Welcome to Am Bodach.
Am Bodach are the blogposts from an old man hill runner here in Scotland. I’ve been running since I gave up smoking aged 27. I think the Carnethy 5 in 79 or 80 might have been my first hill race.
The sport has brought me a great deal of pleasure and friendships. I had great fun putting together the descriptions for the first Scottish Hill Runners web site in, I think, 1998. My intention is to do the same again and write a love letter to some races each week in 2018.
I could say that it surprises me that there is so little sharp writing and thinking for a sport in such beautiful surroundings. A sport that does encourage reflection and thoughtfulness. But maybe that’s just “Why doesn’t everyone think like me?”
Let me know how you think I’m doing in the comments section. A kick up the arse rarely does too much harm. But the Blog is intended to be fun and love letters so beware that Attila the Editor will see off any overload of what I deem unpleasant, dull, drab, unamusing or political. All of those descriptions will probably fit anything that involves “Insurance”, “SAAA”, “Hill Running Commission”, “Risk Analysis”. If you want to comment about those email me privately on the contacts page and I’ll do my best to talk you down as a service to Scottish Hill Running. .
Why Am Bodach? It means the Old man. “In modern Gaelic, bodach simply means “old man”, often used affectionately.” But it also has some sharper meanings. “In Scottish Folklore the bodach comes down the chimney to kidnap naughty children, used as a cautionary tale or bogeyman figure to frighten children into good behaviour.” … I’ll have a go at that too!
But also Am Bodach is the name for at least two hills, separated by Loch Leven. Apparently the name implies the Old Man who looks on without joining in too much. Given the delicate state of my moving parts that’s a pretty good description of my hill running involvement too.
Welcome to Am Bodach! As Vinny Jones might say “It gonna be emotional”.
Dick Wall December 20th 2017.