Navigation course

You couldn’t have picked a better evening for the concentrated mini navigation course run by Steven Fallon yesterday. Half the group were about to do various mountain marathons and the rest of us wanted to brush up on skills, which in my case were more wanting than I realised, as I rapidly turned from know-all to numpty on the hill. The windows were not actually frosted glass, it was thick mist and getting dark as we went out to put into practice micro-navigation.
Perfect! No visual clues at all meant proper reliance on compass, timing and pacing.
The final exercise with a series of compass bearings, distances and features to find in the growing gloom was a serious test of confidence. Lights and voices came and went as pairs criss crossed. Al and I by some fluke not involving getting to the correct checkpoints actually managed to get to the final destination, as did everyone else. Brilliant! Though we did manage to lose him on the way home after he stopped to tie a shoelace.
An excellent evening and many thanks to Steven.

Hunter’s Bog Trot

Carnethy won team prize today at the HBT bog trot.
James Waldie 4th, Michael Reid 5th and Andrew Normand was 6th so well group packed on a warm day.
Lots of other Carnethy vests on show and even Cameron Murray made the race having just become a Dad the previous day, showing fatherhood is suiting him.
Photos on Flickr here, courtesy of Peter Buchanan. Results here.

Norman’s Law and Emily Hill Races

Blue skies and a refreshing breeze made for great running conditions at Norman’s Law and Emily Hill Junior races on Saturday. I’m guessing the Bog Trot stole lots of Carnethies from this fantastic afternoon of Fife racing, as only the Jones/Lyes, Euan Mackinnon, Brian Howie and Joan Wilson were out blazing the Carnethy-coloured trail. Colin was there too, but in the wrong coloured vest  :-o . The junior race had a great turn-out with 46 runners and a very fast winning time of 7:41 by James Hurrel (unattached). Ronnie and Rosie Jones gave it their all, and earned their juice and chocolate bunnies. Norman’s Law was similarly well attended with 146 runners. Ben Hukins of Ronhill Cambuslang came in first with 29:24, followed by juniors Logan and Tristan Rees of Fife AC. Judith Turner (unattached) was first lady, followed by me and Hilary Ritchie (Fife AC). Tea and cake in the sunshine rounded off a very lovely afternoon. Thanks to Mark Harris and Fife AC for the organisation and exceptional refreshments!
Results, Photos and Mary’s blog.

IMG_1193  IMG_1149  IMG_1189
Mary Lye

Virgin London Marathon – more reports

Iain Whiteside’s perspective

Iain does a Mo Farah: dropping out at halfway after testing my fuelling
strategy for next year as part of a million pound sponsorship deal. An
alternative explanation for my noted DNF was that I managed to do something
to my hip putting my shoes on in the (very plush and elitist) championship
toilet area (stifled laughter allowed). A bit niggly at 2 miles, quite sore
at the Cutty Sark, fairly sore at 10 miles, seized up at 13.5. 10 minutes of
stretching later I was able to hobble to the finish to watch Farah et al
cruising past. I’m just sorry that no-one was treated to the epic positive
split I was setting myself up for!

Tim Darlow

Having got himself a sub-3hr marathon anyway, Tim was hoping to consolidate
on that with another one in London. In preparation he’d run a 1:21 half so
another sub-3 in London looked like it was a matter of by how much and not
if. I asked Tim for some words and he commented as follows: “Yeah I had a
bit of a shocker. Felt ok at 13 miles but felt terrible by the time I got to
16 / 17 miles and I hobbled to the finish. I can’t really explain it – I’ll
just have to come back next year!”

Bob Johnson aka Freddy Mercury

Bob Johnson

My plan for 2014 was always to do a fancy-dress marathon instead of the
good-for-age target of 3:20 (for a mid-fifties-never-has-been like me). My
original idea was to build my own hoover with scooter wheels and push this
round the course and set a Guinness Record at the same time. This plan was
scuppered on two fronts; firstly the Guinness Book of World Records wouldn’t
sanction the attempt (pushing “X” round a marathon course would result in
somebody else pushing “Y” round (so what)); and secondly the marathon rules
now state that “NO WHEELED DEVICES” are allowed on the course (on pain of
being banned for life). On the Thursday before the marathon I therefore
raided the recycling dumps again (so exciting) and found a suitable hoover
and removed the motor. I made a carrying strap but after 15 miles I decided
to carry the thing for the whole 26.2 miles. Note that it only weighed 3.5kg
but it sure cramped my style. Sponsorship in just 6 days has now reached
£500 and has now been closed. A massive thanks to all those Carnethies who
sponsored this lunacy. Bob Johnson (No, I’m not).

Report by Sheila O’Nosheela

Coledale Horseshoe Race

Four carnethies (Andy Fallas, Mark Johnson, Bob Lyons, Helen B) ventured south for the Coledale Horseshoe race, which gives a good medium distance race. This was meant to be a ‘training race’ but it seemed everyone had had the same idea and the race had a competitive field in both mens and ladies. Salomon International runner Ricky Gates and Scott Jurek from the States also made appearances (who it turned out were in the UK to do a Bob Graham round, and not just Coledale horseshoe!) and added some extra competition for men. Conditions of strong winds, clag, and good competition made a good race. Rob Jebb won in 1hr 12, with Ricky Gates finishing 30 seconds later. Andy Fallas was first Carnethy home in 5th place in 1hr 16, Mark 32nd, and Bob 192nd. I was relieved not to get lost in the mist and repeat the debacle of NI and finish 2nd Female behind Pippa Maddams after the long layoff of injury. (Ricky Gates and Scott Jurek subsequently completed a Bob Graham Round on Monday in 23hr 44 mins).
Full Results here:
Helen Bonsor

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…

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.  Read more…

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