By popular assent the bike version avoided the disgracefully landowner-blocked Gilmerton railway cutting by taking the Fairmilehead – Burdiehouse Burn – Drum Estate alternative. This provided tolerable hazards of mud and water rather than the old mattresses and Colditz wire-tangles of the railway cutting. We collected Nick at Danderhall library as substitute guide for the Millerhill Borders Railway works diversion (Digby having absconded to London at the last minute for metropolitan art rather than live Edinburgh suburban bike-theatre in the round). The north-eastern diversion around the new Borders Railway work was surprisingly straightforward, although we missed the national car fender heritage museum, which has probably now been lost forever. Read more…
Archives for February 2014
(now with added map goodness!)
As Saturday approached the line-up for Circo was looking fairly thin. It has never been an event that’s attracted many, to be fair. I was concerned that after an evening of call-offs (especially the anonymous text message at 2am saying that they were on a night-out and unlikely to make the start), that it’d be just me and Graham. Alas no, there were about 14 at the start, including a mix of Carnethies, Harmenys and a couple of Westies. A surprising number, but all good! Read more…
So the forecast for Sunday’s last Bowhill Series was pants again. Here’s to winter races. The short and the medium race had been wet, but the wind and rain woke me up at 0100 this morning and then a few times more so the final long race (10km cycle, 10km run) looked like it would be really wet and involve some log jumping. And, the forecast for the midday race start was looking even worse, but forecasts are never right and it didn’t end up too wet from the sky, but the course was a mud bath-cum-torrent-puddle-fest. The bike route included a much more technical section than previously which really improved the bike section and made for a great route.
Five Carnethy’s were there. Mike Lynch turned up for a try voicing concerns about the age and state of his bike. Roy and Jessie Dahl were going for their third win in the relay, and Adam Anderson was there to show how to run and cycle faster than most. Andrew Patience also started but maybe didn’t finish. Having complete the 32.5 miles on Circo of Edinburgh yesterday I felt I had maybe overdone my preparation but I felt it unlikely to get a prize unless the usual MV40 sharks that always beat me by about 5 mins on previous races didn’t turn up or had got crushed somehow. As it was, they were there, so the weariness didn’t matter.
The results for Carnethy: Jessie and Roy Dahl came second in the relay but won first prize over the 3 race series. Adam Anderson came 6th overall and was first MV40. Mike Lynch came in 30th and I improved my position from last years 42th to get 27th in the long race and got 4th MV over the series and managed a consolation bottle of beer and an extra creme egg. Results
Nationals: it’s the final xc of the season (hills, here I come!) and one of my favourite races. God knows why, though: it’s long, fast, muddy, and if you blink you lose about 4 places, such is the competition. This year, there was a good Carnethy turnout for the senior men’s race with Andy Fallas leading the men home in 36th, me in 41st, Adrian Davis 164th, Mark Johnston 212th, and Roddy McRae 349th. A few Carnethies were spotted running for other claims: James Waldie was 37th, Andrew Gilmore 184th, his brother Iain was 25th in the U20 race, and Kate Jenkins was 72nd in the ladies race, still trying to shake off the flu. Sorry if I missed anyone! Results
Today’s last sunday of the month fast road bike ride met with less than ideal conditions. Wind SSW 30 mph is hard work…but hard work is good. However, the gusts of over 50mph were not good (a gust of 59mph was recorded at 8am)- I got blown into a massive pile of dog poo (Houston, we have a klingon problem) en route from home to Kings Buildings. Although Andy Spenceley was also daft enough to make it for the 9.15 start, we were suffiently sane to adapt the route to the conditions – this where we went: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6215316. Next outing is the 2nd Sunday of the month easier ride on March 9th.
The social group run soon went ridiculous as Cody disappeared and we heard the rapidly diminishing sounds of Gordon’s dog whistle. Cody soon re-appeared grasped firmly by the fast group, minus lighted collar. Gordon had returned to the wild however, and lacking a human whistle scouts were sent to the high ground to holler and shout. Eventually Gordon was rounded up and we set off for the Craiglockharts via the Hermitage, where Cody managed to find an adversary and a fight ensued, sending the other dog’s walker from the scene in tears. Oh dear.
Fortunately the rest of the run went ok, our C5 tired legs got us up the hills to a sparkling view and then straight back for beer.
It was an evening of animals for the fast(ish) group. After accidentally stealing Cody the dog from the social group, we took to Braids and round Mortonhall, we stumbled on a small herd of deer, who all seemed perplexed at the blur of headtorches and reflective lycra. Matt led the way, snaking through the fields, ducking under trees, over the bypass and up the Caerketton race route – a climb I found quite difficult to bear. We horsed around on the scree, then down to Swanston, over Oxgangs road, then to Blackford Hill and finally back to KB.
We know not what Andy’s easy short run was like. Splendid, for sure.
As forecast, the freezing rain stopped just in time (but not the wind!) and the sun came out to shine on a great day’s racing. With wet snow, lots of mud and a strong wind, it was not a day for fast times and so it proved with only 28 of the field of 498 under the hour.
What a race it was at the front. The first four were the winners of the last four years, so all knew the feeling of crossing the line first! For most of the race the battle at the front was headed by last year’s winner Finlay Wild (Lochaber) and the 2012 winner Orlando Edwards (HBT), with Orlando pulling away on the top half of Carnethy only for Finlay to almost, but not quite, close the gap on the descent. These two broke away from the chasing pack of 2011 winner Tom Owens (Shettleston), 2010 winner (plus plenty of other years) Rob Jebb (Bingley) and Andrew Fallas, the first Carnethy runner. Kenny Richmond (Shettleston) won the Over 40 category for the fourth year running, from the 2001 race winner, Jim Davis (Borrowdale), an impressive result.
The women’s race was equally close, with Sarah McCormack (Moorfoots), who has been second the last two years behind Angela Mudge (Carnethy), taking advantage of Angela not starting, to record a fine win, just doing enough on the descent of Carnethy to keep in front of Charlotte Morgan (Carnethy), who took second. Shileen O’Kane made her journey from Northern Ireland worthwhile by taking the Over 40s award, though the first overseas runner and so winner of the Abernethy Quaich was Samuele Poletti from Switzerland.
Hunters Bog Trotters recorded their first team win for quite a few years in the men’s team, but there was a real battle for second place eventually won by Shettleston, as three teams, Shettleston, Carnethy and Helm Hill Runners, were separated by only 5 points. Hunters Bog Trotters also claimed the women’s team on countback as they recorded the same total as Carnethy, but got their counters in first.
Two people were awarded a Quaich this year for completing 21 races, Des Crowe(Dundee) and Sandy Bennet (Unattached), while Jimmy Jardine (Lochaber) completed his 44th race, i.e. he still has never missed one, which is probably the most impressive result of all!
Article by winner Orlando Edwards here.
Results and Team Results. All previous results are on the race web page here.
Digby’s photos here, Bob Marshalls’ here, and some pics from Charlie Ramsay here. Cammy’s photos here. Allan Gebbie’s here, Matthew Curry’s Photos here, Nick Schierloh’s here
Mary Lye’s interesting blog report of the race is here.
While most Carnethies were busy running the C5, Michael Wilkinson and another Carnethy, Ian, decided to run a less hilly race (1600 feet, 6.75 miles) at Parbold in Lancashire. What the race lacked in height it made up for in depth and area of mud. 1:03 was slower than previous years, but still slightly faster than my brother, Peter: http://www.ukresults.net/2014/parbold.html
The cold showers at the finish had improved from the traditional hose pipe from a water tanker I remembered from previous races. A new multi-nozzle high pressure system has been added that is more effective, but just as cold.
The last race in the Borders XC series at Dunbar was in glorious sunshine, as have been at least the last 2 here (ie the ones I’ve been in). A bit of a breeze took us tired C5 runners nicely down the beach and past the lighthouse, but oh, turning the corner and coming back was not quite so easy!
Not a lot of us turned out. Those whose series places depended on it did, and a small core of diehards made up the rest. Andy Fallas and Mike Reid were in hot contention race and series wise. Andy finishing 2nd took the race today from Mike in 3rd place, and Mike took the senior series by one point from Andy. Helen Bonsor was 3rd woman running for the first time in the series following injury. Vicki Gilmore was far from last in her category, improving all the time!
I gained the Exalted and Giddy heights of 3rd M60 in the series… Bill Gauld got a special award of Exalted Elder of the Series of at Least 70 Years Old. Stewart Whitlie won the series M50-60 class, Jess Dahl was 5th woman, Iain Gilmore was 3rd in the under 20 class.
Carnethy won the men’s team prize, and for any other stats you’ll eventually find the overall results here. Photosets from James Addie here and the indefatigable Bob Marshall here.
And we all got a rather disappointing mug, when we wanted our HORSE BRASSES!
The Pentlands got a dump of snow today and there is more likely to fall tonight, but the forecast for tomorrow afternoon is not too bad as per Met Office: A cloudy start with some showers. Drying up during the morning with some good spells of sunshine developing in the afternoon, especially through the Lothians. Brisk northwesterly wind. Maximum Temperature 7 °C. … so might even see some sun! As usual a top quality field among the 610 entries…so whether you are aiming to win; not be Mudged; want to get under 80 mins or even just enjoy yourself, good luck to you.
With the rest of the UK battered by storms and floods, and with memories of last year’s blizzard on the run, it turned out to be a relatively benign and pleasant jaunt over Turnhouse and Carnethy. Willie almost blotted his copybook by missing the promised scree run but we did find it and filled our shoes with gravel, to enhance the boggy return to Flotterstone. A few marks lost at the pub for salty soup and dry bread but my neighbour’s chips were very good and the aromas of the various meals were very enticing. Good beer as well and the lovely glowing stove to thaw out in front of.
Now, who had the Scampi? According to the pub one meal wasn’t paid for and Helen is now out of pocket!