Sunday, 25 March 2012

ADRC marathon walk from Doonfoot (Ayr) to Girvan. March 2012

Early start for the marathon group.

Coming down from the cliffs.

Finally caught the farmer at her gate!

Lots of high coastal paths today.

Shorts and suncream (In March!!)

Comfort stop at Culzean.

Taking a rest and change of footwear for one of the walkers.

This is the group chairman having a quick nap.

The group at the "finish"

Today's leader also made it.
Yesterday ADRC had a mini marathon walk of 23 miles from Doonfoot near Ayr to Girvan using  the Ayrshire Coastal Path. I felt very privileged to be the leader for the group on their very first attempt at long distance walking as opposed to the hills and mountains we normally do at weekends.It was a fine slightly misty morning when 18 of us met at the Greenan Castle car park, an impressive number considering it was 7.30AM. Setting off along the shore we passed the heads of Ayr on the sand as the tide was at its lowest point which made the early part of the walk fairly easy. At the Bracken Bay caravan site we joined the old railway line that took us round a very rocky part of the coast until we were able to rejoin the shore and made our way to the fishing village of Dunure.Once we were at the Castle I allowed the group a wee break as we still had 17 miles to go so it was not a day to be taking lengthy stops. We now collected 4 more walkers who decided to avoid the early start they would catch up with us at the village and I pointed out to them that they were very welcome to accompany us but for group records could not be counted as" purists" the term I awarded to full route walkers.Now the heat was increasing as the sun burnt off  the early morning mist it was important that everybody kept their water levels up as on a marathon walk like this as a loss of fluids is the most common reason for failure so I decided as it was so unseasonally warm there would be a 5 minute break every hour to allow me to monitor the group and look out for any early signs of fatigue.Our route now took us through a couple of farmers fields before we reached the shore that passes Croy on our way to Culzean Castle and another stop to use their facilites. A cliff walk with its wonderful views took us through the estate until we reached the village of Maidens where we had a stop at the wee shop to allow some of the group to purchase ice lollies and ice cream, at this point the "distiller" decided as he was a wee bit wabbit he would avail himself of the Stagecoach bus back to Ayr perhaps he needs a wee bit more of the nectar he is famously associated with, anyway sir thank you for your company. Quite incredible to think we are still only in March to have tempeatures which we normally only  experience in the height of summer.Crossing over the lands of Turnberry to the beach we had a  lunch stop before going along the shore where we collected a another walker who is native to these parts which meant we now numbered 21 for the final leg. As high tide had just passed I was concerned at the water levels of the rivers we had to cross in this part of the walk but due to the lack of recent rainfall and also the earlier recces I had done there were no real problems and  everybody made it safely to the Harbour Bar in Girvan where some refreshent was consumed. An absolutely great walk and as I was the leader responsible for organising the day one thing that was completely outwith my control was the weather which turned out to be the best I could have possibly have wished for. Judging by the e mails and texts I have received today it was obviouly an outstanding success one that I will repeat next year but this time I have a twist 22 miles from Wanlockhead to Muirkirk with 2500 feet of assent and no places to opt out so to my fellow walkers thank you for your help and assistance in making yesterday such a success and now is the time to start training for next years "MARATHON"


  1. Gordon thanks again for organising what turned out to be a PERFECT day - the weather - which was outwith your control - was just the icing on the cake as they say. I was a bit apprehensive about the distance we had to cover but I needn't have worried - I think the fact we were blethering and chatting away meant you were unaware of the distance you were travelling. I couldn't believe it when I heard someone announce we had done 10miles. Also the time went in so quickly - it was just amazing. DO WE REALLY HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR BEFORE WE DO ANOTHER ONE? Hope you enjoyed your we swallie - I did - and I was in bed for 9.30 - unheard off for me! Also big thank you to your better half -Anne - who very kindly dropped us off at the car park. Mags x ps I don't know how to send this to you hence reason I've put annonymous!

  2. On my walks there is a little of everything in them for all to enjoy. Thanks for your kind comments.

  3. A lovely comment from Mags there Gordon.
    Another masochist like yourself then !
    Well done. Should be ok for Saturday