Running Wild

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An Carn 5k Run May 16 (1)
Running Wild round Droim nDamh Nature Reserve – Wild-Fitness

Well summer truly feels like it has arrived, as indicated by the fact that people have started to complain about the heat.

Our Couch to 5km programme has entered it’s penultimate week, and the participants are all doing amazingly. It never fails to amaze me how much progression people make in such a short time. For some, they struggled with running for a minute on week 1 but by week 7 are running for 25 minutes straight, in uncomfortable heat, with minimal moaning. I know that they will all smash this weeks schedule as well.

So what makes this C25K different from many of the others cropping up everywhere?

Well, apart from the obvious reason of my charm and charisma, It has to be the venue.

We are following a fairly standard C25K programme, but the venue is anything but standard. Whilst many programmes will have you running laps of a pitch or track (death by repetition to me) or running round town streets, Droim nDamh (Drumnaph) offers something more for the mind, body, and even the spirit.


Running around Droim nDamh’s stony and undulating paths means every footfall is differen, so the muscles in the feet, legs and core have to react differently with every step. This builds far greater strength and stability than running on a homogeneous pitch or a track. It’s harder, yes, and it will take someone a bit longer to run it, but they will all the stronger and healthier for it.

Running around Droim nDamh any time of the year is a marvelous experience, but right now it’s pretty special. From the cool breeze along the Droim (ridge), to the stunning coconut scent of the Aiteann (whin/gorse) along the Loch Bran Trail, from the shaded shelter of the seanchoill (ancient woodland) on the woodland trail, to the dappled babbling of the Abhainn na Griollaí (Grillagh River) along the Ruachan Trail. It’s crying out to be explored.

Away from the monotony of running in circles, or the blast of noise and stench of city traffic, Droim nDamh really does offer itself as a tearmann (sanctuary/refuge) from the hustle and bustle of a chaotic modern life.

Running through the reserve, the only sounds I hear are that of birdsong, breeze through the leaves, and the crunching of stones beneath my feet. These somehow make the sound of my laboured breath more musical, more fitting.

Just being out in nature reconnects us to the sense that we are part of something far greater than ourselves, that we are a part of nature not apart from it.

Being in nature has a myriad benefits health-wise, both physically and mentally, many of which have been well documented through research.

So if that’s not enough reasons to start walking/running around Droim nDamh, I don’t know what is.

Come and join us all for a delightful 5km run on the 19th June at 11 am and see what I’m banging on about. Details here.

Hope to see you out there.


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