and swim session. Pinkston was the only swimming pool open as it could operate in a COVID safe manner due to it being outdoors.

This has resumed as of April 2021.

They offer a number of different times (https://pinkston.co.uk/activities/swimming/) I like the 1700 Monday slot as I can get a swim in after work but before I have my dinner.

I was back this week for my firs swim of the year there. It wasn’t very busy – there was 4/5 others swimming. The full length of the basin was open which meant I could get a nice 400m loop in. The water temperature was surprisingly in double figures (10C) I’d worn my full winter swimming kit but I could have word less and still been ok.

I appreciate everyone’s view of temperature is different but double figures is ok for me. I can swim until 5C but below that is too cold for me.

The only downside to the swim is that Pinkston can’t open the changing rooms to users. Everyone has to get changed outside. Which could be considered a positive thing – getting changed outdoors is a skill all outdoor swimmers have to learn. You might as well start at Pinkston.

REVIEW

Ease of Access:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The area around Pinkston is getting regenerated. Local roads and access points are sometime closed so always check google maps first to find the best way there.

Water quality:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The water is murky. Don’t expect to see the bottom of the basin. The pool is not that deep. I can stand up at any point in it (I’m 6ft tall)

Swim Quality:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Their is a 400m-ish loop when the basin is fully open. The site is open to the east and west which means it can be tricky swimming at sunrise/sunset as the Sun shines directly into your face.

Other People:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Due to Covid regulations only a small number of people can swim at a time. It never feels busy and there is plenty of room to swim in.

Would I go back: 

Yes – it is convenient to have somewhere in the city. It is good for beginners and it is a great starting point for people who want to move from the pool to outdoor swimming.

Film Friday – Lennox Castle – A Guided Tour (Iain)

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

I recently wrote about Lennox Castle https://twinbikerun.com/2021/04/06/lennox-castle-iain/ Have a read of that and then come back here. Have you read it ? Good.

After filming there I discovered a piece on YouTube showing what the site originally looked like. It has changed allot since its heyday.

Lennox Castle (Iain)

Lennox castle was built in the 1830s.

Lennox Castle Hospital
Lennox Castle

In 1936 it became Lennox Castle Hospital.The largest and best equipped hospital of its kind in Britain. The hospital cost over £1 million to build, 

At its peak in the 1970s over 1700 people were crammed into the sparse accommodation.

Conditions were so bad that in even the hospital’s medical director said he had never worked in “a worse pit”.

There is a good history of the site here https://historic-hospitals.com/2015/05/01/lennox-castle/#:~:text=LENNOX%20CASTLE%20HOSPITAL%2C%20LENNOXTOWN%20Lennox,to%20designs%20by%20David%20Hamilton.

The hospital site

You can find the details of a rugged run that passes by the castle here https://twinbikerun.com/2020/02/10/rugged-run-lennox-forrest/

Campsie Sunset (Iain)

One of the features of Apple Airpod headphones is that they don’t require any wires to connect to an iPhone. I can be anywhere from 30ft to 100ft away from my phone and still listen to my favorite Cliff Richard albums. Only kidding, I would never listen to anyone as uncool as Cliff. I prefer Des O’Connor.

There’s a reference only people of a certain age will get!

I know the range because I had to google “what is the range of AirPods” when my iPhone fell out of my pocket whilst jogging. My music stopped playing 30ft to 100ft later.

It happened at Holehead Radar station. A place I have previously written about https://twinbikerun.com/2021/02/16/rugged-run-holehead-radar-station/ I was there because it was a nice evening and I wanted a video of the sunset.

I searched for my iPhone but I couldn’t find it. I went home to borrow my wifes phone and I then drove back to look for mine. It was pitch dark and foggy by this point. I walked all the way to the top of the hill but just as I started looking for my iPhone, my wife’s phone died. The battery had gone flat.

So the next day I got up early and this time, with a fully charged phone, I was able to find it.

I’m pleased with the footage I shot but whenever I watch it I don’t feel the beauty of the sunset. I just feel the pain of nearly losing my iPhone and how sore my legs were after 3 trips in rapid succession.

Film Friday – You’ve Been Running Wrong (Iain)

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

I don’t think about my running when I run. I run like a Nike advert – I Just Do It.

But after watching this, I did wonder if I have been running wrong….

If you want to know more about Tony Riddell check out his website. He’s quite an interesting guy https://tonyriddle.com/

Rugged Run – Earls Seat From Clachan Of Campsie (Iain)

There is more than one way up to Earls Seat. It is commonly tackled from Dumgoyne but I wanted to challenge myself and see if it was possible to get to Earls Seat by following the Finglen River from Clachan of Campsie. It was easier than I thought but I only recommend it if you are comfortable navigating with no paths around.

Check out the video to see the route.

VIDEO

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2800766251958271880

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

An interesting route but probably not a good way for most people as its pretty rough.

Parking

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Clachan of Campsie can be very busy

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None on the route

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a cafe and in Clachan Of Campsie

Run Surface

40% path. 60% off road.

Dog Friendly

Yes as long as you go back the same way you came.

Elevation

542M of elevation.

Rugged Run – Dunglass (Iain)

Early last year, I come home to discover a herd of cows had rampaged through my garden. A local farm had left a gate open and their cows had escaped. The cows came down the road from the farm, passing lots of other houses, and took a fancy to my place. They all ran in and caused a big mess!

My wife was working at home that day and she didn’t notice the cows were in the garden. Although, she did wonder why their was a lot of noise coming from the garden.

If she had noticed then she wouldn’t have gone out to investigate. She has a fear of cows. Which I think is stange. How can you be scared of something as laid back as a cow? But the very next day there was a headline in a newpaper that read “MAN DIES IN COW ATTACK!” and ever since then I’ve seen lots of similar headlines.

A recent story on the BBC

Maybe, I should be wary after all!

Dunglass is a volcanic plug. Which is a rocky formation formed by a volcano. The most famous examples of them in Scotland are both in Edinburgh – the land Edinburgh Castle sits on and Arthur’s Seat. There are a few more which you can read about here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Volcanic_plugs_of_Scotland

Dunglass is an excellent viewpoint which is next to the John Muir Way. Just a short scramble provides a good vantage point overlooking the route as it heads towards Kirkintilloch.

You can get to it from either Lennoxtown or Strathblane. Just walk along the John Muir way. You won’t miss it!

Any why was I talking about cows? Dunglass is in a field which normally has cows in it so be careful and give them plenty of space.

If you don’t bother them. They won’t bother you.

VIDEO

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2797875057064053872

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Amazing view for very little effort

Parking

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is plenty of parking in either Strathblane or Lennoxtown

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None on the route

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There are cafe’s and a supermarket in Lennoxtown.

Run Surface

90% concrete path. 10% off road.

Dog Friendly

90% yes but there are cows in the field were Dunglass sits.

Elevation

59M of elevation.

Rugged Run: Antonine Trail Race 10K (Iain)

This run follows the race route of the Antonine Trail 10K (https://antoninetrailrace.com/). The route passes by Antonine’s Wall. This was the furthest the Romans made it into Scotland. It is also referenced in the book World War Z which is about a zombie apocalypse. The wall was the last line of defence in Great Britain against zombies! I’ve done the route a few times and I’ve not seen any Romans or Zombies…yet.

The route for the race starts in Croy but I live near Twechar so I normally do it from there instead. I will describe it as if its the race route.

Start at the Roman Shield. It’s on the grass bank next to the car wash.

If that is the size of a Roman Shield then the soldier must have been huge!

Head down the hill towards the canal. Keep an eye out for a Shrine to the Virgin Mary. it was built around a natural spring in the mid 1970s by local residents.

Follow the path onto Croy Hill. I’ve heard other runners call it Mt Cookie but I’ve never found an explanation for why. Please get in touch if you know why.

There’s a few trees on top.

Head down off the hill and cross the road. Follow the path past the fields until you reach the forrest. Stay on the path. Don;t head right up onto Barr Hill. That is the way back.

Eventually you will head downhill through the Forrest.

Run Forrest Run

The run comes out in Twecher. A local told me “only Feckers come from Twecher.” I assume he had a bad expereience there! It seems allright to me.

Follow the road until you spot a turnoff to the right signposted Barrhill Fort.

The roman ruins at the top is what I call “a maybe place.” It is somewhere where all the signs says maybe as in “maybe this was where the soldiers slept” or “maybe this was one of several out buildings” I’d rather the historians just made stuff up as they obviously don’t know. Just write “maybe this was the en-suite bathroom” or “maybe this was the snooker room”

From the ruin keep left and head up to the trig point for a great view of the campsies. Head off the trig point down back to the sheep fields. Just before you get to the main road keep an eye out for a left turn. This will take you down to the marina. From here head back up to the top.

VIDEO

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2795962413585161278

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of my favorite local routes due to the amazing views and the challenging course.

Parking

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There are plenty of places to park nearby.

Facilities

Rating: 3 out of 5.

None on the route but as it is a figure of eight I can get anything I need from my car when I pass by it.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a cafe at the marina.

Run Surface

60% track, 40% off road

Dog Friendly

Yes but your dog will need to be on a lead at certain points due to the presence of sheep and cows.

Elevation

255M of elevation.

Rating: 10/10

An excellent route. Varied terrain, challenging hills and great views. What more could you ask for?

Film Friday – One Year Alone in a Forest (Iain)

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

There is a famous tongue twister that goes “How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?”

Try saying it again and again, faster and faster. It’s quite tricky.

I was reminded of it whilst watching this two hour study of one man, his big pike of wood and a lot of chopping. It is strangely calming to watch a man build a shed from scratch over two hours.

Give it a watch and see how long you can keep it on for.