I set the alarm for 6am this morning and headed for Rowardennan to meet a few of the guys for a long run. As planned, we left Rowardennan car park about 8.45am and headed north, past the Inversnaid Hotel and along the really hard bit of track up to Beinglas Farm. Then we turned round and came back exactly the same way. I tried to get a bowl of soup in the restaurant at Beinglas but it was closed. I then tried to get a bowl of soup at the Inversnaid Hotel, but they weren't serving food today and could only do me a coffee. No surprise then that cramp started to kick in on the last section, but I managed to run through it without any great problems, mainly by throwing an ever increasing number of jelly babies down my throat.
For the time junkies out there, it took me exactly 3 hours to get to Beinglas, which included just a few minutes' stop on route at Inversnaid. I was about 10 minutes longer coming back, but that included a 15 minute stop at Inversnaid, so the times were fairly consistent. I reckon we covered about 27 and a half miles in total. I had no real problems with my cough, and am hoping that I'm finally over the worst of it.
The section of the route north of Inversnaid is bad enough once, but to do it twice in the one day is beyond a joke. I was on my own all the way back as the 3 speed merchants had headed away into the distance. I'm sure that the general loneliness contributed to my tiredness, and it felt as though that part of the route went on for ever. It was a great relief to reach Inversnaid.
Finally, I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that I eventually got my soup in the Rowardennan hotel after finishing the run. It was worth the wait and I would recommend this as a place to go for something to eat. They even serve meals at 3.30pm in the afternoon - how unusual for the Scottish hosptality sector to actually meet its customers' needs, and serve food outwith the normal lunchtime or dinner time shifts. Well done to the owners of the Rowardennan hotel. It would be good if a few more hotels took note.