The race due to be held tonight (13th) has unfortunately had to be cancelled due to sheet ice on the trails. Hopefully it will be rescheduled for next year. Keep your eye on the web page here.
With the prospect of missing another Borders cross country (what will Digby say?) I ventured to the outskirts of Beijing yesterday for the Dajue Temple – Haidian Three Peaks Race to, in the words of Google Translate, “experience the most pure cross-country race”. I had assumed entry on the day would be possible but discovered on the Saturday night that in China insurance must be purchased for each individual person and therefore pre-entry was the only way to race. Still, I showed up at the startline hoping my English charm might sway them and sure enough I was permitted to start, but would be ineligible for any prizes should I be so fortunate.
The race itself took in three peaks that if Google translate is to be believed were Miaofeng, Sangfeng and “the northern tip of radish”, all above 1000m in height and was a bit further than the course at Berwick being 21km in length. A small group led out with me tucked in just behind for the 1000m climb to the first top. Warm sunshine on the climb was quickly replaced by a bitter north-westerly wind for the majority of the race as we sped along rocky single-track and dusty paths. A happy miscount of the climbs meant I was surprised to find myself at the top of the final descent still expecting another climb and not too far behind 3rd place who passed me while I struggled to negotiate a particularly low-hanging section of tree branches. Still an unofficial 4th place and “first foreigner” meant that, with prizes down to 8th had I entered I would have returned weighed down with a hefty collection of goodies that by my reckoning easily doubled your entry fee. Probably a good thing I didn’t though as my suitcase is pretty close to weight as it is and the 5km jog back to the station would have been even more unpleasant.
Again I have no idea where results are, although perhaps if someone has a smattering of Chinese they can decipher their location from the website http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/QSrli2ZDNTw7e3waiKiMKA or perhaps Google translate works more effectively for others.
Stunningly cold day with looming snow clouds and low dazzling sunshine, and the sea whipped into foam. A laborious run along the sand then on frozen turf and path, out and back. Last time I did it a few years ago we started around the corner of the spit, but now the start was on the beach to the right of the spit making it even shorter at 3.7 miles. V60 finish order the same, except Gordon didn’t turn up, so everyone shunted up a position.
Eóin Lennon continued his winning run – 3 out of 3! Robin Sloan was first Over 70 and Rachael Newstead 2nd Senior Woman. Bill Gauld took one look and went home.
The drive back very dodgy on the A1, with many obviously frozen screen washers and the low sun causing sudden queues of blinded drivers and frequent pulls in to the emergency laybys to clean screens.
|Place||Bib||Name||Category||Time||% Back||% Winning|
John died peacefully at home last week. He had been living with cancer for many years but had carried on playing tennis and climbing until very close to his death.
John has been a member of Carnethy since 1996 ad had taken part in many Mountain Marathons. He was a regular on the Esk Run until a couple of years ago.
There will be a non-religious funeral for him at Mortonhall crematorium at 10am on Saturday 9th December, followed by an informal gathering from1-3pm at Alien Rock, 8 Pier Place Edinburgh EH6 4LP.
Our sympathies go to Margaret and his family.
Well done to Mark Dymond who won December’s slippy handicap with the most consistent run.
Everyone else was affected by the West 12 kt breeze on the crags or the surprise tourist congestion on the peak.
A welcome return to Andy Wadsworth who came and bought me a drink after so he gets a big hello.
First World Problems and Flat White Porter were Andy’s selections.
|Start Time Dec||Actual Dec||Fin Time||Time Order||Fin Order|
2017 Special Awards
Arthur’s my Uncle Award for most appearances (11) Gordon Cameron
Arthur’s Arrow for fastest time Don Naylor (27:04)
Optimistic Arthur for most Improved PB (2016-2017) was Digby Maass an improvement of 5 minutes down to 36:21.
Have a good break,
See you Monday 8th Jan 2018
Results page http://carnethy.com/category/mon-arthurs-seat-handicaps/
Strava Segment https://www.strava.com/segments/1641212
On Saturday I raced the inaugural Montane Cheviot Goat Ultra in Northumberland. The route was approx. 85km with 3000m of climb and took in a section of the Cheviots ridgeline along the border with a few other hills thrown in for good measure.
The weather conditions on the day were as good as we could have hoped for but underfoot the going was tough with layers of soft snow and slush on top of thawing peat bog and heather. I managed to hold onto the lead group until the halfway point at Barrowburn farm (the only drop bag/aid station checkpoint on the route) where Jim Mann and Andy Berry started to open up a big lead on the rest of us. From Barrowburn to Windy Gyle I stayed within sight of Pavel Paloncy, occasionally running together and having a chat before he pushed ahead on the rough ground towards the Cheviot – home turf for him from his previous Spine Race completions.
The final few hills between the Cheviot and the finish at Ingram were tougher than expected and seemed to go on forever but the beautiful sunset and fun, snowy descents kept me going. In the darkness I could see a few headtorches not far behind which gave me the push I needed to keep a speedy pace up towards the finish line. I ended up in 4th place about an hour behind Jim and Andy who finished together in joint 1st place.
The race was well organised and had just the right level of self sufficiency to feel like a proper winter challenge. It’s ideally timetabled for people running the Spine Race/Challenger in January but also makes a great training race to keep the motivation up in midwinter when the event calendar is a bit sparse.
Results here http://live.opentracking.co.uk/cheviotgoat17/
Photo of me from Martin Ellis http://www.martinandjohnphotography.co.uk/, others by race marshals.
Sunday was a superb day in the Pentlands for a race- cold and sunny with blue skies.
The route, starting at Threipmuir Reservoir, was mainly low level with a few climbs. We passed Loganlea, Glencorse, Bonaly, Torduff, Clubbiedean and Harlaw Reservoirs on mixed terrain.
Beautiful views, great support from the marshals and a good atmosphere all round. A highlight was the hot soup on an open fire and a fine spread of baking at the end, which was I was certainly ready for!
At least four Carnethys raced:
James Britton 1h 21m 57s (1st overall)
Rachel Newstead 1h 38m 50s (1st lady)
Abigail Robertson 1h 45m 21s (2nd lady)
Nick Goldfinch 1h 53m 40s
Provisional results: http://www.pentland7reservoirs.org.uk/Results2017.pdf