I had one too many beers last night and was talking a bit backward so decided to go to bed early at 8:30! I was chatting to the Dutch guy I’d met who was walking it. His long legs means he was going twice as Fast as I would go walking.
Waking up I was slightly worse for wear but after breakfast and preparing for wet weather donning all waterproofs, I headed outside into drizzle.
The hotel is basically at the foot of the Way before it climbs to the Old Military Road.
It’s a steep ascent and immediately regretted wearing all the waterproofs but it would save me when it was pishing it down later.
I reached the track in good time, hot but feeling ok. The track had been worked on since the last time and there were signs warning of works on the route. I started to run and making solid progress when I had to stop as a massive caterpillar digger was heading toward me. It didn’t seem like there was any space either side of it to get around it. But the driver drove half off the side of the track overhanging the valley below and allowed me space to get by. He clearly knows his diggers centre of mass!
I was running well and all the time I was thinking “get to fort william for 11:47 as that is when the train is” otherwise I’d have to get the bus at 2 or the train at 6!
This track was my nemesis of sorts, the last time I was here was on City to Summit and the weather was torrential with head wind. It wasn’t nice. Plus then I had just jumped off my bike after cycling from North Queensferry so I was quite tired. I remember kicking every rock on the route. It was horrible.
This time I was feeling better, and definitely not as tired. I managed to run a lot with the wind at my back it was fantastic. The snow capped peaks had changed to wet rock with the rise in temperatures.
I was going well. Rounding the corner after 8 Km the WHW turns North following the valley. The wind was strong and now blowing across me almost blowing me off the track. I trundled on. Running.
I reached the forest at the bottom of the valley and there lies a barrier across the way. “West Highland Way diversion”. They were doing forest operations between there and Glen Nevis so the way was diverted along the Old Military road, 7kms of undulating tarmac.
I made decent progress tho and entered Fort William after 2hrs 20min. I was an hour before the train so I opted to shower at the station which was a fantastic suggestion by a local. Highly recommend.
So there, I’ve done the WHW. I was a tad emotional when I saw Fort William. That flood of emotion that comes from the bottom of your throat. I blocked it tho and didn’t greet but I guess that means it meant something. It also reminded me of the Cape Wrath Ultra. As the last time I was here was when I started the run. The ferry that took us to Camusnagaul was there. I can now say I’ve run from Milngavie to the North of Scotland. Perhaps it’s time to join up the border with Milngavie?