Coast to Coast Recce

Later this year my brother and I will be spending 2 days in Scotland doing the Coast to Coast ably supported by Em. With that in mind we decided that having a look at the route might be a good idea. In my mind it would help encourage John to train if he found it hard but at the same time his confidence would be up if we completed the stages.

The drive up Thursday night was a pig so we binned it and stayed far further south than we had planned which made the Friday drive very long. That said we broke it up with coffee and a chat with John Murphy and a trip to Mathesons.

The hotel we were booked in was the Lovat, totally underwhelming place, gave us a room in the attic and told us it was an upgrade. Doesn’t encourage you to spend any more money than you have to.

Em and I went out for a ride, it wasn’t flat but it was great to get out there and loosen off. We dropped Johns bike off and got some food and unusually an early night as Saturday was to be busy.

Picked John up early and headed to Inverness where Em and I jogged the parkrun. Not the most exciting course but a lovely atmosphere. Was hoping to meet someone I know online but he was away.

Stage 1: Simple run really, glad we checked it out though as although flat it will be trail shoes. John worked hard at points, I forget how easy things are for me but largely I was aware and didn’t push him too hard.  A very very easy start.

Stage 2: A nice rolling road ride, we put road tyres on Johns bike and took it steady but the continual climbing was taking its toll. Fueling was an issue but this was why we were here. Discovered that if not provoked he forgets to eat and that we will need plenty of fluids. That aside it was going very well but then the weather turned and the last climb up before dropping down to Fort Augustus was straight into wind and rain. This was pretty soul destroying so I was full of respect for John when we crested the summit. We did enjoy it when we rolled down the hill.

Dinner that evening was great, all talking about nothing and everything. At the back of my mind I was concerned about how John would be in the morning.

Back at our hotel I decided to do a bit more research about the last run. I could not understand how 14 miles was taking 2hr 30 to 4 hours. Strava offered some clues but still I was thinking run run run but then I read a blog and seems that running may not be an option. Ok so I now knew why the kit was so important for the last stage.

Next morning I arrived to collect John for the “offroad” ride and have to say he looked great and was well up for it. I also told him we would not be doing the 14 mile hike. Research told me we should just hike/jog and get wet on race day. He got told he was going running instead(he did that run as well) Me, I felt fine but I hate rain and we were getting wet. First laugh was reaching the weir and having to turn back . Detour :¬) then we missed a turn :¬) That was the end of disasters and from here we climbed and rode the trail path. Again John worked hard but today we had the fueling right so I never had any doubts. The technical descent was funny. I was calling various things out and there was laughing as he parked his bike in the bushes :¬) Nothing else really happened. We found the family and went to Maccies to just chat.

It has taken far too long to write this blog and I am sure I have not done the weekend justice. In closing it was brilliant. I am now full of confidence that John and I will not just take part but race.

Things to do – Kayaking and more training.


Exciting times indeed.


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