Dear Cateran Trail Diary part 6

Hello dear diary again

Seems like only a week ago since i last posted an entry. Come to think on it, it was only a week ago the last entry. How glorious is this weather!! I am so enjoying not checking on snow reports up that way now and able to head up and top up my tan in sunshine. Oh how i hope you all get a day like today on race day, sun and not a cloud and that gentle breeze cooling you down. On saying that i am very sunburnt and i look like i've got a red bib on and my freckles are out in full force.

I did actually go up the route the day after the last Dear diary just to do drive around for my own peace of mind and check my timings for driving round the route..............and i didn't get lost. I have no sat nav and the map was in the boot so i purely rely on my keen sense of womanly direction. That day i ran from Dalnagair castle which is 6 miles into the race to just beyond Forter castle and then headed up and off the trail to do my own race training but just ignore this sentence and we'll pretend that i started today at Dalnagair castle even though i ran with the company of my head sweeper today from Kirkton of Glenisla to beyond the forest and back.

Ok Dalnagair castle to Kirkton of Glenisla. Sign says 8 miles, it's a tad more according to my calculations and on leaving Dalnagair you're on tarmac for 2.7 miles. You're running along a quiet but main road with no pavement so be careful please. Carry on and you'll see the odd post beside the road on your left and when you get to a junction i noticed no sign for Cateran here but you're heading to Forter castle and you go through farms with Forter on your right. I'll mark the road here. It winds around a tad then you'll pick up the Cateran signage. 

Little info section at the bottom about the Cateran and one HUGE stile and one HUGE gate, the gate opens by the way. You're then off road on rubbly path which is cool. That heads and up for over a mile and a half then you get to another stile and a gate. Check out the sign pointing you right here and don't carry straight on the more obvious path as that one takes you to where i did my alternative training and you'll realise you're going wrong when you see no more signs. Downhill now to the forest and another stile and gate. This is were sweeper bloke in 80's retro gear and i ran to today then ran back.

Forest section is downhill for just under a mile and another few gates and large stiles before you go through a large gate and the path forks. A little random post in the middle of the fork pointing you uphill so go for it. This takes you up to another gate and please don't miss the post that points you off the trail which Dario and I missed the very first time we did this section and we ended up at a gate doing a stand off with a very angry large bull. It's a fainter trail but you get some really good cross country downhill running now and only a tiny bit boggy stuff. You're heading basically to Loch Shandra which was shimmering dark blue on the run, a few black sheep beside the track with little black lambs and no tiny frogs this time, once before i was on this path just as the tadpoles had developed into tiny frogs and it was a case of tiptoeing through them as there were so many. Loch Shandra is on your left and as you leave it you have a bit of an uphill then just follow the signs down to Kirkton of Glenisla. As you come through the farm the signage points you right, carry on along the main road for around 0.4 of a mile and you'll come to the checkpoint and drop bag car park on your left. Lovely day on the trail in the sunshine :-)  

Diary synopsis

Mud - not very much, did manage to find a boggy section despite it being warm the past few days

Dead animals - none at all, seen 3 alive deer, alive black lambs, an alive hawk and a live stoat

How many times i fell - 0 (i'm getting good i am)

Walkers passed - surprise surprise 0 again!!

How many times i was chased by animals - 0 (they're all waiting for you lot that's why)

I'll say until the next time folks but as time is flying by and the race will be here soon and i have the fling next week and Kintyre way the next week, i may struggle to go up and do the Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth section and the Enochdhu to Spittal of Glenshee section. Maybe you would rather they were a surprise anyway :-)