Even though I ran this section last Sunday, I wanted to give it another bash on fresh(er) legs. It is my favourite section after all, so I always welcome the opportunity to run on it.
As always, the adventure starts with the journey. En route to Kingshouse we had to take a massive detour, as the A82 on the lochside was closed. We were turned back just before Ardlui because an inconsiderate Royal Mail driver had decided to nose-dive his van into the loch. Sitting at 90 degrees, held up by a telegraph pole, the emergency services had informed us the road would be closed for a couple of hours.
We arrived at Kingshouse slightly exhausted, irritable and way behind scheduled. Setting off at 10.30, the heat quickly toke it's toll. On the ascent of the Devil's Staircase I was wishing the weather forecast was right, as a little shower would have been very refreshing.
Sonic had packed extra light, with only a water bottle and some jelly babies? Guess who's race strategy he was copying? I was a tad envious, as my back was on fire with a backpack. That was short-lived though, as he scrambled about trying to find water from streams that had dried up.
My quads ached a little on the descent into Kinlochleven, but they felt much better than they had all week.
There was a cross-bike race taken place around Kinlochleven and the bikes threw up lost of dust as they passed. As if my mouth wasn't drive enough. At least the stinging eyes took the focus off my quads.
The ascent out of Kinlochleven was it's usual evil self. I managed to take out my discomfort by snarling at grown-men on bikes, who didn't even acknowledge that we'd stepped off the path to let them pass.
The route to Lundarva was pretty uneventful. Thankfully it was a little cooler than anticipated. Even from there to Fort William was OK. I was determined to stay positive after the "Bermuda Triangle". It wasn't going to suck me in again. Lots of positive chat was required. The track down to the town was a little uncomfortable. But hey, I need to train my quads. Although Sonic was laughing at the little voice behind him whimpering "I really don't think I should be doing seven minute miles" ;-)
We finished in 4:43, which was 10 minutes ahead of last week's run. Kinlochleven 1:43, out 1:51, Lundarva 3.26 and to the beautiful end of Way sign 4:43. Total distance 23.3. Ascent 933m. Average pace 12.10.
We celebrated a great run (and not falling out!) with a night at the Clachaig Inn. After a hearty feast of burger 'n' chips and far to much beer, we were spent by 10pm. That's the party animals in us.