- 22nd May 2013
Old County Tops Fell Race, Saturday 18th May
Last weekend I had a bash
at the Old County Tops race in the Lakes for the first time. It’s
an event for pairs organised by Achille Ratti Climbing Club, which
starts and finishes
at the New
Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Langdale. It nips between the summits of
Hellvelyn, Scafell Pike and Coniston Old Man, the highest peaks
in Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire (as existed before 1974).
Its about 37 miles and 10,000ft, if as the website says, you go
the right way.
I teamed up with Dark Peaker
Tony Heron, who like me hadn’t
much experience in racing more than about 24 miles. We fretted over
the route, how much food to take, what to wear etc. but it all worked
out fine. The weather wasn’t though – it rained almost
persistently for about 60% of the day. Thankfully it wasn’t
very windy, and the visibility was occasionally great, even in the
rain. Almost 100 teams started in cheery spirits, and by the top
of Hellvelyn, we found ourselves in 3rd place, with the leaders some
way ahead. It was eerie at Esk Hause, with rain pouring down, no
one in sight, and clear views in most directions. From Scafell Pike
we took a chance and tried the risky but most direct descent line
down Rough Crag, which took us over the spikiest boulder field I
think I’ve been on. After that, our legs started to moan, and
it was a relief to grab a cup of tea and butty from the marshals
at Cockley Beck. We didn’t mind an ounce when a team skipped
refreshments and passed us. On the out and back section to Coniston
Old Man we saw lots of teams behind us, all looking perky and fresh
compared to how we felt. But we kept a steady pace, and finished
with relief in 7h51, 4th overall and first vets, a mere 40 minutes
behind the winners (Ben Abdelnoor and Paul Tierney of Ambleside).
credit to the organisers and marshals for a super event, including
food and drink at the road crossings and finish. Particular thanks
to the marshals on Scafell and Coniston who must have been out for
- 22nd May 2013
Scottish Islands Peak Race - Report from Tim Darlow
thanks to all marshals and the organisers for committing so much time
into making a great race.
Before the weekend I’d never been in a sailing boat before. Come to think it,
I’d not run 68 miles in a weekend before either. Was I foolhardy to take on
the SIPR? Read on to find out…..
SIPR – A beginner’s perspective
Myself and Matt Davies teamed up with three
retired Edinburgh doctors –Chris
Oliver, Alan Wright, and Murray Carmichael - to enter in the ‘Cruising’ Class.
Although Matt was also a SIPR ‘virgin’, he does have plenty of ultra-running
experience and, as one Carnethy offered, was a good partner for me
as “at least he can navigate”. click here for full report
- 20th May 2013
Cateran Trail Ultramarathon – 18th
Photo-Phil, Graham and Olly enjoying a pint at the finish, proudly
celebrating both the race, and the colours of the Flag of Krasová.
The Cateran Trail Ultra is a wee gem of a race,
a super low-key and friendly 55 mile/8,000’ outing that perambulates
through the idyllic countryside of rural Perthshire. The scenery and
views are as beguiling and rapidly
changing as the clouds on a typical spring day, with valleys, hills,
woodland, farmland and rivers constantly interchanging to give your
eyes a real treat. Underfoot is a mixture of trails, open farmland,
some quiet back country roads (mostly in the first half) and open
moorland, leaving your mind free to wander and enjoy the full experience.
It was my first attempt at this race, and I was not feeling overly
optimistic after a recurrent calf injury limited me to a grand total
of just 45
miles of training so far this year, but it’s good to test yourself
and I was keen to see how far I could get.
Seventy-two people started, including Graham Nash and Phil Humphries
from Carnethy, and we set off from the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel in
high spirits with the wind behind us and a mixture of sunshine and
to give an almost perfect running temperature. Graham set a storming
pace from the very start and was so far ahead he wasn’t even
a spec on the horizon. Phil was going well and he graciously allowed
to run alongside him for a bit around mid-race before gently picking
up the pace, or perhaps more accurately not succumbing to my survival
At each of the five DIY aid stations, i.e. you supply your own drop-bags
which the organisers transport for you, we were met by the loveliest,
friendliest and most helpful marshals that have ever graced a race.
For the second half we were running into strengthening headwinds and
bands of rain, but somehow it didn’t seem to matter as each mile
brought us closer to the finish, and then a huge welcome from the other
finishers and supporters once we were finally back at the hotel.
The race was won by Donnie Campbell in an impressive 7:58, just 4 mins
off the record, with Graham finishing in 9:15 and 3rd place overall,
which is arguably the best Carnethy finish in an Ultra since Lucy Colquoun’s
numerous amazing achievements. Phil had a great run to finish in 10:18
and 9th place, whilst I shuffled home in 10:36 and 11th place. My legs
were rather pleased it was over, but my mind was (and still is) totally
buzzing from the experience. I predict great things for Graham and
Phil in their running plans for later this summer.
A very big thanks to race organiser Karen Donoghue and her team for
such a lovely race. It’s a real antidote to all the huge commercial
races out there, and long may it continue. Results
- 20th May 2013
Cairnpapple Hill Race
While the glamorous face of hill racing was turned
towards islands in the west, two Carnethies risked their hubcaps by venturing
less far westward to the Cairnpapple Hill race in Bathgate which forms
part of the West Lothian Highland Games. Sadly, the day was miserable
with torrential showers swamping the field so the massed piping competition
was rained off but hill racers are made of stronger stuff and a crowd
of about 30 of us stood miserably at the start waiting for the heavy
field events (large kilted men throwing a weight over a bar) to clear
the way. With a shout of "Go" midway through the race briefing,
there was a slightly confused start but we set off anyway, only for Mike
(Lynch) to aquaplane on his Hokas and fall within the first 50 metres.
The 'hill' race is in fact a fabulous tour of the backstreets of Bathgate
but they do eventually lead to a long drag on a main road up the shoulder
of the hill followed by about 500 metres on a track to (I presume, but
it was too misty to see) the summit where we went round an unfortunate
marshal who was impersonating a cairn in the lashing rain and then back
down the same way to the start. The crowd (one man and his dog who had
spilled out from the beer tent at the perfect moment) went wild as we
re-entered the field for a soggy flop across the line. It's far from
the most glamorous of races but it's on the calendar and with the absence
of any 'big names' (or even any medium ones) it's (relatively) good for
your SHR percentage and there's even a goody bag. For the first and only
time I was first Carnethy home with Mike managing to stay upright on
his platform shoes after his early tumble to come in shortly behind me.
Results to follow.
- 18th May 2013
SIPR - Arran
We are sitting in the pub with the rain lashing down outside. The wind is howling but bizzarely the leading boat is becalmed some 10 miles away being rowed. The tent is up but highly distressed from a Mull storm, the checkpoints are out, and we await. Though we hear that the Blue Chip Team may have decided to stick with the Jura Brunch and miss out the delights of Arran.
- 18th May 2013
Mild but overcast weather at sea level deteriorated
to a howling gale with driven rain and hail on the final rocky ascent
which threatened to blow us off the mountain. Finlay Wild was 1st man
in a near record time around 1:15 with Andy Fallas 2nd. The ladies Carnethy
clean sweep with Charlotte Morgan 1st, Jill Mykura 2nd and Helen Bonsor
4th should have secured the team prize, but there wasn't one. There was
for the men however - Andy, Stuart Whitlie (also 1st V50) and Paul Faulkner.
Jacqui Higginbottom was 3rd LV40, (Shona
Robertson 1st LV40, Veronique Oldham 2nd). Joan Wilson was 1st LV50
- and is currently leading the LV50 Scottish Championship catagory.
Less blood around this year, though Charlotte was looking a bit gap
toothed with a crown fallen off and Euan Mackinnon delivered a straight
fingered blow to the hillside and dislocated it.
Gebbie's Photo Album
- 18th May 2013
After a wonderful day putting out the
checkpoints on Jura on friday, rain came in overnight as did the wind.
first few teams had to contend with horrendous wind and rain on The Paps.
Hesling and Matt Sulivan (Shettleston) were out in the worst of it and
are now drinking beer in The Jura Hotel waiting for a weather window.
Jura Brunch is not to be missed and should be made a compulsory part
of the race" says the Blue Chip Team.
- 18th May 2013
Four Carnethies (Konrad Rawlik, Alex McVey, John Ryan
and Mike Lynch) ran the Gypsy Glen Hill Race in Peebles on Wednesday
night in wet and windy
conditions. The 8.2k/306m route started at the Gytes and ran across the
River Tweed into Victoria Park, through Kings Meadows, into some woods
at Hogbridge Covert and up into the hills. A couple of false summits,
including Craig Hill followed then the looped descent, which was fast
back to the finish at Victoria Park. We had four seasons within the course
of the race, but mostly it was Winter.
A runner from Edinburgh University
looking barely old enough to tie his shoelaces set a storming pace at
the head of the field and was never
caught, and came within a few seconds of Al Anthony's 2009 record,
which was good
going considering the conditions.Results to follow.
- 16th May 2013
Dreghorn Handicap - Sun,
Rain, Hail and Rainbows
Gordon's Recce as the benchmark and the fact that he took a few interesting
diversions on the way, the predicted handicaps for this new route were
about 118% of the actual.
This favoured the slower runners so there was not a lot of overtaking,
and also following wasn't that easy, unless you chose to follow Michael
He managed to add Swanston to the route and also lead a few others
The route was well liked by the 41 runners and the race was won
by David Harrington with Philippa Ivison and Kate Bebb joint second.
Fallas was the fastest runner in 41:59.
Thanks to Graham Nash and Bob
Johnson for organising
More photos here
- 16th May 2013
Ben Lomond Hill race
With other races on at the weekend, there seemed
a smaller than usual Carnethy turnout at the annual Ben Lomond Hill Race.
Excellantly organised by Chris
Upson and Westerlands, the race was slightly shorter than previous years
as Stirling Council prevented use of the road alongside the hotel. Instead,
the race was completely off road starting and finishing just above the
car park. The race was won by Douglas Tullie in 1:08:29 over three minutes
of Shettleston's Kenny Richmond in 2nd. Diane Baum of Lochaber was 1st
lady in 1:28:54. Carnethy were amongst the prizes too with wins for Joan
(F50) and Andrew Gilmore (U23). Andrew and his brother Iain were joined
by John Hammond to win Carnethy the male team prize to. (Great to see
Carnethy winning the team prize at both SHR races on the same day - Ben
The other runners from the club were Tim Darlow, Colin Wilson, Adam Anderson,
Bruce Smith, Ally Robertson and me.
The rocky route is infamous for scrapes and bumps and there were a few
wounded among the runners returning to Rowardennan. Carnethy runners
fit and healthy with the only casaulty being Ally Robertson's bum-bag
missing in action somewhere on the slopes of the hill!......
- 12th May 2013
Sunday Road Bike Outing
A small bunch foregathered at Kings Buildings
at the allotted time, including Treasurer Paul who had been to visit
his sister. What a fascinating discourse, you must be thinking. Except
it transpired he went there and back by bike. And his sister lives
in Brighton. And he did some sightseeing on the way, making it 1200
miles in a couple of weeks.
So we left, reminding ourselves that this was the gentler of the two monthly
rides. Which it was, with Paul hiding his tiger in captivity urge to blast
on ahead quite well. We did just over 35 miles - route here .
Apologies to Ben and Nigel for a route choice with no cafe. Next outing will
be the end of the month visit
to the house of pain on May 26th.
- 12th May 2013
Glas Tulaichean Uphill - Sat 11th May
Saturday was a real unknown. It had been 51
I raced last, over 2 months since I had run with anyone
else, and having only started training again in Jan
this year after pretty much taking 2012 off I had no
idea what to expect ...
Arriving on Friday evening gave the opportunity to
recce the course between rain showers. First observation
was that with three river crossings the feet were guaranteed
a soaking so I made the decision to race without socks
thereby not having to lug the extra wet-sock weight
up the hill where it mattered most, the ends of the
legs. It all sounds a bit Sky Procycling Aggregation
of Marginal Gains™ but I reckon it made
enough of a difference to warrant all of the wee cuts
from stones I'm now dealing with on my feet.
3 months of flogging an unwilling body and mind round
the running track paid off and I was able to keep up
with the lead group (if you discount Robbie Simpson
who launched off ahead - a man in a league of
his own) on the flatish run out up the glen.
Then it was into diesel mode for the climb which kicked
in without mercy. After some tussles and changing
of positions with the group of 6 (I think it was 6
anyway) I was able to put in a couple of digs to get
clear into second and kept the pace high to try and
distance the others.
There was no distancing Hector Haines though who came
through and after a few ding dongs I could only hang
on behind him along the flat section before the final
climb. The steep dig to the summit was brutal
and I was plumbing the depths of my physical capabilities
to hang on.
Third place just behind Hector was more than I could
ever have expected. The Boat Race then Keswick over
the next two weekends, racing psyche is back!!
Awesome runs from Paul and Andy won Carnethy the team
prize - great result.
Many thanks to Dave from Dundee Hawkhill Harriers and
all the Marshals for putting on the event.
Allan Gebbie's album here and
- 11th May 2013
Journey run from Lamington
Eleven runners and two
dogs assembled at the car park by Lamington
Kirk for the run. The weather forecast was
horrible - heavy showers all day - but a
search on the Internet had found a better
forecast, light rain earlier then drying
up, so we took that one instead... read
& how the day should have looked.
- 10th May 2013
Dumyat - Wed 8th May
After the misery that was Stuc a' Chroin at the
weekend, I felt something fast and enjoyable was in order, and thankfully
was the next event on the calendar. Dumyat is one of the bog and
it also doubles as the Scottish Universities Hill Race Championship,
so there was a heavy attendance by the bright young things of Scotland,
looking unfeasibly youthful, cheerful and positive. Excellent.
some balance to the field, 13 world-weary Carnethies also made the
Stirling Uni for the race. This being the term-time home turf of
the young Gilmores, they appeared at the start looking fresh, possibly
cleaning and hiding “stuff” in their student digs before
their dad came round. Harry looked cheerful so I guess the brothers
good job. The starting gun caught everyone by surprise and I found
the back at an early stage being passed by various kids in onesies
and fancy dress. The first section along the road was a lung-busting
but I managed to make up some ground on the ascent through the woods
and onto a pleasant climb in fine weather to the summit. It wasn’t
long before the fast uni lads came hurtling by - personally I was
see that it wasn’t some Glasgow Uni lads leading the charge. Ah
well. Andrew was the first Carnethy vest running back down, then (not
of the order), Graham, Bruce, Ian and then Harry. I stumbled round
hoping that I could catch Harry on the descent. I managed two spectacular
faceplants in the bog at the fence crossing, much to the amusement
of everyone nearby, before getting my act together and caught Harry
woods. The tricky descent through the trees and roots helped spread-out
the bustle of people forming behind me, and I managed to get a good
sprint going on the road back.
From the results, it looks like Iain
Whiteside was there too running for Edinburgh Uni, producing a fantastic
Andrew was the first Carnethy vest over the line in an amazing 7th,
was the first female Carnethy in 88th (I think).
- 9th May 2013
Seven Skies Voyage
Ever wondered what would happen if the Seven
Hills route hooked up with the Pentland Skyline,
and made a baby? No? Well Matt and I decided
to take a day getting to know this ungainly love-child.
And what a day it was: 37 miles of soul-warming
(and sole-warming!) glorious sunshine from Calton
Hill to the Drove Road and back again (nearly).
Blow by blow account here: http://athousandwindsthatblow.blogspot.co.uk/
Route Map: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/309355247
- 9th May 2013
Wed Training - 8th May
No fast group today. We
headed off to explore the Edmonstone policies
and the Drum Estate, but were nearly foiled
by the new road being built to the rear of
the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Local knowledge
in the form of Heather was roundly ignored
and we threaded a long and devious route trying
to find a way around the high fencing ending
up going past the Jack Kane centre, which
would not look out of place as a fortress
in a war zone (which I suppose it is really),
and eventually back onto track and over the
hill to the Drum, looking lush in the evening
sunshine. Through Gilmerton via Ellen's Glen
and back to KB where the bar had decided to
close unsociably at 9pm.
A very respectable 9.33 miles.
- 7th May 2013
Arthur's Seat Monday
Lunchtime Handicap - 6th May
Great turnout for a
bank holiday, with great weather and conditions
too. Only problem was dodging all the tourists
on the paths.
Good times, with most of us beating our handicaps.
Tom romped home as the official winner, over 4 mins
under his handicap.
Eddie beat Tom to the finish line, but that was because
he started a couple of minutes early, by mistake. Never
the less, a good run clinches second place for him.
Close call for Rab who managed to trip and head-butt
the bank of the burn, below Haggis Knowe. Going to
have a few bruises, by the look of it, but survived
to tell the tale. Results
- 6th May 2013
Great Lakeland 3 Day
For the May bank holiday weekend I headed down to
the Lake District for the Great Lakeland 3 Day. The long range forecast
had been for good
weather but as I drove south the rain was torrential and the sunshine
was to make
only the briefest of appearances over the weekend.
This year the event
was based at Dowthwaitehead. Day 1 started with a long stint over
to Birkhouse Moor, climbing into the dense cloud and
then a nice scramble along Striding Edge and onto Helvellyn. From
there the route descended to Grisdale Tarn and then a steep climb
The next leg was a fantastic long run along the ridge south to Rydal
and then onwards to Helm Crag. On the climb the sun came out and I
ran out of water so the next few hours are a bit of a blur as I was
totally dehydrated and ended up on top of a hill that I didn't need
The last 5 miles were on agonising rocky trails and road to the overnight
camp where I was greeted with beer and cake. After 28 miles and over
9 hours I was on 3rd place on the A class, only a handful of minutes
behind 2nd but over 2 hours behind 1st place!
The weather was appalling
on day 2 making the navigation from Green
Gable to Robinsons Cairn difficult and time
consuming. Combined with a badly bruised
foot I was losing a lot of time and in danger
of timing out so I bailed onto the B course.
A lovely run up and down the valley
from Buttermere to Derwentwater then a very
hobbly run through the forest brought the
day to an end.
Having blown my chances of placing
on the A course I ran the B course for the final day. A boggy run
over the mist covered moors started the
day off. My legs were feeling surprisingly fresh but my feet were
still giving me big problems on the descents. So the climb back up
actually came as a relief after the steep descent down Mosshause Gill.
From there it was another long ridge run through the thick clag to
Great Dodd and a long boggy descent to the finish line where the sun
came out as I sat and ate at the end of the race, a great end to the
- 4th May 2013
Stuc a'Chroin 5000 - 39 Carnethy Runners
photos on flickr (courtesy of Allan Gebbie)
|The Prize Winners |
was my 3rd Stuc a'Chroin Race, back
after a 10 year absence. My excuse
of "It is too close to the Scottish
Islands Peaks Race" was not valid
this year so it had to be done.
Leaving Roslin with Joel Sylvester and Helen Wise we
knew that the weather was likely to be iffy, but the
views of the hills was spectacular as we headed up
the M9. I was hopeful!
After arriving at Strathyre and registering in fair
conditions, a cup of coffee took enough tinme for the
weather to turn. After hiding in the car to change
into race gear we headed to the start. Already sporting
my new Carnethy cap, I added my old faithful Carnethy
pertex to the full body cover I was carrying at the
last minute (and what a good move that was).
There were masses of Carnethies milling arounng in
the mizzle at the start and after a countdown we were
I had forgotten how long the track up was and also
forgotten how far we cut back along the ridge before
the well remembered descent in and climb out of Glen
Ample. The very steep single track queue up out of
the Glen was also well remembered but not the undulating
ridge, which seemed to go on for ever.
I passed the descent path just in time to see the first
runners heading down. Andy Fallas was lying 3rd and
lots of other Carnethies were not far off the pace
and Charlotte was the first lady on the way back down.
The wind was strong as I donned the pertex for the
climb to the summit and tried hard to catch Joan Wilson
who skipped past me on one of the slippier descents,
I saw her for the lst time as she passed the summit..
The summit turn was welcome but running back into the
wind over slippy rocks was fraught. I ran past a pile
of water bottles abandoned on the hill and saw Marshals
escorting someone down to shelter. It transpired that
this was a female runner suffering from hypothermia,
Keith Burns had noticed and gave up his race to help
(After a helecopter had failed to reach her, she was
escorted off the hill to safety).
The slippy traverse descent back into Glen Ample was
fun as was the climb back out. Then there was the interminable
track to the finish field.
A great adventure as ever I was only 40 minutes slower
than 10 years ago in 3:35:18.
Andy Fallas was first Carnethy home in third place
and with Stewart Whitlie (7th), Andrew Gilmore (9th)
and Paul Faulkner (10th) making up the winning team.
Charlotte Morgan was first Lady and Jacqui Higginbottom
was first FV40.
There were masses of very cheerful marshals all over
the hill offering water and food. Many Thanks to all
- 4th May 2013
Saturday Junior Run
A smaller elite crew
of Junior Carnethies hit the hills today from
a slightly different venue (St Margaret's
Loch) partly for a change of scenery and partly
in search of fewer stinging nettles. The hardcore were Ellie,
Fiona, Johnny, Katy, Rosie, Ronnie & Solly.
In addition to the usual games a couple of new ones
were trialled. One, dubiously named "Ring
Worms" seemed to work pretty well for the winning
team who greatly enjoyed it. Not so for the losers
who were puzzled by the complexities of breaking and
rejoining hands and at times having to run backwards. One
member of the disgruntled team (Bertie the dog) found
the game hilarious!
The final game, an unnamed variation of tussock tig,
involved the elite Juniors Carnethies running after
sweetie laden adults whilst avoiding being tigged.
Comments and suggestions encouraged from all (eg location,
games, sweeties, terrain, use of water, age groups,
- 3rd May 2013
Highlander Mountain Marathon
Saturday & Sunday
The Highlander Mountain Marathon was this year around
Creag Meagaidh and the hills north of Laggan. With
snowy conditions persisting, the scenery was all the
more dramatic and at times quite serious looking. Sometimes
the snow allowed fast firm running, and of course other
times it swallowed limbs without warning.The weather
on the Friday evening whilst driving up to the registration
in Newtonmore was totally grim, and a layer of fresh
snow fell. But the skies were gentle on the Saturday,
quite reasonable for the overnight camp, and only a
bit grizzly on the Sunday. The marquee at the Garve
Bridge camp was as cosy and lively as expected - hot
food for everyone, and lots of enthusiasm for the beer
and ceilidh dancing.
There were several Carnethies running in teams across
the five different courses. Steven Fallon and I made
it around the A route and managed to finish third overall.
We had a keen start, and I struggled keep sight of
Steven’s speedy footwork on the rough traverses
and boulder fields . We wilted after a few hours, and
started to feel the weight of our sacs. We could choose
how to do the latter checkpoints and opted for the
order giving a shorter route but more height change.
The final snowy climb beside a waterfall looked truly
intimidating from a distance, and made us wonder if
we’d need axes to get up. But sure enough grabbing
handfuls of slushy mud sufficed. A mixture of fatigue
and carelessness then led me to take us way off route
which squandered bags of time, but we sped down to
the finish otherwise content. Day 2 had a reverse chasing
start, and we were steady all day. I’ll remember
it for the fantastic scenery around the gorge at the
top of Glen Markie. The finish in Laggan village soon
enough, and the hot food an blether there completed
a great weekend.
Handsonevents laid on a small (relative to the the
LAMM & OMM) but perfectly formed event, which must
have been a challenge with the changing snow conditions.
Despite the early season timing its a great event to
try, with comforts at the overnight camp and interesting
routes that offer wild highland running.
Some great photos at:
Helen and Heather's Report
4 Carnethy teams were out and about around Loch Laggan
for the 2013 Highlander, featuring a number of route adjustments to take
into account lingering snow on
some of the hills. However, there were beautiful conditions for day 1, with
bright sunshine marking the start from Aberarder and an overnight camp at Garva
There was amazing running on fresh snow (many of the score competitors commented
on how easy it was to follow footprints in the snow to the controls!) and
across moorland. Following the Ceilidh and the beer, day 2 took competitors
the Monadhliath region – this apparently means Grey Mountains in Gaelic
and they were well named, with slightly damper, mistier and windier conditions.
However, there was sunshine for the finish in Gergask. The A-class winners
were Jim Mann and Shane Ohly in 9h8m24s.
Of the Carnethies,
Jon Ashcroft and Steve Fallon were 3rd overall/1st vets in the A-class, John
Ryan and Andrew Bell were 5th overall/3rd mens team in the C-class (despite
hideous blisters), Maggi Creber and Jess Knapworth were 17th overall /2nd
in the C-class and Heather Munro and Helen Wise were 19th overall/4th ladies
team in the D-class.
- 2nd May 2013
May Day Wed Training
It being a lovely evening
(and how long have we been waiting for that?),
and Willy being away, I badgered and pestered
until we had a consensus on Caerketton. Since
I wouldn't be able to lead from a long way
behind, Oz stepped, nay skipped to the front
and took us through the Hermitage, up the
Braidburn park and via Swanston to the foot
of the hill where we finally managed to shoo
away the 'fast' group who were showing little
inclination to live up to their name. Given
3 options of difficulty we chose to go up
by the screes and were amply rewarded by the
view, and a discussion on terminally obsessive
categories of Scottish hill bagging. We returned
via Mortonhall and happily the bar was still
serving. A good long run.
- 30th April 2013
April Road Bike Outing
At last... acceptable
cycling conditions coincided with a Sunday.
A small but perfectly formed bunch set off
chewing over the route choices. Should we
head South and West and get blown home, but
also wet, or stay dry in East Lothian but
do battle with a 20mph westerly wind gusting
40 for the home leg? Decisions were avoided
until going south from Tranent when democracy
came to play and we headed East. Sorry Phil - that meant you repeated
almost the same route as the last time you joined us... honest,
we have some imagination!
Anyway, 60 miles into East Lothian and back. Cafe stop here,
The average speed was over 18mph until we hit urban
traffic in Musselburgh whereupon the race was neutralised.
Next outing is the more civilised 2nd Sunday of the
month excursion on 12th May. Updates nearer
the time but it should feature quiet roads, a speed
that might facilitate conversation and the possibility
- 29th April 2013
Balmoral 15 mile Trail Race
sets new record and continues form in 2013, winning
the Balmoral 15 mile trail race with a great
run in 1.37, and finishing 8th overall from a
field of 300. Iain Whiteside
also had a great run to finish 2nd in 1.30,
1 minute behind Robbie Simpson, who won the
race in 1:29. Full results and report here: http://www.runbalmoral.com/news/detail.aspx?q=133
- 29th April 2013
Stuc a Chroin recce
An early reccy of the
Stuc a Chroin snowfields yesterday shows no problems
on the climbs and some useful glissading on the
descents - provided it stays cold but not icy
between now and the race.
- 29th April 2013
Lomonds Junior Hill Race
I ran the Lomonds Junior Hill Race in
Fife, East Lomond. The race was tough,
at one point I was on my hands and knees
climbing on an almost vertical slope.
On the way down I lost one place but
at the end in the last 10m I sprinted
like mad and I stole the place back.
At the end everyone got a bar of chocolate
and a box juice. It was a lot of fun.
I ran the Lomonds Junior Hill
Race 2013. It was up East Lomond Hill. There
were about 20 children at the start. The man
said ready steady Go and all the children
raced off. We had to jump over a ditch. Then
it very hard because we went through heather.
It was very windy when we got to the top and
I held daddy very tight. I ran down the hill
my fastest but the wind was blowing us even faster.
I said to my daddy that it was too fast. I sprinted
down to the finish and at the end of the race
I got a chocolate bar.
Rachael Nash age 7
- 28th April
Carnethy women dominate at Three Peaks Race
A massive field
of 672 finished the classic Yorkshire Three
Peaks Race and Carnethy easily won the women's
team prize with Jasmin Paris once again proving
her strength at the long races by taking
1st place, followed by Helen Bonsor in 3rd
and Jill Mykura 4th. Meanwhile Andy Fallas
had a storming run to easily be the fastest
Carnethy ever at the race in a very fast
3hrs03mins, one place behind Rob Jebb.
1st Joe Symonds
Salomon International Team, 02:54:39
2nd Carl Bell Keswick AC, 02:59:44
3rd Karl Gray Calder Valley Fell Runners
4th Robert Jebb Bingley Harriers & AC,
5th Andrew Fallas,
42nd Jasmin Paris, 03:33:04 (1st F)
57th Helen Bonsor, 03:39:07 (3rd F)
82nd Jill Mykura, 03:46:20 (4th F)
262nd Matthew Grove, 04:16:25
lots of other
- 28th April 2013
Hoka Highland Fling
Race - Sat 27th - Carnethy win Team Trophy
This race follows
the southern ‘half’ of the West
Highland Way for 53 miles, from Milngavie
to Tyndrum. Now in its 8th year there were
over 600 entries, with about 500 due to toe
the start line ~ similar in scale to Carnethy
5 race. “Unknown, new on the scene” runner
Lee Kemp set a fine new course record
in 7:03, with second placed Ricky Lightfoot
also inside the previous record @ 7:09. Carnethy
took home the men’s team prize (Gregor
Heron, Graham Nash and Phil Humphries), and
Murdo McEwan 2nd placed in the MV60 category.
416 runnesr finished the full distance within
the 15 hours time limit. Carnethies, with
times and finish positions: Gregor Heron
(23rd 9:00) Graham Nash (35th 9:20)
Phil Humphries (69th 9:58) Murdo McEwan
(90th 10:20) Ally Robertson (147th 10:58)
Paul Nash (160th 11:06) Nick Smith (173rd
11:17) Mike Lynch (210th 11:48) Ali Black
(243rd 12:10) Michael Nowicki (376 14:03).
A long and invigorating day ~ fantastically
well organised throughout.
- 27th April 2013
Hunters Bog Trot Race
A balmy 10C and bright
sunshine (occasional hail showers aside)
at Salisbury Crags greeted those Carnethies
not tempted away by the longer events
on this weekend.
After a masterfully concise pre-race briefing,
warning of the presence of gravity on the
course, we set off for a deceptively runable
first km through Hunter’s Bog. The
course then swung steeply up and over the
top of the Crags for what I’ve got
to assume was a fantastic view for those
not concentrating on keeping their lungs
inside their chest. Well worth it for the
sweeping descent back to the start for the
finish of lap one.
The climb up the north side of the radical
road for the longer second
lap passed through a particularly thick
patch of gravity. Another blast up the Crags,
fast descent back down to St Margaret’s
Loch (leaping the water hazard) and it was
My watch put the distance about
170m longer and 40m steeper than the 6.5km/240m
advertised, but then I did take brief detour
to search for buried acorns (not really sure
what came over me there).
to HBT for setting up a well marked and
Gilmore was first Carnethy home.
- 25th April 2013
Run - Wed 24th
As Andy and Graham
were otherwise engaged, I took the faster
group for a wee holiday from Andy’s usual
punishing pace. Things didn’t look too promising
in the first mile, the 9 that started had
been reduced to 8 with Euan Innes apparently
going feral in the Hermitage woods. Some
discussion about what to do followed and
we all agreed that he would probably survive,
perhaps the native animals will find him
and rear him as their own, so we trotted
on. The route took us over Blackford, and
Braids, then round Mortonhall, back over
the braids to the Blackford aręte where we
met the others, Blackford summit again and
then a sprint back to KB for a refreshing
and well deserved pint. A few wrong turns
on the way, but who cares. About 9.5 miles,
I reckon that’s enough, all in glorious dry
weather. Thankfully Euan survived, and can
now speak fluent 'squirrel'.
- 21st April
on London Marathon
A good number of Carnethies travelled to the "Laugh
n a Joke" (that's "smoke" apparently)
(which in turn is "London" apparently)
for the marathon at the weekend. For those of
you who sensibly stick to the lush green hills
this is a gruelling 26 miles and 385 yards on
pan-flat tarmac. To be fair there were 6 nasty
little hills soon after the green start but only
locals see them as hills (we call them speed
bumps up here). The aforementioned "hills" were
marshalled though and the you could hear a
shout of "HUMP" as
you ran by. I was severely tempted by this
offer from one such lovely female marshal but
thought that my time would suffer so I continued
The winner of the men's race was Tsegaye KEBEDE (ETH)
in a time of 2:06:04 with Brits Derek Hawkins (2:16:50
for 13th) and Phil Wicks (2:19:07 for
15th) less than 15 minutes off the pace.
It's interesting (for me at least) to note
that the fastest male Brit is still Steve Jones
(Wales) in a time of
2:07:13 while Charlie Spedding's 2:08:33
is the fastest English time and Allister Hutton
the fastest Scott in 2:09:16. These three were
first, second and third in the 1985 London
Marathon - ah the good old days.
The winner of the women's race was Priscah JEPTOO (KEN)
in a time of 2:2015 with Susan Partridge in 9th (2:30:46)
and Amy Whitehead in 13th (2:34:14).
The fastest woman's time is Paula Radcliff
in 2:15:24 set in London in 2003.
Not sure about the fastest female Scott
- perhaps somebody will read this and update
Friends and relations of Carnethy have now been added
to the list of "related" finish
times below. Plan to add photographs soon
but, for the time-being, please be content with my
finishers certificate rubbing in the fact that I was
59 seconds TOO SLOW the good-for-age time
Grant Ramsay 2:40:51 (son of a certain Charlie) Craig
Mattocks 2:51:27 Bob Johnson 3:15:59 (Grandad to a
certain Harry) Kate Jenkins 3:26:49 Joanne Anderson
3:45:13 Rosie Allister 3:47:09 Sally Cross 4:00:25
Michael Nowicki 4:48:33
Bob Johnson and Larry
London Marathon postscipt
courtesy Ian Jackson...
All 3 Carnethy women
in the race did Good For Age. Sally's GFA
is 4.15.00 and Joanne and Rosie is 3.50.
(at least that was 2013 GFA)
Fastest female scottish marathoner is of
course Liz McColgan 2h 26m 52s in London
Fastest scots in this years race: Susan Partridge
was first Brit in 9th and she was born
in Oban and represents Scotland although
runs for an English club (Leeds). Hayley
Haining was first woman in the mass race
in 2.36.52 and she runs for Kilbarchan.
was first scottish based and local runner:
9th in the mass race in 2.26.02 and he runs
for Edinburgh University.
- 20th April 2013
Ben More Hill Race
a windy day with clouds on the tops the
Ben More Race was won by Tom Smith of Lochaber
in 1:04:11 and Alan Smith (Deesider)was
2nd in 1:06:00 and Manny Gorman (Westies)
was third in 1:099:21. Alex McVey was 4th
and 1st Carnethy in 1:11:57. 1st Lady
Mowbrey of HBT in 1:18:08.
from Bob Waterhouse and Manny Gorman
- 17th April
Club Handicap Series
- No 1 Boghall
The weather was surprisingly
poor for the first handicap of the season.
The wind was blowing very hard but at least
the rain stayed away until the return of
the last of the runners.
Carnethies set off from the busy Boghall
carpark and headed off into the headwind
on the way up Allermuir. Some frisky cattle
added to the excitement of the initial climb
and the very boggy ground made the going
The stile at Allermuir summit was causing
some consternation as the wind pinned runners
to the fence, running downhill into the gale
was interesting and the wide route outside
the fence was unusually a little faster due
to the protection afforded by the dry stane
boggy descent from Allermuir Crossing to
the army metal plate was technical, slippy
and great fun and the following breeze aided
the Castlelaw Climb.
The newly laid road on the run off Castlelaw
added a new 5 foot cliff to the descent and
the run down from the broken sinks was improved
by last years heather burning. Todays
lunchtime reccie of the new fence (and the
covering up of a couple of stretches of barbed
wire with tubing), helped those that knew
floating grass swamp caught a few out on
the way back up to the track, but most people
finished in very good spirits.
Bruce McAdam decided to do his own route
causing a worrying 15 minutes for those awaiting
his return (map of his route coming soon),
and Mary Lye led her sons Nursery teacher
on her first hill run to come in last equal
as the darkness was falling.
was won by Gio Macdonald in a runtime of
60:25, with Joel Sylvester showing very good
form 2nd in 50:28 (3 minutes faster than
last year), new member David Williams was
3rd in 52:22.
Many Thanks to Bob Johnson and Andy Spenceley
for doing the timing and food booking and
Gordon Cameron for sorting out the results.
- 15th April 2013
Alternative John Muir
The dominant features
of this year’s
AJMW were toads, very strong wind,
sunshine, spring warmth, sand and soil blasting. The
Aberlady toads were at the peak of a biblical
mating frenzy and we were warned by the reserve
warden to avoid treading on them. The
long awaited spring warmth arrived on a violent
southerly mistral that gave us a sand blasting
on the dried out low tide beaches, and a
soil blasting off the dried out fields bereft
of spring planting and unprotected due to
destruction of hedgerows by stealth. After
brief early morning showers we enjoyed continuous
sunshine. Gio was the only volunteer
to test the Ravensheugh sea temperature by
brief immersion at 5C. As usual the 23 strong
gang fragmented into faster, medium, slow
and slower groups regrouping at random. The
new extended Tyne footpath upstream of Hailes
Castle was a big improvement to the return
route. The hardy all-the-way runners
gave the bikers strong competition along
the Garleton Hills ridge into a screaming
headwind. The Hopetoun tower groaned like
a giant organ pipe up the spiral staircase
to summit platform. Here the wind strength
was earache inducing. A
fast downwind descent from Garleton summit
back to Aberlady Bay rounded off an exhausting
but rewarding day.
The cast (variously doing part, all, by bike, on
foot etc): Craig Mattocks, Dave Peck, David
Williams, Eric Brown, Bill Gauld, Gio MacDonald,
Graham Nash, Mark Hartree, Helen Wise, John Littlewood,
Jonathan Whitehead, Karen Meikle, Senga Plain, Aurore,
Kate Jenkins, Keith Burns, Patricia McMaster, Richard
Lathe, Rod Dalitz, Tim Doyle, Peter Buchanan, Roddie
McCrae, Matthew Jones and John Blair-Fish..
Great thanks to helpers Dave P and Patricia (drivers),
Bärbel (lunch), all those donating food, Carnethy
HR (van hire and food). Peter
- 15th April 2013
It was in the balance
till Friday night as to whether I could
do this. However, another year, another course
variant. The event seems to do well with the
weather and it was definitely spring like, with
double figure temps and little wind. After making
our way via some still snow filled bridle ways
to Stoodley Pike we pretty much reversed a lot
of the Howarth Hobble route to Heptonstall before
cutting off near the end to come back via Erringdon
Moor & Lumbutts.
After a reasonably good first half I slowed
a bit on the back third with lower leg fatigue.
But it was a good run out and I managed
to get back before the afternoon showers arrived
in around 6:45.
- 15th April 2013
Rock n Roll Half Marathon
Edinburgh's second Rock
n Roll Half Marathon was a very blustery affair!
Lots of wind and rain at the start and for most
of the race, made for a challenging run. Long
queues for bags at the end (this photo of foil-wrapped
runners was from half way through the queue).
Otherwise a great race with super support from
the marshals and here's a photo of one of them
- 13th April 2013
Silent Valley Fell Race
- British Championship Counter
Carnethy Ladies are first team with Jasmin
Paris 2nd, Charlotte Morgan, 3rd and Helen
Bonsor 4th. The Ladies race was won by Helen
Fines in 2:01.
Stewart Whitlie was first Carnethy home in
19th place (Paul Faulkner and Andy Fallas
were next Carnethies in having done a bit
of extra running).
The race was won by Gavin Bland in 1:43 with
Finlay Wild 2nd and Rob Jebb 3rd.
There is a report on the NIMRA
Website and Results
I have cribbed this photo from the nimra
website as it seems
to demonstrate my cautious running style over
mud, boulders and banks of
snow which meant I finished near the back
of the field though I was 6th
vet 60 in a British championship race. The
course was revised and well
marked to avoid some of the more difficult
snow and ice. It rained heavily in my last
hour of running but the front of the finished
before the rain.
- 11th April 2013
Wed training - Arthur's
Social group: we finally
found a more sensible way out of Castlebrae
High School sqeezing through railings instead
of a near impossible scrape under the gates.
Though it poses the question of how on earth
the railings were bent out of shape in the
first place given that the push came from
the side away from the road. Other imponderables
included the vexed question of whether you
couldn't see running downhill because the
tears are bounced out of your eyes or whether
they are caused
by the sudden wind, and whether Ibuprofen
gel was more effective applied locally or
From the top there was
another attempt to settle the fastest way
off - over Nether Hill and down the steps,
or down to the right and contouring round
on the fast track. The former won, but as
they didn't go over the Nether top, it doesn't
The tricky gate into Pollock Halls provided
the usual amusement and then to KB where
the major disappointment of the night came
as they were about to close, early, and only
those foregoing a shower managed to get a
Fast group: Well semi-fast, as Andy is competing
in the British Champs in NI at the weekend
and wanted to go easy. Anyway I haven't
heard anything from them so either Andy
is travelling, or they are still on Arthur's
- 10th April 2013
Four Carnethies travelled
to the Lakes for the first running of this
event, staying over at the community centre in
Askham Friday night. A simple concept; base a
route on the Tour De Helvellyn that encompasses
the fells instead of the valleys and set people
the challenge of trying to complete it in the
daylight hours available. We set off to frosty
but clear skies at 6am and from there on the
weather just got progressively better. In the
end probably 40% was on snow the rest on extremely
dry / quick ground for this time of year. Konrad & Jasmin
were away early on in pursuit of local and eventual
winner Kim Collinson. John & myself more
o'less running together for the round trying
to keep in front of the rest. Unlimited soup,
cake, showers at the end and helpers who couldn't
do enough for you. Very much a low key /
no fan fare event with the emphasis about enjoying
a good route and day on the hills. Which I think
we definitely all had.
- 10th April 2013
Glasgow to Edinburgh Ultramarathon
- 6th April
Steven Yule and I
entered this 55 mile point to point race
with a non-Carnethy friend, Stewart Ward,
as a ‘training
run’ for the West Highland Way’ race
later this year. Michael Nowicki had
also entered but decided to withdraw due
to his Achilles problems. Ruchill
Park in Glasgow was the start point for
a fairly eclectic / multi-national field
of close to 100 runners, it was cold but
perfect running conditions as we started
along the Forth and Clyde canal path to
the Falkirk wheel at 22 miles (this was
the only bag drop which meant we had to
carry some food most, or all of the way). After
Falkirk, the route follows the Union canal
all the way to Fountainbridge and goes through
two very dark tunnels (why a headtorch is
part of the mandatory kit!). Previous
runners told me the route was monotonous
due to following canals all the way but
I found it inspiring to have extensive views
over to, first the Campsie Fells and then
the Ochils (both snow covered) and Arthur’s
Seat a long way in the distance. Steven
had an issue with his knee and
had to drop out at Falkirk but I was having
a good day and was in 4th place and due
to the strung out nature of the race, ran
the last 30 miles alone with only a surprise
meeting of Kate Jenkins and hubby dog walking
near Broxburn to spur me on. The marshalling
was fantastic at checkpoints with water
/ SIS and nibbles. I got to the finish
still in 4th place in 8 hours 24 (and apparently
first Scot), the German winner had a superb
time of 7 hours 18. Stewart Ward managed
24th in 9 hours 40.
Have a go next year
if you like it long and flat!
- 9th April 2013
Monday Lunchtime Arthur's
Seat - April Reversicap
Great weather at last
for the reversicap. The reverse running
is fertile ground for debate on the best route.
From the top of Arthur's seat Gordon went
right, down the usual up route, and hindered
only by tourists proved that though longer, it
is speedy, and came out ahead of Russell who
went left and down the steps (though not taking
the daredevil option of the steep grassy
shortcut). Not convinced by a previous descent
of the Gutted Haddie I had another go, followed
by Chris who had the misfortune to be both unsure
of the routes and behind me. I am now convinced.
It's not a very good idea.
Not there myself, but a good turnout, with
quite a few handicaps beaten. Pretty good
for the reverse route as it tends to be
Comments from some of the runners
(won't say who!):
"GOOD DRY CONDITIONS
good turn out -10/12?
a couple got lost !
one guy ended up in the gorse - lots of blood! "
"If I hadn't opted to follow Digby down the
gutted haddie I could have been somewhat quicker!
Still, a bloody hip and knee as spoils for my tumble
on the dash off the top of the Crags makes it all
"Good conditions out there but still don’t
think I’ll descend by the haddie next
Well done guys and see you for the May one,
if not before. Results
- 8th April 2013
SHR Navigation Course, Pentlands 6/7 April
A most excellent two
day course based at Hillend, with Carnethy's
own Steven Fallon and Dave Scott giving instruction
and a dozen runners of mixed experience and objectives
being subjects. Although I'm confident
navigating in the hills, I learned a lot
of useful new techniques and refreshed stuff
I'd forgotten I knew. How many of you can say
paces / 100m you run or walk at? Or know
what a Romer is (I had one and never knew!) Do
you know Bob's Law? (nothing to do with the legality
of summit nudity). Four Carnethies attended
and made good use of home advantage on the mini-mountain
marathon on the second day. I would thoroughly
recommend it if its put on again.
- 7th April 2013
The Whisky Chaser
The whisky was smoky
but the bomb was not. A glorious day for
the running of the whisky chaser with 5 equally
glorious whiskies to taste. A toast was raised
to Absent Andy Millard, slightly too far
away to join us.
Report to follow. Photomap here,
- 7th April 2013
Seat junior run & games
After the previous
generation of juniors grew up and left
home, Carnethy members have been busy
creating a new set.
With the encouragement of Mary and
Matthew Jones, and the leadership of
Willie, around 20 new juniors came
out to run and play on Dunsappie Hill
on a glorious Saturday afternoon. With
relay races and tussock tig juniors
and adults had a great time with smiles
on everybody's faces. A supply of jelly
babies fixed any bumped knees.
Full size photos here and
junior runs page here.
I'm not sure if it was
the fantastic weather or the promise of jelly
babies that created such a good turn out for
our inaugural junior run. A higgle (collective
noun for a group of hardy young runners) of about
twenty with ages from two to teens gathered at
Dunsapie Loch and was led over the hill and far
away by Mr Motivator (Willie Gibson). We relayed
and tussock tigged our way around the slopes.
There was some falling over, a little bit of
blood and lots of bravery. Thank you to the adult
helpers (especially those who didn't have small
people to tire out!) for making the first session
so much fun. Can't promise the same weather for
next time (Saturday 20th), but can promise more
jelly babies. Hope to see you again!
- 4th April 2013
Birnham and Deuchary races
- 30/31 March
A small group
of Carnethy racers made it out to the
Birnham and Deuchary hill races at the weekend,
with some very keen Carnethy racers (the
Wilsons) managing to fit in Norman's Law
race on the Saturday as well. Birnham
hill race gave a short sharp blast on
the Saturday, which warmed us all up for
the Deuchary Hill Canter on the Sunday, which
is an undulating trail run through snowy
Prasad won the Birnham hill race in 30.08,
with Andy Fallas giving a close chase
only a few seconds behind (30.15). The
Gilmore boys continued their good form from
previous weekend racing, finishing 3rd (Andrew)
and 5th (Iain). Other
Carnethies there - Joan and Colin Wilson,
Jean Jumelle and Pam Whitlie.
On to day
2; Andy Fallas took a clear win in 1:18
on a slightly shortened course which missed
out the descent off
the north side of Deuchary Hill (due to
Gilmore took second (1:21) and Jon Ascroft
3rd Carnethy home in 4th place. Ladies
races won by Helen Bonsor both days. Full
results on SHR.
Many thanks to Adrian Davis for organising
- 4th April 2013
Social group: Oh the luxury
of daylight at last, and cold, still, pleasant
conditions. Though we more or less missed
a lovely sunset on our fairly low level
run out to Dreghorn via the Hermitage and back
via the Braids. Richard turned up late and formed
a group of one, and did catch the light
show from Blackford hill.
Fast group: 10.6 miles out to the top of
Allermuir where we caught a brilliant red
sunset before a cautious descent on slippery
snow and a fast run back to KB
Richard group: I did Blackford, Braids, Blackford
again, then across the golf course
where some golfer still playing in half-darkness
was trepidatious about
solo Carnethy runners...
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