I have run a good part of the Borders Abbey Way and decided to explore more of this great trail, the Jedburgh to Hawick section.
I set off from Jedburgh just before 8am and, after a couple of false starts I found the trail and was immediately surprised by the steepness of the hills. I usually take 3 miles or so to really get going and as these were all uphill I found it tough.
I dropped back down into Denholm, and thinking of the return leg, decided to cut out the part I had planned along the river towards Hawick and back. This decision was more easily made because local hill beast Mark (@runner786) had insisted I "make a wee detour to take in Rubers Law" ! Lets just call it a big hill, as in BIG.
My journey to the summit was more walk than run. I couldnt find a recognisable path so I just headed up. Boy was it worth it !! Stunning, stunning views. I'd never looked down on the Eildons until that moment. Its funny how immediately the pain of the climb disappeared. I was genuinely so pleased to be there. I had a lovely wee snack of flat ginger beer and pork pies. They tasted good !
I tried to drink in the whole scene before starting to descend. The way down was tough too. Its really hard to run downhill through heather and bogs when you cant see where your feet are going to land. I found my way back onto the Borders Abbey Way and started the long climb back towards Jedburgh.
Tired but reasonably pleased with my performance, I managed some decent pace down off the hill.
This is by far the toughest section of this trail I have run so far (even without Rubers Law). For me, this is what running is all about. New places, unknown terrain and conditions, rather than running that same old road route again and again. Dont get me wrong, I'm not denigrating that if thats what does it for you. But this is my blog and this is what does it for me:-)
Thanks Mark for insisting on the detour, it really made my day.
For the record, the stats are: 17.6 miles, 3269 feet of climb, 10.50 min miles
Some photos. To be honest I was a little disappointed but here's a few
The general terrain
My first sighting of Rubers Law
From top of Rubers Law
Sitting by the trig point at the top