|and the fasties –|
Archives for July 2014
Arrived at KB for the monthly faster ride. Craig was waiting and leader Robin arrived shortly after, having completed his warm up ride in to town from the new Haynes residence in Drem. And there were 3. A plan was hatched and wheels began turning in the direction of Lasswade, Carrington and Temple. The wheels were rather more moist than the forecast had suggested – both the bbc and the metoffice were sure it would be dry – in fact it was a day of short sharp (cooling) showers. After a brief stop to attend to the needs of the Haynes steed, the best fed member of the group took up rear gunning duties and we headed up into the Moorfoots. After a regroup at the top of the climb there was a long descent to compensate. At this point Robin peeled off to to head back to Haynes towers – needing time to dress for duty and get to the airport to collect the Haynes ladies. And then there were 2. Two somehow became a small peleton as we headed over to Innerleithen with everyone we overtook seeming to tag on behind. The minor road to Peebles on the south side of the Tweed followed and included a stop for homemade flapjack – a good excuse for hiding under a tree whilst a particularly heavy shower passed through (the last remnant of the peleton peeled off at this point as i was too stingy to offer my flapjack to the unknown person who had spent several miles drafting us). At Peebles Craig met up with rest of the family – human and animal (newest addition is very cute and fluffy) – and peeled off for an afternoon of diy. And then there was 1. After an unintended scenic tour of Peebles and surrounds I found my bearings and headed out to the Meldons, Eddleston, Lamancha, Moor road, Penicuik and home. A most jolly ride indeed.
With rain due to arrive early afternoon, our good weather slot wasn’t long enough for a go at the Ramsay Round, so we (Jasmin, Konrad and me) decided to try the shorter and sweeter Tranter Round instead. Anti-clockwise, as Charlie Ramsay’s ‘proper’ way, saving the biggies to last. A 3.02am start from the Youth Hostel allowed us to turn headtorches off before the top of the first munro, Mullach nan Coirean, and enjoy the gentle pre-dawn light over Stob Ban. Not much wind, not too warm, the Mamores went by smoothly, with ‘sacs dumped for the three there-and-backs. Jasmin and I pushed ahead whilst Konrad took some photos and dropped back. Looking east from Sgurr Eilde Mor, the Loch Trieg hills of the Ramsay looked far far away in the haze. We decided to tackle Stob Ban via the east flank, and crossed the Abhainn Rath at about 9.27am, downstream of a big herd of cattle (which postponed our bottle fill-up). Jasmin powered up the big climb, and I hung on as best I could. The Grey Corries ridge running was exquisite, great rocky terrain, masses of exposure, and big mountain views with the 4000ers looming in the distance. We passed a couple of backpackers, the first folk we’d seen all day. Then some worryingly blood splattered rocks, and a few moment later with a sort of relief, a sheep tootling along with a red woolly backside. The predicted rain started as we scrambled up the airy ridge to Aonach Beag, and by the summit it was waterproofs on and compasses out. Aonach Mor was murky and it took a moment to convince ourselves that the cairn was the true summit. I paid for a lapse in regular eating on the CMD climb, and needed a wee sit down to gobble some nuts. Energy returned surprisingly quickly, and we sped along the arête to the Ben, with no views to distract. It was exciting to reach our final summit, and slightly odd to be suddenly amongst lots of people. We pushed on down the bouldery path then the worn scree-runs of the race line. The walkers didn’t seem to mind us weaving through them on the stone path, and seemed amused when we bum-slid down a muddy gully corner-cut. Tap tap tap of the studs down the final stone steps, over the bridge, and then we were done: 15.43pm. What a great day.
12h41min – just under Mark McDermott’s old record, well under Nicky Spinks’s 15h10min womens’ record, but some way off Stephen Pyke’s 2012 clockwise time of 12h17. It’s a elegant and dramatic route, readily doable in daylight (for the non-early starters). A sub-12 hour time is certainly possible – anyone?
SHR info here
This lunchtime, The President tripped over someone’s purse which had been dropped on the track below Castlelaw. Despite our best efforts at the time we were not able to find its owner Abby McD. Its a very pretty purse and contained quite a lot of pocket money. If you know Abby, then get in touch with Carnethy.
(Update – the purse has been returned to it’s owner via the power of social media)
This is a 24 hour trail race held in Derbyshire, a huge event open to teams and solo runners on a 10k lap course. I was nursing a Glute injury but fortunately some others in my team were also afflicted by illness and niggles and we were there largely as a social meet up anyway with some running thrown in. At first I was very doubtful that I would make my planned 50k contribution but soon discovered that if I ran incredibly slowly my hip stopped hurting – this had the added effect that while trundling around my night time laps and using poles i was repeatedly congratulated by passing runners who thought I was doing it solo.
The whole event is very well organised, with plenty of space for the hundreds of tents, sufficient numbers of portable chemical toilet cubicles (what are they called again?) and some nice wooded areas for the kids to happily go feral after being abandoned by running parents. It was bloody hot, though!
Sounded fearsome reading a couple of accounts on the web but ultimately quite a tame beast – 2.6 miles, not very high,not so steep and not terribly heathery. Unique in having the turning point signalled to the assembled runners by letting off an orange flare some 400m up a nearby hill. Having entered and resoundingly come last in a couple of the track events I was not very optimistic; but once into the groove of a hill race things went a lot better. A refreshing shower came along at the right moment to cool us off, but annoyingly carried on afterwards, raising the spectre of a repeat of the great car parking quagmire of Kentmere. I have no idea who won and judging by the state of the finish recorder’s paperwork, we may never know the overall results.
Thursday Hill Reps, on a perfect Edinburgh evening. What a bunch of posers!
||With the news that the Royal Edinburgh is now an impassable building site 2 hospitals were deleted from the Hospital run.
A quick Blackford Duckpond to The Hermitage and then on to The City Hospital, and a dive to Gillie’s house for a water stop, before heading over the Craiglockharts and back over Blackford.
8 reduced to 7 then 6 as Mary joined the fasties at Firhill, Gina and I slowed in an effort to save the knees for another day before regroupong at KB and heading to Leslie’s for a decent pint or three.
Another great Wednesday run with Carnethy!
|Fastish run –|
||In such heat last night, it was hard to run hard, so we just took it a bit easier and went for a plod to the Craiglockarts and then on to the edge of the Pentlands. More trails than hills last night, trying to get some shade as the sun beat down. Over the bypass everyone congratulated me on my route choice through a thick patch of tall gorse….well, I think they were congratulating me, it was hard to tell what was being said as they were also trying to wipe the blood pouring from their eyeballs. Ah, Willie would be proud! Back in along the usual Swanston route to the Hermitage, just as the haar was rolling in from the coast, back over Blackford and then home.
Click for gallery
Perfect conditions turned to torrential downpour later in the race at these English Championships. Helen, Digby and myself didn’t upset the championship calculations too much. A slow start due to traffic led to delightful grassy ridge running and then a slippery descent back down to Kentmere. Sitting in the beck afterwards in the pouring rain did lead to some thoughts about what ‘normal’ people would be doing on a summer Sunday in the Lakes. Getting off the parking field through the quagmire at the gates took almost as long as the race.
Results are here
Congratulations to our own Charlotte Morgan for leading home the Scottish women to win the ladies team prize for Scotland! Andy Fallas and James Waldie were also there to represent Scotland, finishing 25th and 34th (2nd and 4th Scot) respectively. Well done all!
Wonderful views and fast running for last night’s handicap. Euan ran so fast he overshot the turn for home and ended up amongst the manicured lawns and tennis courts of Portmore House; Fraser ran so fast he ended up in a field and embarked on his own cross country route with barbed wire obstacles, but did eventually finish. Nobody felt inclined to run back and look for Euan so a few piled into a car, on the supposition that if he found the loch he’d find the finish. Happily he was located on the main road and returned to the fold.
Afters was a BBQ amongst the pines in the wonderful garden of Jasmin & Konrad at Gladhouse reservoir. Superb. Well done to Helen for organising. Mike’s photos here and provisional results below.
Well, it didn’t start well.
A slow puncture coming in from Edinburgh left me pushing the bike for the last couple of miles up to the start. When I finally arrived I was hoping to negotiate a halfway sane handicap, but everyone decided that after a year or so off hill races, and no training, I must be faster than them.
So, after half an hour of toiling up hill, while being savaged by flies, I ended up running on my own with only distant (and fast disappearing) specks where my club mates should be. Then the low evening sun and dark shade kicked in and I couldn’t even see the specks anymore. A map, compass, GPS or elementary knowledge of the route/area would have helped at this point. I had none.
The Moorfoots are a beautiful place in the sun and almost perfectly quiet. The run began to take on a surreal aspect at this point, as I wandered through sun dappled woods there were cows, sheep, hares who leapt so high I thought they were deer, and grouse exploding from under my feet. I begun to laugh. This carried on for a while and I was pretty contented jumping over fences, running through little valleys and generally going in circles. Then emerging from a wood I suddenly found myself facing a stately home, croquet pitch and a pond with a working fountain. Hill races don’t normally have fountains in them. The laughing began to take on a manic, questioning-of sanity-tone.
Eventually I found a rose covered cottage, a nice lady kindly explained that I was so far from Portmore Loch that she had no idea how to get there. She suggested I take a left turn to the Gardeners Cottage. There was no Gardeners Cottage. I was in another forest. At this point I begin to seriously consider the possibility that I had entered some kind of fairy tale and the old lady had sent me into a magical wood to be captured by the faerie people, the laughter gave way to crying. I tried leaving the woods and crossing a sheep field, the sheep STRONGLY objected. Thought then it might be sensible to head for the high ground to get an idea of where I was. The problem with the view from the high ground in a forest is that there isn’t one.
Eventually after another dozen or so fence/field/stream/forest crossings I gave up on trying to get back to the start cross country and headed for the sound of the A703. It was a well timed choice, after 30 seconds running up the road the first car I met turned out to be full of Carnethies sent to rescue me.
The usual chat is to take it steady and resist pushing yourself until after Greendale (1hour in), or after Pillar ( 2h30) or even until after Great Gable (3+ hrs). So I’m hanging onto a couple of Dark Peakers after only 30 minutes, thinking this is too fast and hot for me, they know the race line, but I’m going to suffer for this. Jasmin has cruised past, and is quickly disappearing into the distance on the heels of the leader. I stick with the others until the checkpoint at Joss Naylor’s farm, and exchange remarks with him about J’s impressive pace over a beaker of orange squash.
Then onward up Seatallan, telling myself not to lose confidence just because the others are moving ahead. A bit later it cools down and I catch the Dark Peakers again, and to my surprise find that I want to push the pace. We tussle round Kirk Fell, over Gable and up to Esk Hause. After four hours effort, we’re trying to be nimble on the boulders by Broad Crag and up Scafell Pike.
I barely register the summit and push on straight down the tourist path amongst the walkers, trying to politely let them know to look out. The legs keep it together, and its with great relief we get onto the grass by Lingmell. I can hear that my now single rival is labouring harder than me, and I try to open my stride as we descend, knowing he won’t give up easily. Then it gets steeper, I can’t hear how close he is, and I can see the finish field 1,500ft below. Quads get a hammering as I push on down, clatter though the pesky kissing gates, focussed on the finish until it arrives…and then the legs can crumple.
Simon Harding (Macclesfield) won in 4h09, then Pete Vale (Mercia) in 4h12. Jasmin was third overall in an incredible 4h13, within a minute of the women’s record. So some unfinished business for her there. I was next in 4h21, not sure if I’ll ever better that, but think I’ll be back all the same.