Last Saturday I headed up to Balmoral with my fellow CAACers for the 2010 trip away to Balmoral, which takes in the Balmoral 10k, hill walking and perhaps a drink or two! I got into the loaded up Micra with Dean and Gillian and we headed on our way! After a brief stop at the bunkhouse to drop off our things and have a bit of lunch, it was off to the Balmoral Estate for the 10k and its infamous hill. This year I decided to don the preferred racing attire for this event - a kilt! I decided to take a more steady pace for the start of this race. The first 3km's are flat, but the next 1.5km are anything but! Gillian disappeared off into the horizon and left the remainding CAAC ladies battling it out. The hill was tough - my legs were burning. I was relieved to hear the bagpipes signalling the arrival at the top! I then very much enjoyed the downhill sections which followed! I finished in 10th position (female) in a time of 44min dead, so a 4 minute improvement on last year's time! (Though I had run a marathon 2 weeks before that one, so perhaps not a fair comparison!). I felt much stronger on this occasion though. Prizes for Keith (2nd!), Grant (1st Vet) and Susan (3rd Vet). Everyone had a great run! For some fellow CAACers, the 10k race simply wasn't enough and a few crazy ones ran the 10 miles back to the bunkhouse. All back safe and sound we headed to the Fife Arms for some 'top quality' dinner and discoteque action!
The day of the hill walk! We headed to Lochnagar for a bit of Munro bagging. There was talk of doing the whole 5 Munro loop, but we would see how the conditions were fairing when we got to the top of the first one. Conditions were fairly wet and windy as we headed up to the top of Cac Carn Beag (Lochnagar) which stands at 1155m. Despite its height the walk up was fairly gradual, with only one really steep section towards the top. On arrival at the top we were looking over the edge for Nick and Susan who had decided to snow climb up the side rather than walk up! They appeared whilst we were having our lunch by the cairn, much to our relief!
The conditions were a white out as we left the summit and so we decided rather than carry on to the next Munro, to dedicate some time to some sledging action!! A mixture of slegdes, sit mats and plastic bags were used to slide down the snow! As we descended some more, the sun came out and the views opened up - stunning scenery. A beautiful waterfall even resulted in Nick going for an early, albeit cold shower!! A tame walk by previous CAAC hill walk standards, but a really enjoyable one! We even made it back to the car before dark!?!
Day 3Time to go home....but the fun wasn't over yet. We drove to Pitlochry for lunch at the Moulin Inn. But before that, we thought we'd work up an appetite by heading up Ben Vrackie (Corbett, 841m). As we headed up (about 20 minutes in), I realised I'd left my camera perched by a tree near the bottom. I decided to run back down and fetch it, so was playing catch up with the group thereafter. They are fast enough at the best of times!! So I had a fast walk up there and down!! The sun was out and the views spectacular!! Some of the others decided to run back down the hill. We all met up at the pub after for some well deserved food. A great end to a great weekend.
Thanks to you all for such a fun weekend!!!