Winter Trails

After spending some time running on the road I have  realised that trail and mountain running is what really draws me to running. I grew up in the wilds, hunting and fishing, and I’m sure this is where my love for the outdoors grew. Now that I am living in a city, even though a small one, the days when I get out running in the wilds I enjoy it even more. It was  mentioned in the post below that I’m not alone in this thinking.

“400,000 people participated in 2,702 trail races worldwide in 2012, the most recent statistics available. That’s a big jump from 2000, when 90,000 runners took part in 450 races” I wonder what 2016 figures will be?

This article  is well worth a read for those of you ready to stick on the trail runners and leave the pavements behind. I am not knocking road running as it is an amazing sport in itself but I think those of you who haven’t tried the trails should give it a lash.
I spent the last week mostly in the gym and on watt bike. I also knocked out a good running session on the hills in Castlehackett and played a soccer match on Tuesday night at some crazy late hour. A mixed week but during the winter more than ever I feel mixing it up is more fun.
Knocknagoneen Hill with the tide rushing into Rusheen Bay.
A few quick snaps from our walk in Galway, Silver Strand this evening. Oh and I found a hill for hill speed repeats! A new training ground awaits. With this in mind I signed up for the Gaelforce Mountain Run in March. A 26km run in the Maam Turks awaits to kick off a season which will most likely involve more racing than ever.

 

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Sheep Trails and Deer Antlers

I’m sure this title is a little confusing for many! It is, however, a good reflection of my run on the Western Way Trail yesterday. I went fishing for the afternoon and stuck on my trail runners to do a similar run on the trail as I had completed 2 weeks ago. I decided to veer off the trail early on and follow the bog and lakeshore to the base of the mountain before returning along the marked trail. As I ran through the bog my only secure footing was on the trails made by mountain sheep. It was incredibly soft and slippy ground but I feel I am improving on this terrain. The mountain is only a 25 minute scramble, but it is very steep, sometimes scarily so, and can be slippy under foot. The views from the top were incredible as always. On my return journey I spotted a very unusual object on the side of the trail.

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Red Deer antler found on the trail. Amazing.

Red Deer shed their antlers (made of bone) in March and April every year and they grow back longer the next year with more points (tines) on them. The antlers can grow at a rate of an inch per day.

I completed a very tricky 17km in 1hr 45 minutes and was glad to hop in the lake for a quick cool down. I had caught dinner earlier so I cooked up a tasty brown trout when I got home.

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Brown trout for tea.

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The view from the boat mooring on the Gleann shore of Lough Corrib, Galway.