11th May 2013
Journey run in the Borders

Eleven runners and two dogs assembled at the car park by Lamington Kirk for the run. The weather forecast was horrible - heavy showers all day - but a search on the Internet had found a better forecast, light rain earlier then drying up, so we took that one instead. The run started through the village and woods then out onto a grassy green road over the hills to Cowgill Loch. Further on we had half a mile of road before turning off to the path up Cowgill Rig. Beside the road was an unusual valley, very wide and flat at the bottom with a burn meandering through it. The leaders were so engrossed that they missed the turning for the path and had to be called back.
After an initial steep climb the path wound for miles over the hills above the Cowgill reservoirs, with Bill valiantly bringing up the rear. As we came down to the head of Cowgill Upper Reservoir I had wanted to divert to the ruin of Windgate House for lunch but the general consensus was that it was too cold and windy to stop. We continued for a mile and a half up the dramatically deep gorge of Duncan Gill. In several places the track had been washed away by storm damage. Pangs of hunger were beginning to appear; we tried to interest Mike in a dead sheep on the other side of the valley but he was too engrossed in a Cornish pasty to notice. Higher up, the leaders were getting cold waiting for the lunchers so Kate and Dave ran back down through the heather to the zig-zag below to warm up and catch us up again.
At the head of the valley we came out onto the open hillside and could see an extensive wind farm nearby. We ran over the hills of Whitelaw Brae and Hardrig Head and the intervening col with the curious name of Deil's Barn Door. After that the path disappeared for a while so we heather-bashed down until we picked up the path for Easkgill Rig. A long grassy descent brought us down to the start of a road at Bleakfield and we finished the final mile on a quiet country road. Back at the car park, Kate caused much excitement by showing us her special stretching technique. I declined to try it myself for fear of never getting disentangled again. A good day out was had by all.
Nigel Rose

An artist’s impression of what our day should have looked like

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