Baubles from Run Destinations

Baubles from Run Destinations

When you’re away in a different city and running, do you buy yourself souvenirs?
I do! 🙂
Here are some of the new baubles we have collected this year:

The first is my Harrods bauble, which I picked up when I was in London for The Color Run UK back in July. We always buy a Harrods bauble each year, and have done that since 2007, so we now have seven!
Next, is the silver ornament we bought at the Guinness factory in Dublin. We picked this up when we visited for the inaugural RnR Dublin half marathon in August.
Bottom right is a wooden heart with a reindeer’s head, which I got when in Centre Parcs for the Hen Do. Not a race, but I did go for a run that day.
Finally, the sparkly red reindeer is from The Tree Shop at Cairndow. We stopped off there after the inaugural CowalFest trail run, which was in October.
@TheWelshWookie and I have also given in to temptation, and bought some festive goodies.
We now have stollen, as well as these:

I’m looking forward to having a glass of mulled cider, and to tasting these cinnamon Pringles! They also had Mint Choc Pringles, but I though those were a step too far!
Anyone else tried those?
Meanwhile this weekend, I seem to have transformed completely into the embarrassing old auntie….


Race Report: CowalFest 5K Trail Run

Race Report: CowalFest 5K Trail Run

Date: 12th October 2013

Profile: Hilly

Terrain: Trail

Weather: Cloudy, and cool

Website: CowalFest

Positives: relaxed event, well organised, good & supportive marshalls, fab goody bag

Negatives: I missed hearing the pre-race instructions

This race was the first ever CowalFest running event held as part of CowalFest, which is held every October celebrating walking and the great outdoors! This was our first ever, proper trail race, and so we opted to sign up for the 5K rather than the 10K event.

@TheWelshWookie and I left in plenty of time, as we had an hour and a half’s drive ahead of us, and we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time before hand. as the traffic can be slow.

We managed to get there with plenty of time to spare, so we registered and collected our bibs, and then soaked up the atmosphere while debating whether to wear jackets or not!

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It was a cold, fresh day, but we knew that we’d warm up when the run started. As I was wearing my brand-new birthday jacket 😉 I opted to keep it on.

Here’s my pre-race gear check pic:

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The facilities at the start/finish were great. Benmore Gardens, the location of the race, has a lovely coffee shop, and so toilet facilities were better than the usual portaloo! The staff had set up an outdoor sales area, with tea, coffee and snacks available for runners and supporters. It was great!

The race was due to start at 1.30pm, and about five minutes before, we all walked towards the start area. The 10K runners were asked to keep to the front of the group, with the 5K runners further back, which made sense. There wasn’t a loud speaker, and in the beginning, I could hear what was being said. Then, after about 30 seconds or so, the people to my left started talking and laughing, which meant that @TheWelshWookie and I couldn’t hear a thing. Nice one – so thoughtful!


Not only did I miss the briefing, but I actually missed the start of the race! 😮 People headed off, and so I was playing catch-up early on. I pressed the button on my Sport+ watch, and ran!

After we settled into the run, we decided to increase our pace slightly, as we were running well. That was until we reached THE HILL. Never having run here before, I had overheard other runners talking about The Hill, but I thought I’d wait and see it for myself. It was a long, winding monster of a hill! I managed to run for the first third of it or so, and then I power walked the best I could to the top of it. I was pretty out of breath!


The downhill was amazing, though, the view was great (sorry about the finger in the pic!):


I did take it easy, as I was a little worried about slipping on the shale. But I didn’t. 😉

Next, in the middle part of the race, was an out and back section, which was great: I saw that there weren’t many runners ahead of me who were running the 5K, and so my confidence grew a little. I ran a little faster (having recovered from the hill) and began picking off other runners.

In the final part of the race, I just ran. It felt great, I was really enjoying myself, and I picked off another three or four girls heading into the final stretch.

I had a couple of false finishes, though! I came around one corner, and saw a large group cheering, including my sister and three nephews. I assumed that was the finish line, and slowed down! People then started shouting ‘keep going’ and, literally, ‘this isn’t the finish line!’ lol!

I then reached the start area, and thought that I must have missed the actual finish, so again I slowed, and jogged over to the goody bags (priorities, and all that!) when I realised that I hadn’t quite reached the finish line for a second time! Doh!

I had a quick chat with the race officials, told them how much I had enjoyed the race, and then @TheWelshWookie finished.

The whole event was very relaxed, well run, and I loved it, even the big hill. I’d love to do this one again!

The gardens were beautiful:

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Here’s the map of the race:

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The goody bag was really great: I love the reusable bag. Here’s the contents of it:


As the 5K was a fun run, it was untimed. BUT- I placed! I was the third female home! Yay! I’ve never placed before, and will probably never place again, so I’m going to enjoy this for a long time!


It was a great run!

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My Stats:

Time: 30:02, but I came up a little short on distance.

The Medal: I was glad to have one, and it was engraved


Goody Bag: reusable tote bag with a lovely logo, 9bar, water, an orange, jelly beans and some great money off vouchers from local businesses including Portavadie Marina and Loch Fyne Oyster Bar.

T-shirt: no t shirt, but we didn’t expect one, given the entry fee.

I’m hoping that this run will be a regular feature!

The Perfect Present

The Perfect Present

I know that I’m very lucky, since @TheWelshWookie supports my running, and also runs with me.

For my birthday last year he got me my Nike LunaryFly GTX:


I love these shoes, they’re great!

This year, he got me a new Ron Hill running jacket; perfect timing, since the weather has definitely turned cooler!

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Thanks, Wookie! I love it! I know I’ll get great use out of it now, and again in the spring.

I also received another wonderful surprise last night: I PLACED in a run!  I was the third female across the line at the CowalFest 5K on Saturday! I’m going to be crowing about this for a long time 😀


The plan for the rest of my birthday is playing football with my nephews, dinner at the cafe, and more Harry Potter. And perhaps a celebratory glass of vino!

CowalFest 5K: Done!

CowalFest 5K: Done!

Well, we’ve had a fantastic trail run today: the weather was perfect!
I’ll post a full race report later, but there was A HILL. A MEGA HILL.

Right now, we’re watching Harry Potter with my nephews 🙂


This Weekend’s CowalFest Trail Run

This Weekend’s CowalFest Trail Run

So, today I’ve been thinking about our upcoming run this weekend, the inaugural CowalFest trail run.

CowalFest is a 10 day event which celebrates walking and outdoor activities, and it is held every October. This is the first year where a run has been part of the festivities!

We could choose between the 5K and 10K trail run, and we opted for the 5K, for three two reasons:

1. I’m lazy

2. It’s our first ever, full trail run: we usually do road runs

3. It’s sandwiched between the Great Scottish Run last weekend, and the Zombie Night Run the following weekend.

I’ve visited Benmore Gardens only once before, and it is spectacular. Would you like to see?


The 5K route is a full run of the perimeter of the gardens, and the 10K route is two circuits 🙂

The gardens are famous for their avenue of giant sequoias:

I’m really looking forward to this event!

Here’s a picture of the website- as you can see it’s very well organised, and great value too.

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We had quite a lot of rain yesterday, and pretty cold temps today, but the forecast is for dry weather for the rest of the week: it should lead to ideal trail running conditions, I hope!