‘The Highlander’s Return’ – Ready 

Red line = ‘The Highlander’s Return’ (very roughly drawn!)

A 325km ‘off road’ adventure from Glasgow to Wester Ross, Scotland

23 – 29/30 Apr 2023

At 8am on Sunday 23rd April I hope to start off on the ‘Highlander’s Return from Milngavie’s High St on the outskirts of Glasgow. This is the official start of the West Highland Way (WHW). My hopes for this journey are varied. Aspirations are part pilgrimage – an inner as well as an outward journey. For sure the 7-8 days will be a long and, at times, arduous journey. How it all plays out is part of the adventure. How much actual running and how much fast or slow hiking remains to be seen. Mixed in it all I trust there will be enjoyment! 

I had a reality check a few weeks ago. As part of my preparation I went on an overnight wild camp trip to test and familiarise myself with my gear. It was also to try running with a full load. This was in the Kilpatricks hills that nestling near the north west shoulder of Glasgow. It rained steadily for most of the night and through the following morning. It made for quite a miserable experience in my little bivouac (‘bivvy’). All right for a night but not good if, during the event, one wet night is followed by another long day and another night in the rain. Not an appealing prospect. At least on my practice overnighter I went home for a shower! The lesson learned is having a plan B if the weather proves adverse.

Have rucksack, will travel.

Part of me is looking forward to starting each morning with the thought that the only goal for the day is to cover the miles. Actually I prefer to speak in kilometres. They are psychologically easier for me – they pass quicker than miles! Just covering the distance is a deceptively simple sounding aim. Simple but know it will require sustained mental as well as physical strength. Rest, eating enough calories and recovery will be important at the end of each day. I am very glad to not be on my own from day 4 onwards when Cammie Kennedy plans to join me. Grateful for his commitment to help.

Anyhow, enough thinking. It will soon be time to stop imagining what might or might not be and put one of many steps forward. Maybe see you on the trail!

It has been asked if I would be blogging along the way. This will be very unlikely as trying to do 40-50km/ day and attend to food, sleep and shelter needs will likely take up all available time.

Some of the above thoughts are also prayers. Psalm 121 ( ‘The Trail Runner’s Psalm’ ) comes to mind…

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121 vs 1 and 2

Related blogs

The Highlander’s Return’ – One Week In April – This is the account of my journey 23 – 29 Apr 2023

The Highlander’s Return’ – Vision

The Highlander’s Return’ – Preparation

As with previous endurance runs I am fund-raising for Starfish Asia. They help disadvantaged and impoverished children from mainly Christian families in Pakistan get an education. A solar panel system for an average school costs about £2,000. At time of writing this generous donors have given almost enough for 1 school – thank you! If we can provide for 2 (£4,000) that would be fantastic. For most of the Starfish schools a lack of power is an increasing problem. Solar panels being installed would provide stable electricity, especially for lighting and fans during the summer. There is a dedicated fund-raising page set up with Starfish for this purpose. If you would like to help you can donate here 

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