This weekend I fully embraced my return to Edinburgh by running with a group of old and new friends in the Pentland Hills. This beautiful area is now right on my doorstep, we’re just a five minute drive from Hillend and another five takes us out to Flotterstone, where importantly there’s a little cafe selling vegan treats, perfect for post-run refuelling.
On Sunday morning we rounded up a dozen runners and set off from Flotterstone at 9.30, the car park already almost full and walkers out on the trails enjoying the crisp, frosty January weather.
Our first climb took us up Turnhouse and on towards Carnethy before we enjoyed a snowy descent to The Howe.
We climbed up the Green Cleugh before taking the path to the North of Black Hill, with an icy Threipmuir Reservoir on our left. Bells Hill and Harbour Hill were our next climbs and I was reminded of these devil hills from the Skyline race last year, my quads and lungs burning.
Up Capelaw and down to the cull below Allermuir, and the ascent was almost done, nearly 1000m climbed and the finish line of coffee and cake in sight. South East towards Glencorse we took a path before Fala Knowe to descend towards the reservoir and finally back through the forest to Flotterstone.
A Sunday morning spent right – perfect conditions for a long run in the hills at social pace, showing a few some new routes to follow and other old-timers some different terrain underfoot thanks to the snow, ice and mud. All finished off with coffee, scones, cakes and vegan truffles at the busy little cafe at the Flotterstone visitor centre as we thawed out and planned our next adventure together.