The sun shone on the righteous yesterday as eight teams took on the 7beers challenge: the 7 hills of Edinburgh route with a pint between each summit. Hot favourites Jim Hardie and Graham Nash lost out to Chris Henty and Gordon Cameron who set an astonishing record of 3:08. How is that even possible?? Gordon has divulged at least some of the secrets to their success:
“Chris Henty & I started off with 2 other teams and made a dash for the Ensign Ewart having first taken part in a Royal Mile buskers show where Chris had to run off with the flaming torch! After a swift IPA it was Castle Esplanade where we opted out of the Gardens route even though the gate was open and headed down Castle Terrace on to Haymarket and Roseburn for another IPA at the Hampton Hotel at Murrayfield. Up to the tower on Corstorphine where Mike and Neil had set out plates of treats and then on towards Craiglockart narrowly missing a tram for another IPA at The Pub by ASDA. We were just leaving when Fraser and Gio arrived so we hotfooted it to the summit and on to the Braids Hotel. We were just finishing our 4th IPA on the balcony in the sun when we spotted Gio and Fraser in Braid Burn Park so we dashed up the the top of the Braids and then back via the clubhouse to the Buckstone where we met Jim and Graham and Rachel’s team of 3. After a swift Ossian we amazed them by confirming we had already been to the Braids, On to Blackford and then round the church as the allotments gate was locked. Pint of Best in Swaneys and the squeeze through Pollock gate took us up Arthurs Seat which was packed out on the top. Bum slide down and on to the Kilderkin for pint 7 – Gold XPA and the a mad dash up Jacobs ladder to the trig on Calton – to finish in 3.08.48. The only detour we had made from the optimum route was Braids to Blackford but we avoided getting our feet wet! We hung about for half an hour eating and admiring the view and were just about to leave when a couple more teams arrived – Jim and Graham in 3.13 TBC. We all adjourned to the Kilderkin for a well deserved first pee of many and a few more pints as other teams passed through on their way to the finish including Mary & Matt (4.31) and Shane and Sean. After that my memory is a bit fuzzy but I did make it home somehow!”
Matt and Mary Lye’s vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zshQFUeJyzM
Mike Lynch’s photos on Corstorphine Hill here. Chris Henty’s photos above!
Sean’s report –
When I saw Jim’s facebook post announcing that someone who sounded an awful lot like Shane Bouchier was looking for a 7 Hills and 7 Beers partner I thought it sounded like a good match. It turns out it was because neither of us Iet the fact that we were in a race disturb our enjoyment of a leisurely run on a sunny afternoon and a bit of chat while relaxing over seven pints of ale. Jamie Thin, a starting line addition to the team, managed to fit in just fine although he sadly only completed 4.75 pints and 6 hills (to say that the two HBTers we ran into at the John Leslie were unimpressed by his performance would be an understatement). Perhaps if the team had focused more on the race we wouldn’t have needed head torches to get over Arthur’s Seat, luckily I live close to Blackford Hill. Some other highlights included; 1) Shane and Jamie’s decision to have a cream scone at the Buckstone (this definitely slowed the running and drinking pace down), 2) some navigational indecision/dissension that lead us far from the planned course to a 5th pint at the Braidburn Inn, 3) an older lady who commented “You’re moving but you’re not moving fast” as we shuffled past her on the way to pub #6 and 4) the look of absolute horror on Gordon’s face when he saw that Shane and I sat down on a sofa to sip our way through pint #7. Reviewing the stats I see that while we likely have no shot at ever coming close to the new record we probably do have some room for improvement. All in all it was great fun. Looking forward to Jim’s next adventure.
Total distance: 17.71 miles
Total time: 7:12:19.
Total time outdoors: 4:18:38.
Total time indoors: 2:53:41.
Average “running” pace: 14:36 minutes/mile.
Average drinking pace: 24:49 minutes/pint.