Time and tides conspired so I only had one run this week, but it was a bit different and rather special. This week's run was in Dundee, a fine city famous for jute, jam and journalism. I was away from home for work and there's always a bit of time for a quick run when you're away, and there's no better way to get to know a place than running it. So I packed my trainers and sports bra and headed off.
I was up bright and early and so was the haar - the thick wet mist that comes in from the sea. It's the price us East Coasters pay for a period of sunny weather. But after winter marathon training, it felt cool and refreshing; Scotland's mists are always a bit magical.
I left the hotel at 6 with only the odd bus or two for company and headed for the silvery Tay. Outside the hotel was a most dramatic and unusual sight - massive piles of rubble. Most of the buildings round the waterfront have been demolished and the great piles of brick and concrete fill the landscape, whilst half-built roads leap out through the mist disappearing en route to the river. You rarely see sights like this in peace time, it was a bit like running in the set of I am Legend (or a Coronation Street tram crash!).
I've not been to Dundee for about a year and I barely recognised the waterfront (which I think is the whole idea) but I quickly got to the Tay and the magnifident Discovery which graces the City. The ship is a symbol of the pride and vision people have for Dundee. Few are unmoved by these magnificent ships and the bravery of the folk who sailed them.
The Discovery is at one end of a delightful waterfront path that runs almost to the airport and is punctuated by art works of a marine nature. It was very quiet save for a couple of friendly cyclists. On one side of me the silvery Tay lapped at the sea wall. On the other, the ghostly shells of half built luxury flats rose through the mists. In a short time, this place would be a hive of activity. I idly wondered if Brad Pitt might be about looking for another Scottish film set. Those flats will have fantastic viewa across the Tay when they're built and an easy run or cycle to the train station too.
I went as far as I could and then headed back into town. I was just shy of my 3 miles so I did a a brief sight seeing tour round the shopping area. The magnificent buildings, the legacy of a rich and prosperous history, have survived and the new and the old blend well. It's pedestrianised which makes for good running (and good shopping!), clean and welcoming.
Of course Dundee is also home to that august publication much loved by us all - The Beano, so I wasn't surprised to come across Desperate Dan with chums in tow on my route.
A three mile, thirty minute run. A perfectly normal short run. I am recovered. I only stopped to take photos and finished fast and ready to run more. It felt good. And of course a morning run justifies a treat! Thanks @paintedrunner for the suggestion of Dundee Cake!
Dundee is a city in the middle of massive and bold change. A great deal of the old (and mostly very ugly) waterfront has been demolished and so at the moment it's not exactly pretty, but it is very exciting to think about what Dundee will be like in a few years. Most folk I spoke to were happy to see the changes and were optimistic about what would come next.
And it's not just a Giuggenheim that Dundee has to look forward to. Look what I found right next to my hotel! Surely getting a great running shop must be a pretty good indicator of well being and economic regeneration!
I hope to get back to the beach runs next week again. Cue wind and rain!
Wherever you are whatever you're up to, have a great week!