Tibetan monks in icy ponds, packs of dogs on snowfields, and a wrong turn to the Blairgowrie 10k (Rousse)

NP, DT, WB and I were all running in the Blairgowrie 10K. We were supported by TPR, JM, SF, my parents and C the cocker spaniel.

We drove up the A9 in separate cars. I was in the back seat of our Stilo with JM, while TPR and my parents sat in the front. I was quite enjoying the journey, listening to a play on Radio 4 – until we hit the mountains and the broadcast signal cut out.

The outskirts of Blairgowrie offered the strange spectacle of Tibetan monks lying flat on their backs, deep in meditation, in icy ponds. Meanwhile packs of dogs ran free across the snowfields that marked the boundaries between each council estate. This was not how I remembered Blairgowrie from my last visit.

Then TPR admitted his terrible mistake. He’d taken the wrong turning off the A9. We were not on the outskirts of Blairgowrie after all, but some other highland town. It was impossible to identify our location. All we knew was that we were a long way from our intended destination.

It was 11:10 now and the race started at half past. We’d lost the race without even reaching the starting line.

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