This morning I decided to take the dogs for a walk at Beecraigs Country Park, just outside Linlithgow. It took me longer to get there than I expected, because a lot of the roads in Linlithgow were closed as a result of the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children's Gala Day. I should point out that I had never heard of the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children's Gala Day, but looked it up on the internet when I got home and it seems to be a very famous and historical event. A lot of people had decorated their houses, and there was a real carnival atmosphere about the place. It seemed like the whole town was going along to watch it.
Eventually I made it to Beecraigs, and it was well worth the wait. It's a brilliant park. I've been a few times before, either to walk or to run, and I'll certainly be going back. At first we headed out towards Cockleroy, which is a 278m hill that overlooks Linlithgow, but didn't go up to the top as dogs were not allowed off their leads on the last section. After that we followed the 'red trail'. This took us through some forests, past a loch where a lot of peole were fishing, past a barbeque area, past a children's playground, past an area for field archery, past another area for target archery and finally past a caravan and camping site. The visitor centre even had a bowl of water for thirsty dogs. I was hugely impressed. We walked for about an hour and a half, covering around 5 miles, and the dogs loved it. So did I.
I came home and went out a 5 mile run, covering a loop through Callendar Park, along the Union Canal and then home. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as my walk, but it had to be done.
I wonder where I'll be this time next Saturday? I'll have been running for 16 hours, so should be around Kingshouse. And I wonder how the walkers are getting on today in the Caledonian Challenge? They have a reasonable day - warm but not too hot, and quite overcast. Probably just about ideal conditions.