Will Beresford is a fresh-air-head
Munros before breakfast
Will is a morning person. Not an uncommon trait in outdoorsy folk; up before the sun to get an endorphin hit to set them up for the day. When I spoke to Will back in February, he had already run up the 926m Ben Narnain and I could tell he was still buzzing from it.
I met Will 5 years ago at a two-day road race, when he and his wife were living in London. Mid honeymoon, Will and Lucinda decided to quit their jobs and move to Scotland, handing in their notice's the day they got back.‘It felt like we were spending all our free time travelling out of the city, so it didn’t make much sense to be there’, Will explained. Judging by his Instagram account (@willberesford) I don’t think they've ever looked back.
Will is equally adept at running and riding and ultimately just has a great affection for the hills. He told me, ‘If I had to choose between running and just being in the hills, I would choose just being in the hills every time’.
Not long after moving, he joined Albanach.cc a modern cycling club with some tasty all-road routes, including the Fault Line Trail to their name. Will loves a big point-to-point ride; last year, with a new Albannach Torragar to christen, he hopped on a train to Perth and rode it back to Glasgow.
'That ride was the end of March 2019, so there was still snow up high, but apart from a few sections of bog where the path disappeared, it was all rideable. The best section by far was Glen Artney from Comrie to Callander; super smooth gravel, sunshine, mostly downhill. That last climb up to the Whangie, before dropping down to Glasgow was very slow, even if it was on the road', Will remembers.
Running has been a big part of his relocation, especially when the Scottish winter makes long road rides less appealing or impossible. He fell in with a club called Westerlands or ‘Westies’. ‘The club specialises in hill and off-road running. Then there are regular curry nights which it takes as seriously as it’s running’, he explains. Sounds like my kind of club. Will points out the numerous benefits to joining local clubs; chiefly runs with more experienced runners meant he was less apprehensive in the hills and learnt a lot from them.
My friend PJ once said, ‘cycling is the real social network’ and that has stayed true as I've moved between cities. I literally met the co-founder of OP, Luke, at some traffic lights on the edge of Manchester during a ride back from the Peak. I guess that can apply to other outdoor pursuits clubs.
Will's own mini 'morning Munro club' has been meeting ad-hoc for around a year now.
The day I spoke to Will he had met a group in Glasgow at 05h30 and headed out of the city to summit Ben Narnain in the Arrochar Alps. I could tell he was still buzzing from it. Having reached the Narnain summit before sunrise they pushed on to the Cobbler, with sunrise views to Ben Lomond and a cloud inversion over Loch Lomond. 13km and 1270m climbing, before breakfast. A feature of a lot of the running in Scotland is you get to go sea to summit and can cram the vert in.
Will mentions Walk Highlands for route inspiration as well as Steven Fallon, who specialises in longer rounds or routes. He refines his plans with OS Maps, club mate knowledge and Strava.
We were hoping to catch up with Will later in the year as he gets stuck into some iconic races, Jura fell race, Yorkshire 3 Peaks and the Edale skyline, but for now those plans are on hold.
During lockdown he switched focus to #runeverystreet which is providing plenty of people with some hyper localised exercise inspiration whilst the c-word is hanging around.
Will's morning Munro route as described above ↠
We've also begun to upload our favourite runs, rides, hikes and swims to our Outdoor Provisions Komoot. I hope this inspires you to look into your local club scene, whatever your chosen pursuit.
Let's take this outside,