Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Off the beaten track

Written by Fiona January 26 2009


Quite often I find myself on auto-pilot as I head out for a run. I’ll maybe make a decision about the direction from my house but after that I tend to stick to 10 or so set routes.  I suppose a  lot of it is to do with knowing the distance. If you run you do not want to get lost – and mostly I have a plan about how far I want to run in that one outing. 

But then sometimes plans do not go, well, according to plan!
Just before setting out for a run on Saturday afternoon I happened to be chatting to our pal Douglas (he’s a friend of Mr Outdoors and also helped us to build a super-lovely extension to our home. You can find him here) who lives on one of my usual running routes out through the village of Balmore. Douglas occasionally decides to get fit and most years he trains for the Deerstalker event (not the Mighty one but the shorter version. Although I do think he’s being a bit girlie about this!) and so he knows a number of routes around his village. In particular he told me about a lovely wee off-road section that heads towards the nearby towns of Torrance and Bishopbriggs.
Of course, I couldn’t resist trying this new route. So on Saturday I set out from home at a reasonable pace, headed for Balmore. The only thing is I imagined that home to Balmore was about 3 miles on road. The off-road route, according to Douglas, would be about 4 miles, followed by a 3 mile home again. It turns out that it was closer to 5 miles to the other end of Balmore. Added to this I decided to do more off-road than was strictly necessary. 
The muddy-ish path, which is very popular with walkers, added a nice diversion through fields and along the side of the River Kelvin.  At a crossroads near Cadder Golf Course there was a signpost for Bishopbriggs and/or Torrance and because I’m nosey I decided to check out both routes. First I ran through the golf course towards the Briggs before doubling back to then head to Torrance. This wee network of trails offers a great location for locals looking for 30 mins to an hour of pleasant off-road running. Access is via a path opposite Balmore Garden Centre.
But by the time I was headed back home from Balmore I realised I’d possibly run a bit more than I really wanted to.  I haven’t been running more than about 8 miles recently so 13 miles was a a tad OTT. The last couple of miles were admittedly a slog, but it was fab to find a new off-road running trail. 
Maybe next time I’ll put my sensible head on and cycle to Douglas’s house, then head off road for a run and then cycle home again. Or perhaps I should just get myself a wee bit fitter?!

More Like This

Adventure

How To organise a large wheeled suitcase for a month-long trip

Adventure

Seb Batchelor and Katie Wilson win Lairig Ghru Hill Race 2024

Adventure

Ewan Brown sets new Highland Cross record and Cat Graves retains female title

Adventure

Walks on the Outer Hebrides – and other gems

Adventure

The Postie’s Path walk on Harris, Outer Hebrides

Adventure

Book review: Running Challenges: 100 of the best runs across Great Britain