At the beginning of Feb I went to the Isle Of Skye for a couple of weeks, while there I decided to get some running in. I figured, ruggged Scottish terrain – amazing scenery, challenging terrain – perfect running for the muddy masochist – right? Well, yes and no. Yes because it IS amazing terrain and spectacular scenery, IT IS perfect for the muddy masochist but the muddy masochist did not have wi-fi while there and was unable to find the routes to run. So for all you who are going to the Isle Of Skye and fancy doing a bit of running, here is something I did earlier.
First things first – the run
My BIG run while of the Isle of Skye was a 7 or 8 mile run around Bein Roishader which was a relatively large hill on the farmland across the bay from where I was staying, I found the route on an old OS map but was unsure if I was allowed to run it until I stumbled across the SLRC (Skye and Lochlash Running Club) website in one of my brief moments of internet access – cheers guys and gals of the SLRC – really handy website! On the day, the weather was overcast but not raining, it had been raining which accounts for the severely boggy land which decimated my mid run K’s but thems the breaks – on and I had to hop over a couple of gates too.
Now, if you do run this route, which can be found on the SLRC website as the Bernisdale Circuit then there are some things you need to know.
1) – The first half is with the hill to your left, this part will feel like an eternity and the ground is swampy in places (especially if it has been raining)
2) Near the point where you pass the hill then turn back to go around the other side, it is tempting to cut up and over the hill (to make sure you are on track) DON’T – it’s bloody hard, you are on track. trust the OS map and the instructions on the website – they are accurate.
3) This is not a fast run, this is a long slow cross country run – enjoy the epic scenery.
There were places on the run when I wanted to stop, to turn around but I kept going, through the knee high boggy water, the quick-mud, the relentless – yet seemingly nominal – incline. Seriously fun, seriously rugged run!
There are some good circular walks on the Portree side of the island although they are hard to get information on, I found most of mine by accident simply looking at maps and guide books, walkhighlands website is a good place to start – there is definately some running to be done near Waternish and Dunvegan.
Good luck! Bring maps, bring wi-fi, bring trail running kit. – Oh and drink some whiskey 🙂