What is also does is give me some time to mull over what my plans are for next year and I've had an idea thats been going through my head for some time now and I think next year may be the time to put it in place.
I'd like to run all four official Long Distance Footpaths in a single year. That's The West Highland Way, The Great Glen way, The Speyside Way and The Southern Upland Way. There - I've said it now, it's out in the open and I feel better for it.
At the moment, it's just a vague plan and is by no means confirmed. There are numerous logistical issues to tackle and, of course, staying injury free long enough to complete them.
Here are my thoughts at the moment:
- West Highland Way - Having raced this over the last two years, as long as I get a place in next years race, this one is tried and tested.
- Great Glen Way - at approx 60 miles, this is doable in a single day but I may split it and do it over 2 days. This does require some degree of support and accommodation etc. which makes the single day option more appealing.
- Speyside Way - This runs from Buckie to Aviemore along the River Spey and at about 70 miles is also a possible single day run but again, could be done over 2 days with a bit of organising
- Southern Upland Way - This is the biggest challenge of all 4 and at 212 miles is a mjor undertaking. At the moment, my thoughts are to do it over 5 days which equates to about 45 miles per day. Not knowing the route, I don't know if this is unreasonable or not. The biggest decision will be the logisitics of accommodation, food etc. and this is an issue still to be resolved.
As far as timing is concerned, I'd like to run the Great Glen Way and the Speyside Way prior to the WHW race at the end of June and then set up for the Southern Upland Way in September. Given that I also want to run the Highland Fling in April and I have a cycling trip to France in May, this might be over ambitious for the first halsf of the year but, like I said, it's just vague plans at the moment.
So, if anyone reading this has any experience of either the Great Glen, Speyside or Southern Upland Ways, your comments, advice and thoughts would be appreciated. Leave a comment here or contact me separately. I should also point out that I am more than happy for anyone to join me on all or parts of any of the trips and so let me know if you are interested.
Before all this, there is the minor issue of trying to resolve my list of current injury woes which I am hopeful will allow me to last the pace for a busy year.