Race results will be available here.
The start of a journey run is normally characterised by a happy throng of runners, pink-cheeked and bright eyed and chatting excitedly about the challenge to come of running a long way over lush green hills and purple heather in the company of like-minded friends. Helen and I travelled up together for the Lomonds journey run; as we turned into the windswept and deserted car park at Craigmead there was not a sign to be seen of a pink-cheeked runner, etc, etc. No-one else turned up. The weather wasn’t good, although better than the forecast, and Helen was recovering from a heavy cold so we decided to run just half the course. As we had recce’d the route a few weeks earlier we decided to do something a little different – a Plan B day was forming.
We ran along the track towards West Lomond, suffering from what the Met Office call “severe buffeting” by the wind. Part way along we dropped down into a gully to find a delightful path which contours high along the hillside and crosses the large and dramatically rocky gully of Craigen Gaw. The path dropped gently down towards the Bonnet Stone so we sheltered in the howff inside the Stone for a little refreshment. Helen thought that the head of the Bonnet Stone looked very like ET; I thought that he looked rather disconsolate which is hardly surprising if he had swapped the warm Californian sunshine for a typical Scottish winter’s day.
We needed to get back up onto West Lomond so we opted for the directissimo route, straight up the steep hillside. At one point we were side-by-side climbing on all fours up the steep slippery hillside. At the top, we contoured round to the Devil’s Burdens then continued on to the Harperleas reservoir and back to Craigmead. We had the prospect of a cold picnic lunch in the car; a much better use of the car was to motor down through Falkland to warmth and hot food at the Pillars of Hercules. It was an ending worthy of a Plan B day.
You may have noticed the site was hacked. Thanks to Joel for being braver than me and restoring the database. I think I’ve managed to remake the 3 lost posts.
5 go running… on a lovely evening. Not too cold, full moon and lovely sky, not wet or windy. An invigorating 5 miles to the Braidburn Valley park and back via the Hermitage and up Blackford Hill.
After weeks of high turnouts there were few folk in the groups last night. Are you all doing Xmas shopping?!
And then there were three…The 7.00 social group were left rudderless without Gordon tonight, so in the absence of any vocal opposition to my Caerketton idea, that’s the direction the 9 intrepid runners went – skirting round the summit of Blackford and through the Hermitage with only slight directional issues. Through the Braid Burn and up towards Swanston, it became clear that this initial enthusiasm wasn’t necessarily shared by all, as we lost three runners at Fairmilehead. We were committed now, though, so we continued onwards over the bypass and up through Swanston village. Three more runners decided to take the low road back to Hillend rather than go via the summit. The final three made it over a relatively wind free and clear summit and back down via the usual downhill route. At this point I normally slow down a bit – either because of tiredness or because it’s all downhill from here, isn’t it? But the pace was kept relatively high on the way back. From there on we followed the route adjacent to the bypass and across Frogston Road before skirting round Mortonhall and on past the Braids golf course. 10 miles/16 km with some decent climbing and we were still back before 9.
Race 2 of 3 saw the action move to Alloa’s Lornshill Academy, where the course was a much tougher proposition than Stirling, with significantly more climbing (766ft as opposed to 117ft), tricky underfoot conditions (roots and rocks) and ankle-deep mud in places. Lovely.
It was a record turnout of 861 finishers, but sadly a bare few of those were Carnethies, with only 4 males (Andrew Fallas, James Waldie, Mark Johnston and myself) and a solitary female (Charlotte Morgan), which meant for the second time in the series we failed to score any team points. Room for improvement here methinks, especially given how popular the Borders XC races are with the club. And as I didn’t leave Edinburgh early enough for the start of the U11 races, there were no juniors running for Carnethy either, which meant a wasted trip for Archie. Oops.
For the men, Andy was first home for the club, in 8th position, with James in 11th, Mark in 30th and myself in 121st from 303 finishers.
In the ladies’ race Charlotte held on to a good 3rd position, behind Edel Mooney of Lothian and Rachel Haines of HBT, from 107 finishers.
Full results here: http://events.scottishathletics.org.uk/events/18230-16760-east-district-cross-country-league-2
Ten Carnethy Ladies ran from Kathy’s house in Willowbrae out to Holyrood School and then along the Innocent railway path where we had a photo shoot a bit like another Catherny run 10 days ago. However, this run took us on a different route up Arthur’s Seat (which wasn’t nearly as scarey, thank goodness!). We ran over the top of the summit and back down to Kathy’s where most stayed for birthday celebrations, but a few of us living in the Wild West of town were grateful for a lift home from Kirsty. Many thanks to Kathy for a great run!
Looking down at that full pint glass, it just seemed like a step too far. I was burping, sweating, feeling a bit dizzy, it just wasn’t going to go down, no way! It had to though, I needed to get it right, so down it went, with me gurgling and gagging with every gulp. Finished in two scoops, perfect! I then made my way back to my desk…because this was last Wednesday, around 4pm, I was at work, as I usually am, but it was the final week of preparations for the 7 Hills and 7 Beers. Yes, I’d just downed three pints of very fizzy water, using a technique I’d read on the internet. I started with a single pint of still water on Monday, and by Wednesday I’d progressed to three pints of fizzy water. Yes, it was a bit silly, but I had to do something. After last year’s fiasco, I couldn’t start the run just expecting to be better than last year. What had I done? Nothing. So why would I be better? I wouldn’t. Simple as that. So changes had to be made. There’s no point researching a route that shaves 10seconds off your run, when you can’t finish a pint in under 10minutes.
Carnethy Hill Running Club is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland with registered number SC492072 and having its registered office at Munro Cottage, Loanstone, Penicuik EH26 8PH