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Hill running: Eastern tour of the Campsies

Written by Fiona

April 05 2021

Every so often it is good to take on a challenge. The last one was to #BenNevis on Dumgoyne. This time it was a half-marathon route via several summits in the eastern Campsie Fells.

The route starts at Clachan of Campsie and climbs to the “car park in the sky” on Crow Road (B822). From the car park, there is a further climb to reach Cort Ma Law hill at 531m.

A descent then an ascent heads to 570m tall Meikle Bin further east.

Dropping off Meikle Bin to the north, the route makes tracks through forestry and eventually back to the Crow Road, but further north.

A short section (uphill!) along the roadside takes you to a gated track. From here there is more uphill to reach the weather radar station at Holehead. A nearby trig sits at an elevation of 551m.

The descent route follows the line of a wall back to the Crow Road again.

The return to the car park in the sky is almost 3km on tarmac but thankfully it is almost entirely downhill. A path heads back down to Clachan of Campsie.

The Garmin Enduro clocked 21.72km and a total elevation of 1111m. (It is 944m on Strava.)

Cort Ma Law.
Meikle Bin.
Holehead and the weather radar.

Pace, chat and very cold summits

I ran the route with Simon and Nic and we decided early on that we would need to pace it nicely. Running so many hills in one go takes its toll so we walked what we fancied and ran what we fancied.

We chatted and laughed and enjoyed the sunny, blue sky views.

At some points the wind was fierce, however, and it was extremely cold. I was thankful for the legs of my Flanci skapri, my weather resistant OMM Kamleika jacket and the fabulous inov-8 running mittens. I wore a buff over my head to keep the chill from my ears (this mostly worked well).

View from Meikle Bin.
A river crossing.
Holehead.

I was wearing the new inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max shoes. I am impressed with these and they did well on mud, grass, rocks and tarmac.

By the final ascent to the weather radar, my legs were feeling weary. The descent was not that pleasant on tired quads either.

We had no plan to break speed records (we certainly didn’t!). We simply fancied linking together a few summits into one big half-marathon distance loop.

See: OS Maps for the route, or Strava.

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