Saturday, 2 February 2013

Borders Abbey Way

After a tip off from Marko (@runner786), I took my first steps along the Borders Abbey Way today. In short, its a 62 circular route encompassing the borders towns of Melrose, Kelso, Jedburgh, Hawick and Selkirk ( Today I ran from Melrose to Kelso, a distance of just under 18 miles. There was a mixture of surfaces from tarmac to woodland track to muddy farm tracks. The photos have uploaded in a slightly odd order as usual, so bear with me!

This is one of the Eildons, approximately 2 miles into the run.

Around 4 miles in, I had this lovely woodland track to enjoy.

Melrose abbey, the start! Don't ask me about the upload order:-)

My first proper view of the Tweed, still swollen from the snow melt.

The Tweed, crossing the suspension bridge at Dryburgh.

It was a beautiful, if chilly, day as you can see here.

A climb up from the river, through the woods, afforded me this view

I then dropped back down to the river. Thats St Boswells golf course on the other side

I passed through Clintmains. No, Ive never heard of it either! Maybe petrol is still £1 a gallon!

A long slow climb from the river  and I saw this. The Eildons. Where I started. I liked that.

This was earlier. I lovely little spot where I ate wine gums and drank from the stream.

Another view of the Eildons and the river Tweed

I'm almost finished here. This is the banks of the Tweed in Kelso, with drift wood from the floods.

Lets jump back 5 miles! Track flooded and frozen on top. Much as i was
Kelso Abbey. 17.8 miles and 2 hours 40 later...I'll be back tomorrow morning!

Its Sunday evening now and I have run another section of the Borders Abbeys Way. I'll try to upload the photos in the correct order this time. I arrived at Kelso at around 7.30 am. My prep was far from ideal as usual. Think long run yesterday, beers and rubbish sleep. I wasnt sure how to dress as the temperature was higher than Saturday, but the wind was much stronger. Anyway, I got ready and set off. I have to be honest in saying I didnt feel ready for this trip to Jedburgh and back, or confident. goes.
My first view of the Teviot a mile or so in. Not quite light as you can see

After 3 miles or so this spectacular viaduct appears. I always wonder how these things were built!
My first stop for some wine gums and a lovely drink

I must still be going the right way!

Loved this old railway sign. Once on the old railway I got quite nostalgic. I thought of the steam train clattering along where I was now running, but before i was born.

 No idea who this handsome dude/ugly bugger is (*delete as appropriate!) Started to feel low here, 7 miles in and considered turning back. I then told myself that my sister in law was nearby and I could make an emergency phone call if i needed to, knowing I wouldn't!
From here to Jedburgh was non photogenic. River banks, up a steep track for a mile and then undulating road until I reached the Abbey.

 5 minutes lying on a park bench, eating cereal bars made me feel so much better. I tweeted my situation, asked for a taxi, felt sorry for myself etc etc:-) and set of back to Kelso
 This is a track I climbed at mile 10, it shows how the snow melt has dug it out. I continued with the thought that every step was a step nearer to the finish. I looked at my phone at mile 17 and was hugely lifted by the supportive tweets. I ran faster ! Around 3 miles of straight disused railway line is relentless and I did hurt by now.
 I had to get one photo out of order! My shoes at the end: muddy and tired like me
 This is a great wee bit of kit, a foldable cup. Cheap as on ebay and so useful
I saw quite a bit of wildlife today. Nessy even put in an appearance:-)
 The last 5 miles were a real slog. Yesterday and last night had taken it toll. I was running on sheer pig headedness and the odd wine gum. I entertained the idea of adding another mile to make 26.2 (for about 3 seconds) and ended up where I started, here, Kelso abbey. Tired and sore, I lay in the back of my van for a while, not happy but satisfied.
In summary, the run from Kelso to Jedburgh is a much more pleasant route. You probably see more of the countryside on the Melrose to Kelso route. Its a gem, its on my doorstep.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic runs, Johnny and great pics. I'd love to run there sometime with you. Totally inspiring as always.