Virgin London Marathon – Sun 13th

A few Carnethies made it to the Virgin London Marathon this weekend.   Bob was the star of the show, being dressed as Freddy Mercury dressed as a woman – he’s promised a report so I’ll keep this short and sweet.  Excellent run by Iain with an excellent first half split of 1:18:47, though we don’t know what happened after that.  Marathons are all about the second half of the race, I’ve now learned, so congratulations to Rosie for posting the fastest Carnethy 2nd half split of 1:44:54.  A tough race in those conditions, so well done to all!
Tim Darlow                      1:27:33  3:21:01
James  Hardie                  1:33:40  3:26:55
Rosie Allister                   1:43:54  3:28:48
Joanne Anderson           1:44:05  3:41:16
Catriona Meighan          1:46:41  3:46:29
Bob Johnson                    2:36:30  5:25:04
Whiteside Iain                 1:18:47 
Jim Hardie 

Hernia Threatens to Blow Carnethy Cyclist Off the Road

Sunday 13th April was the second Sunday of the month, so it was time for the steady road bike ride.

For a short time, right up to just before we departed, we were 7 in number. But then Jonathan Whitehead had a hernia diagnosed so was, in the finest school masterly manner, sent off by Richard Bush for an early bath. A hernia is where an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall. 

Read more…

Boghall Handicap – Wednesday 16th

Don’t forget the first handicap of the season at Boghall Start times are up and make, well, interesting reading (do I really need to give Jason a minute head start when he so thoroughly broke me at the Burdens?). The going is drying out nicely, apart from the bog-of-death towards the end which the cattle have been working on and is deeper, greener and wider than ever. See you all for the 7pm start. Joel

Marathon de Sable 2014

Lucia and Dion Leonard have both finished the MdS in 377th / 43hrs and 108th 33.5hrs. A great result in a tough, tough race. Even if they do get to navigate with laser light shows.
We hope they have a good flight back, and can get stuck into washing the sand out of their socks.
Results for Lucja and Dion

Lochaber Marathon 2014

There were 4 Carnethies in this years Lochaber Marathon, although 2 were hiding their vests under Portobello RC colours.
Well done to John Hammond under 3 hours and 10th, Kathy Henly (slowly converting to Hills) was 2nd lady. Graham and Harry (Neil) also had great runs.
We are still awaiting a report from any of the 4 runners!

1Roger Van GompelMV40Dundee Hawkhill Harriers02:40:26
2Andrew MurrayMaleMerrell02:42:30
3David HoustonMaleGlasgow University Hares & Hounds02:45:22
10John HammondMaleCarnethy Hill RC02:55:52
24Graeme DunbarMV45Portobello RC03:04:06
54Kathy HenlyFV45Portobello RC03:21:38
56Neil GilmoreMV50Carnethy Hill RC03:23:06

April Lunchtime Handicap Results

Smaller field this month, in damp and slippy conditions.

‘Extra hazards included a couple trying to descend the gutted haddie.  In the torrential rain I wouldn’t have been that keen coming down it on hill shoes, but they seemed determined to give it a go in ‘fashion’ wellies and wouldn’t be dissuaded – hopefully it all worked out alright.  There was also a throng of about 30 young Spanish students at the trig point who didn’t seem to understand my urgent need to push them out of the way.’ – Cameron Murray

 Good win by Alistair, in his third handicap.

Runner Actual Apr Fin Time Time Order Fin Order
Alistair McG





Mike A





Cameron M





Colin Doig





Chris Hill















Mike Lamont

Tarawera Ultramarathon (15th March)

I’d really been looking forward to this one, it is meant to be a 100k ultra starting from Rotorua past the Tarawera Falls and through wonderful country.  We flew up to Auckland on the Friday and drove down to Rotorua, all the time very aware of the chaos that Cyclone Lusi had caused on it’s way towards New Zealand, forcast to hit the North Island on race day.  Events were being cancelled all over the country and unfortunately word got out late Friday that the course was to be shortened as the forrest owners were closing a large part of the route.  Initially we were told it would be 65k, so we found a craft ale pub to comiserate in and work out a rough plan of attack.

By the time we got to the race briefing before the start the next morning they said it would be 69k and it actually ended up at 73k with ~2600m climb, slightly more elevation than the original route!  Although it was a real shame not to do the full thing it maybe wasn’t too bad for me as I had a couple of nasty falls while running the Bedrock 50 three weeks before and was having a few issues with me right knee which had curtailed training somewhat.  The weather was cool but not cold (vest and shorts temp though at Carnethy that is probably _any_ weather) as we gathered before the start where we got a welcome from the local Iwi and a local girl with a banjo singing a song about the race – great atmosphere.  It was then all systems go! For about 1km! we then hit a bottleneck that took a few minutes to get past, think the old Carnethy 5 bridge + 2mins!

There were some amazing athletes in this event, having just been added to the Ultra-Trail World Tour.  With the modified course having an out and back element, the best bit being I would actually get to see these elite athletes in action rather then have to read about it and see some pictures.  I took an easy start in the back half of the field and moved at a steady pace for the first 10k, chatting to lots of like-minded folk as I was going and decided to up the pace a little as I thought I’d been a little too slow from the start.  It was quite satisfying that after that I moved up the field for the rest of the race (except for the odd relay runner who went past me).  All hail the power of rice pudding.  The terrain was pretty good running trail, not too technical (all of the really technical stuff was in the part of the route we were no longer doing) with a big climb and then never ending descent down to the end turning point at ~55k.  A nice touch is everyone’s first name is on their number, so you can encourage folk as they pass.  It says a lot that while I was clapping the leaders coming back past me (at some pace it has to be said) many of them said “thanks Andy” or “you’re running well Andy” as they passed.  Doubt you’d get many elite road runners doing the same!  A mega slog back up the hill involved a lot of walking, nice running once the main climb finally finished.

Lusi never really got going until the second half, and even then it was more the rain than wind which did make the final ascent and descent a bit slippy; the elites had finished by then!  I finished first Carnethy home in under nine hours to get handed a beer, find my wife and I still felt in good enough shape to sit in the spa (thermally heated from the ground directly beneath our motel) with a couple more beers and then walk to the pub. I am after all a highly tuned athlete.

Last year they had to alter the course due to fire risk as it had been so hot, this year that pesky cyclone hit it so maybe next time I’ll get to run the proper course :-) maybe I’ll see some of you over here for it. Results can be found here:

Andy Millard

Arrowsmith Highcountry Marathon (5th April)

The organisers for this one claim to give a “money back guarantee if you do not enjoy the views”.  The scenery around Arrowsmith station in south Canterbury is amazing, last year it was clear blue skies and stunning views, this year due to the mist it looked like the organisers claim could be put to the test.  A 5am start from Christchurch to drive down wasn’t the best,  the 17k of unsealed road in the mist to get to the Woolshed for registration was a fairly intense drive.  The cooler conditions were however great for running and as I’d already seen the views I was happy to take that.  I was even happier that only a small field had gathered for this event with none of the really speedy folk around (unlike at the Tarawera, more on that later).  We set off at an okay pace, around 4k of flat before the big climb of ~700 m over 8km. The climb was a mix of run with some walking, about 100m short of the highest point we popped out of the clouds for a great view over the Alps which we kept for around 4k along the ridge before dropping back in to the mists.  There were five of us in the leading group at that point (told you none of the fast folk were there) with the other four leaving me for dead on the decent, pulling out 1-2 mins. I decided to stick to a steady pace from then as I was treating this as part of my WHW training and wanted to be able to go for a longish run the next day, tempting though it was to chase the folk ahead.  Well that’s the story that I’m sticking to as it’s either that or I’m lazy. Or slow. Yep, I’ll keep with the training story.  Anyway, for the rest of the the run over trail, scree, water crossings etc. I did actually keep a pretty constant pace.  My pace was so constant that another two folk who made an affort eased past me over the last 10k!  The final 5k of this course look like they should be really easy as it is over flattish paddocks for a simple finish; as with last year I found this the worst part of the route though I was still moving at my constant trundle.
The race was won by Jono Dobbs in 3:43, I managed to squeak home a few seconds under the four hour mark, somehow getting the third old git placing.  For that I got some chocolate, the big result was winning a bottle of wine and a drybag in the sport prizes!  A great low-key event (at the briefing “no stations and you get get water from the streams, I’m pretty sure I mentioned this on the website…”) and a good target to beat next year as I won’t have the WHW training excuse then.  The results can be found here:
Andy Millard

Coast to Coast

Thought some might be interested in this.

This weekend I was down supporting a friend of mine attempt Wainwright’s C2C route. He’s borrowed a tracker from James at Open Adventure and his progress can be followed just like on the Spine race.
Saturday was one of those days you just had grind it out wind, drizzle & clag the whole day (careful with the navigation). Yesterday a little better.
Anyway he’s going well and making inroads into the last day which is his longest. At this rate he’ll be arriving sometime late tonight and under his 3 days target.
For folks doing the long stuff these trackers might add a new dimension.


Whisky Chaser 2014

IMG_3140A toast to Andy Millard on the very Wonderful Whisky Chaser. Well done to Oz once again for organising a splendid outing with a fine selection of interesting whiskies to taste.
Click photo to see full album.
Peter Buchanan’s blog here.

Oz’s Ramblings:

So…we got lucky!  The weather forecast on the gogglebox on Saturday morning looked decidedly dicey, so I was glad I’d been out in the clag the weekend before to recce a poor weather option; fewer summits and more hiding behind bits of wall and in copses, essentially.  But by the time Phil and I went out for the stashing run things looked pretty promising, and that’s how it stayed.

Read more…


Last night we took to the Whinny Hill for the Thursday night intervals club training session. Andy and Iain, our misty-eyed heroes returning from NI, led us for some short, sharp bursts of: 30s, 30s, 60s, 60s, 90s, 90s, 90s, 90s, 60s, 60s, 30s, 30s and then a final blast to the top of our wee section and a race pace descent. Now that the clocks have changed we are blessed with The Great Headtorch In The Sky, and now the recovery jogs to the base of the hill feels a little less precarious.

Jim H

Donard Challenge Weekend

Click image for gallery

Some great results with the Senior Men’s team coming in 1st and 2 runners in the top 4! Poor visibility wreaked havoc with runners: follow this link and click ‘Start’ to see some Carnethy runners’ attempts:

Individual Carnethy results:

2nd, Iain Whiteside, 1:05:35
4th, Andy Fallas, 1:06:01
20th, Michael Reid, 1:12:37
26th, Stewart Whitlie (1st V50), 1:14:06
32nd, Craig Mattocks, 1:17:37
37th, Alex McVey, 1:19:49
50th, James Waldie (2nd U23), 1:23:35
61st, Paul Faulkner, 1:27:07
72nd, Simon Titmuss, 1:29:16
105th, John Ryan 1:36:09

11th, Kate Jenkins, 1:34:31
15th, Helen Bonsor, 1:36:13

Read more to see some individual reports.

Read more…

Northern Ireland report

Click obscure icon in map window to open full screen…

Total distance: 10.32 km

This weekend saw the annual pilgrimage to the Mourne Mountains for the first of the British Fell Running Series. With previous travel arrangements falling through early in the week I was left with no option but to organise transport to Ireland for myself. I have learnt that this is not a good thing. Making early running for the wooden spoon I arrived at the airport to find I had booked flights to travel to Belfast on the Saturday evening rather than the Friday and therefore missing the race. The helpful people they are Easyjet agreed to transfer my flight for twice the price of the original return flight.
I will leave others to elaborate on their detours through the haar this weekend but suffice to say if the web gurus can sort some kind of overlay of gps tracks I don’t think there will be many parts that overlay with each other! I was passed by several people more than once as folk bounced around the summit in a desperate attempt to find a way back to Newcastle. I think I was relatively successful in navigation having learnt my lesson at the last British short counter in the Lakes when I managed to get spectacularly lost on a course where at all times you can see the start and finish…
Having got every to the start line, Iain led Carnethy home in a fantastic 2nd position. He was in the lead until the tarmac but thought he was well down the field so allowed Allan Bogle to pass him. Andy followed close behind in 4th, with Mike Reid (20th), Stewart Whitlie (26th & 1st V50). Craig was home soon after in 32nd to round out a winning team for Carnethy.
I was back not far behind (37th) followed by James Waldie (50th & 2nd U23), Paul Faulkner (61), Simon Titmuss (72), Kate (96), John Ryan (105) & Helen Bonsor (106).

Notable moments of the weekend. Charlotte and her magnetic gloves leaving her running in circles. Kate & Craig successfully booking 6 flights home due to a malfunctioning smart(?)phone.
I feel a collective nomination for the wooden spoon should be made for a highly successful weekend!

Alex McVey

Birnam Hill race

A rather small turnout from Carnethy for the Birnam Hill race (Gilmore family plus John Hammond). Everyone else seems to have been in Ireland. The top of Birnam was shrouded in cloud but conditions were quite good as the race started.

Unofficial results: Iain 5th, Andrew 6th (despite his shoe falling apart mid-race) and John 7th. Harry was only a few places behind that and I brought up the rear 57th out of 61 after running most of the race totally on my own (being thankful of a recent recce).


Carnethy and HBT merger completed


The President Leads The Way

The CHRC committee has announced that the negotiations to merge Edinburgh’s two greatest hill running clubs have been completed.

An HBT representative is quoted “The new FRA rules made a club whose main point of contact is a field quite unsustainable. We were told we had to list all obstacles that may be encountered on the way to the Meadows, such as the serious danger of club members becoming lost in the children’s playground. Since no-one in HBT has access to anything other than brown crayons, and the FRA require risk assessments to be completed on parchment in quill pen, we figured the game was up. For this reason HBT has chosen to join with CHRC where we can be looked after by people who know which end of a fountain pen is safe to chew.”

CHRC President Willie Gibson announced “Like a shepherd retrieving his lost brown sheep, we welcome HBT into the Carnethy fold. To show our love and general niceness we will be changing our club colours to make the arriving HBTs feel at home, and from now on we will cry ‘C-H-R-C-H-B-Teeees!’ at the start of every race.”

The barman in the Blue Blazer was unavailable for comment. The barman in KBU was just unavailable.

Deuchary Hill Canter

Yesterday’s final Highland Boundaries Series race was enshrouded in mist and skulduggery yesterday, seeing a large portion of the field gallop past a tampered junction marker in the first couple of miles. The final times came out a bit wonky with some runners having completed the correct course, some having missed a check-point but crashing on regardless (they were given a 10 minute “penalty” if they realised/admitted their mistake), and some making the enthusiasm-sapping trek back up the hill to the Rocking Stone. I personally added a mile and a half or so onto the official 12 miles. Spot the difference: my route here vs Official route here. Blog here

I was distracted by Adrian’s excellent soup, cake and tea, but I think the headline results were:

First Man: Ewan (??) in 1:25ish
Second Man: Callum Gilhooley

First Lady: Stephanie Provan
Second Lady: Hedwig Ponjee

Thanks to Adrian for his serene race organisation in the face of minimal marshal availability and for having everyone round to his gaff for refreshments!Full results to follow.


Lomonds of Fife Journey Run

And then there were Nine

Saturday’s journey run in the Lomonds turned out rather like an Agatha Christie murder mystery.  As ten of us set out from Craigmead car park the first mystery was, “Where the **** are we?” as the hills were enveloped in thick mist.  By the time we reached the foot of West Lomond, John decided that he didn’t want to hold up the rest of us so he went his own way on a shorter route.  And then there were Nine!  We scrambled to the top of West Lomond in ever thickening mist, at which point Julie said that she wasn’t going to see anything all day so she decided to go back down and explore Falkland instead.  And then there were Eight.

We came off the far side of the hill and after some anxious navigational moments found our way across the top of the Devil’s  Burdens and down into the deep valley of Glen Vale.  We paused to admire the impressive rocky outcrop of John Knox’s Pulpit before crossing the burn and starting the climb up Bishop Hill.  I had intended to go to the summit of the hill then drop down to the edge of the escarpment to see the rock pillar of Carlin Maggie but we somehow bypassed the summit then found it was too misty to see anything over the edge.  We continued over the hill to the edge of the forest then found a nice sheltered spot out of the wind and under the trees to stop for lunch.  We suffered slight sandwich sogginess from the mist that kept dripping off the trees.  After lunch we continued on lower level farm tracks and forest paths, past Holl Reservoir and on to Balgothrie.  We could see the dried-out remnants of Ballo Reservoir – who had mysteriously taken all the water?  Ben said that an old injury was beginning to niggle in his leg so he was going to take a short cut back to Craigmead; Patricia and Ina decided to go with him.  And then there were Five!

A little further on we had to run a short way down the Craigmead road.  We all made a solemn vow not to take a short cut and to carry on to the bitter end of the run.  After we turned down the road to West Conland Farm, Juliette and Martha stopped at the roadside ahead of us.  I thought that their resolve was beginning to weaken but they had spotted a sheep stranded on its back in the field.  I knew that the sheep would die soon if it wasn’t righted so Jim and I joined the ladies in a scramble over the barbed wire fence to effect a rescue mission.  Digby stayed behind to take a photo of the proceedings; adding another one to his collection of misty photos.  Once we had rolled the animal onto its side it struggled to its feet and waddled off to join the rest of the flock.  It was a very pregnant ewe so we had probably saved a couple of lambs as well.

We started to climb through forests towards East Lomond.  One bit was particularly tricky as we stumbled across rough ground and brashings trying to find a path that had been altered by forestry operations and storm damage.  We escaped from the forest by a delightful path which went up the hill to the car park.  The last climb of the day took us to the top of East Lomond from where we enjoyed 360 degree views of the summit grass.  And so back to Craigmead.  The highlight of the day, for some, was the trip back through Falkland and on to the excellent café at the Pillars of Hercules.  A good day out was had by all.

And then there was One; just me writing this report.  I would like to reassure my readers that no vowels have been harmed in the writing of this article.

Nigel Rose

lomonds-journey-14See all the photos in the photomap here.

Oh and it was 14 miles


Donard Challenge – BFRC 1st round

DSC_1184-1024x678Some great results filtering back from Northern Ireland. Iain Whiteside got second place, behind Allan Bogle from Derry. Andy Fallas was fourth, both of them ahead of running royalty like Robb Jebb. What was supposed to be a short, fast race was affected by thick mist with runners ending up all over the mountain. Results here and a report here. Hopefully there will be lots of reports when everyone gets home.

Photo of Iain from the NIMRA report.

W(hiteside’s) intervals

Another fine night for interval training. The days are fair stretching, so the start of the session is bathed in a bright evening glow, but after a couple of reps it’s most definitely dark. I’m looking forward to next week, which should be the first of the non-headtorch interval sessions.

Last night Iain’s “mystery guest” run leader was unavailable (possibly detained under police caution), but thankfully AndyF stepped-in to lead the session. It was an easier session on the crags, as Andy was preparing for the British Championship race at the weekend and didn’t want to ruin himself. 4x5min intervals, about 1min rest, forming neat loops near the Camstone Quarry.

Good luck to all the guys and gals making the journey to NI (and also to all those heading to Birnam)!

Jim H