Ever since we moved to Tiree 10 years ago I’ve wondered if it would be possible to run around the island in one go. Back then I was just getting into windsurfing and then mountain biking, so in a disjointed way I suppose I got around most of the island on two wheels or on a board. But the idea of doing the whole coastline on foot was a challenge. A Challenge that’s probably taken me 10 years to actually get in shape to do! And with our second baby imminent, and today being the only day without gale force winds in ages, it seemed like a good time to do it.
So 35 miles, countless beaches, some bogs, plenty of grassland, ups, downs, 5hrs running, and all fuelled by a pack of oatcakes and a bottle of water – which was not planned, it was just all I had in – Becky’s away so the cupboards are bare 🙂
If you know Tiree then you’re aware there are a lot of beaches. I thought I’d been to them all. I was wrong. Today I found beaches I’d never set foot on, all with their own unique charm, and all totally unspoilt. The beaches here are just a pleasure to run on, I lost count of how many I ran across, and I was lost in the huge vista that is ever present.
Off the beach it’s a mix of grassland, rocky outcrops, tracks, sheep paths, and a few boggy sections. There were only a few bits where I wasn’t sure of a way across; Milton to Caolas, Miodar to Salum, Balephetrish to the Green. But Tiree is very open so it’s easy enough to pick a way through and the whole route was runnable. The last few kilometres were in the rain, yet it was strangely one of the best bits, knowing it was almost done and realising just how fantastic a place Tiree is to be out running, even in the rain.
There’s more pictures on the Tiree Fitness Facebook page. And perhaps a Tiree Ultra in the pipeline too….