Up the Whangie: The Find Your Adrenaline Route Challenge

If you could do with a bit of extra inspiration to get out on the trails now that the colder weather’s here, we’ve got the perfect suggestion: get up the Whangie!

Intrigued? Read on; there are prizes to win! We’ve teamed up with Daryn and Andrew at Find Your Adrenaline to come up with a 10k Route Challenge for the month of November. It’s free to take part and open to everyone: you just need Strava; your smartphone, and your spirit of adventure …

Andrew from Find Your Adrenaline has put together a glorious 10k running route, taking in the classic approach to the Whangie and dropping down to loop around Burncrooks Reservoir before returning via Queen’s View. We’re inviting you to join the TrailFest Strava Group, run the route, share your tales from the trails … and the best stories we see this month will win free kit from Find Your Adrenaline. What’s not to like?!

Head over to the Find Your Adrenaline blog for full details and a detailed route description … or read on for the story of what happened when Jo from Team TrailFest took on the route in a pea-soup fog a couple of weeks back …

“Andrew and I had been chatting about his Route Challenge idea throughout the week, and when he described the 10k route he had in mind, I loved the sound of it! I’d been up the Whangie before, but I’d never been down to the reservoir. His pictures looked idyllic, so I was fired up and full of enthusiasm to give it a go. And when Saturday dawned all clear, crisp and Autumnal, I negotiated an early-morning childcare pass with Ryan and sped off in the car.

“As I drew near to Queen’s View car park, revelling in the views from the road towards Dumgoyne and Dumfoyne, I noticed a bit of cloud lingering to my left. I didn’t think too much about it … until I pulled into the car park and registered that the cloud was sitting bang on top of the Whangie, obscuring the top of the hill entirely from sight. No matter, I thought; it’s a well trodden path from the car park; what could possibly go wrong?

Spotted: the Whangie looms through the fog

“Well, it’s a great path to run on and I skipped along feeling all light-footed and chamois-like … until I realised that, lost in my own world and in poor visibility, I’d bypassed the Whangie altogether and run all the way to the top of Queen’s View (no view in sight up there!) without seeing either the giant rock formation or the large reservoir that I was supposed to be running round. Oops. Retracing my steps across the boggy ground up top, this time with my mind more firmly on the job of finding my way, I finally snuck up on the Whangie from behind, and from there I picked up the (correct; virtually unmissable) broad path that leads away from the rocks, up and over the stile and down towards Burncrooks. A golden glow through the cloud ahead suggested that a view might soon emerge, and as I lost height I was rewarded with the sight of a body of water sparkling in the sunlight – no hint of the pea soup fog that had enveloped me up at Queen’s View! It was like a completely different day down there – warm and mellow; impossible to believe it could’ve felt so dank and wintry on the hill.

A very different day by the reservoir

“By the time I’d trotted round the reservoir, the mists on the Whangie were showing signs of burning off; by the time I was tearing back down to the car – mindful that my childcare pass was well and truly expired thanks to my misadventures up top! – it was a glorious day; not a hint of a cloud to be seen. Walkers and runners were heading up the path in their hoards, ready to enjoy those glorious views that had eluded me so completely.

“Misty morning misadventures notwithstanding, it’s a super route and I’m looking forward to another run around it – this time on a clear day when I’ll be able to appreciate the views that everyone else is talking about!”

A run of two halfs, seen from the fenceline: golden sunlight on the reservoir behind me; dark clouds ahead