Autumn is upon us, the night air chills and the light of day reduces as we head into the 4th quarter of 2020. September, is traditionally ‘Breweries’ time of year but due to the restrictions needed to stem the spread of COVID 19, the race was unfortunately cancelled.
So, we decided to arrange or own ‘small scale’ Two Breweries run on Sunday 20th.
9 runners signed up for the 19 mile, (5000 + foot climb) run from Traquair Brewery over the valleys to Broughton Brewery. Following guidelines, we ensured that no more than 2 households travelled together and kept a 2 meter distance on the way between the start and end points.
It started out a cloudy morning – disappointing start considering the potential views on offer!
Easy pace out to the turn at the farm and then up through the gates to Beards Hill. Heading through the gap in the wall, Graeme is attacked by barbed wire. Waist high bracken (beware of the ticks) and we are soon plodding up Birks Hill.
But, by the time we had snacked and descended off Birkscairn into Glensax, the cloud began to lift and the resulting views made the slog up to Hundleshope worthwhile.
|Down to Glensax - Dean and Gillian can see their hoose frae here!|
Group grunting, scorchio calves and we soon on the way through the mush that leads to the contour from Broom hill to Door Hass.
|Hundleshope (We have put the band back together!)|
More snacks and view admiration and we are off on the quad crusher down to Glenrath Farm. Top ups on water and then a push on to the bottom of the Whitelaw hill firebreak. I have painted a favourable picture of the firebreak climb and everyone is desperately looking forward to it, particularly since it is such a hot day. We reach the bottom of the climb and everyone cheers.
We reach the top, and oddly, people are not cheering. More snacking and I am staring blankly at a half-chomped Tunnock’s Caramel Log in my hand, as fluid leaks from my pores on onto the forest floor.
We move on to ‘Dead Wife’s Grave’ and much discussion….
The Dead Wife's Grave is marked on the OS second edition 6" map, but the OS Name Book of 1856 states there are no remains of any structure. It lies where the old road passes through the parish boundary dyke. Tradition dating back to at least 1775 links the death of the woman with the 1645 Battle of Philiphaugh © Heritage Paths
It’s a good run down to Dawyck Mill and then the turn in to Stobo. Amy and Ewan (the newest Moorfoot member, at that point) had contemplated finishing up here, but decide that they are having so much fun (possibly drifting into type 2 at this point) they would continue through to Broughton.
The forest road is a drag, but the trees provide welcome shade on a hot day. Rounding the reservoir at the head of Weston Burn, the big bad one reveals itself – Trahenna - the coupon wiper - lies in the distance. We are small, she is not.
Rather than confront this beastie from the steepest, eastern side, we take a line around Louden Knowe Wood, contour Louden Knowe and head up the more southerly side. More scorched calves and we’re on top of Trahenna.
Just the nasty foot shredding contour around to Ratchill Hill and down its steep slope to the farm and we are on the final section of road. Broughton Brewery is in sight and the pace lifts, and, as Ewan put it, ‘Every step forward is a step towards the pain ending!’
That said….a good day out – smiles and cheers but no beers!