Archives for December 2015
Seven Carnethies headed for Tillicoultry for the inaugural Kirk Craigs Christmas Cracker Hill Race to burn off the turkey and mince pies on the day after boxing day. The Law Breaker Hill Race was originally run on this date, but after the wintry conditions of 2010 and 2011, which made for a lower level bad weather alternative route, the race was moved to mid summer, and now forms part of the Bog and Burn midweek series. This left a gap in the racing calender for those who need a racing fix over the festive season.
After a month of heavy rain, the day was settled and bright with a touch of warmth in the low sun. The underfoot conditions were however very wet and the going very heavy.
A field of 88 assembled on the slopes of Kirk Craig for a short race briefing. John Hammond took the lead from the off, avoiding the muddy spray that splattered all those behind. A fastish flattish flooded half mile through fields led to the gate up Kirk Glen, and the path steepened to slow the speed of the runners. By the summit of Kirk Craig the field was well spaced out, and the pace quickened through a rough trod across the summit to reach the Mill Glen path (last part of the Maddy Moss Hill Race route). A slippery, rocky descent to reach “the big stone”, where Al Anthony (Ochils) had taken the lead and it was about turn to retrace the route back to the start.
Al Anthony extended his lead to finish first in 38.36 (new course record!). First lady was Catriona Buchanan (Ochils) in 45.12. First Carnethy home in 5th place was Iain Gilmore in 41:09, followed by John Hammond (41:16), Andrew Gilmore (41.36) and Graham Nash (43.35) to claim 4 out the first 8 places, but no cigar. Harry Gilmore was 21st (49:51), Lindsay Doig 58th (60:32) and Paul Nash 61st (61:47).
An ideal race for the time of the year, which should be runable in most conditions, if the winters of 2010 and 2011 ever return. Plenty of marshals along the route and plenty of mince pies at the prize giving.
Apologies for the lateness of report – December was a hectic month.
Mild but slippy conditions.
Jill started a little late, but beat her handicap by over a minute, so is the official winner.
January handicap will be the 11th, as the first Monday will be a holiday.
Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year.
When dulled and jaded by the excesses of Christmas Day, what better way to enliven the soul than a bracing jaunt up a hill? Well that’s what I thought, although the Jones youngers begged to differ as they fell asleep and/or felt sick on the way to Beecraigs Country Park for the Cockleroy Chaser. Organised by the inimitable Martin Hyman, this fun run is a brisk 1km dash, firstly through woodland, then up to the Bronze age hill fort at the summit of Cockleroy Hill. And obviously back down again for juice and sweeties (and extras for muddy patches). Matt and I were too lazy/disorganised to sign up to the concurrent Festive Handicap, but it looked ace. Maybe next year!
First entries in. See the Photo Competition page.
The annual gathering on Allermuir. Graham’s raspberry vodka was a treat, and Willie’s whisky mac was very warming.
This end of season event is always a good one – tough and fast, with a strong field, and this year was no exception. The course was at Deans High School in Livingston, and had elements of the Dechmont Law Trail Race about it. Carnethy managed to field enough (male) runners to actually post a score this time, in both Senior and Masters teams, but the only female runner was Helen Bonsor. We really must try harder in 2016!
The course was 3 laps of 2 miles for the men, with 2 times round for the ladies. GB International Andrew Butchart was first home in a very quick 30.37, with Andy Fallas first Carnethy in for 16th place in 32.45. The rest of the team score was made up of Michael Reid (29th and 3rd Master) in 33.49, Mike Lynch (140th in 40.00), Bruce Smith (163rd in 40.59), Simon Titmuss (170th in 41.15) and Allen Flockhart (173rd in 41.28), for a team position of 13th. Helen completed the course in 25.59 for 27th place.
The Masters positions were 3 (Reid), 41 (Lynch), 62 (Smith) and 106 (Titmuss), for a team position of 11th.
An album of pictures from Steve Adam is here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89560570@N06/albums/72157660021791174
Hopefully Konrad and Jasmin can encourage more runners to take part in the East District and National XC events in 2016.
So, you have a festive period stretching out in front of you, you have a camera (or phone with a camera), you’ll be going out for a run at some point? Yes? Well, it’s just lucky we have the Carnethy Annual Photo Competition!
Jasmin and Konrad devised the theme this year, “Scottish Shenanigans”…
Find all the details on the photo-competitions page, which you can also find under the ‘Photos’ menu, and as entries come in that’s where they will be posted.
Some photos from today’s run. 24.6 miles up the South Esk from Musselburgh to Carlops.
My calculations based on some detailed web searches and faded memories make this years Esk Run the 16th since we decided to aim for Carlops. For the first 3 years we went from Mussselburgh to Penicuik, Carnethy Summit, Heriot Watt and Cramond, but it tended to take a little too long!
It should get easier with the years, you just have to find last years email in your sent box, alter the day and date and send it out.
The you call the Royal Hotel, the Allan Ramsay and the Minibus company and you are sorted, If only!
There were Problems with the plan, but I don’t want problems though, I want solutions!
What gets me solutions ?
Problem 1. Someone has built a railway across our route and failed to build a bridge for us.
Solution: Helen and I scouted around the exit of Dalkeith County Park, found a high wall climb option, but too high for Helen. Digby had suggested a main gate option with Iron Mills Park but it is a bit roady. We had a look at the river by Sherrifhall and there was a low bridge taking the river under the railway, but once Helen got thigh deep in the river and there was only about a foot gap between the water and the bridge we gave up on it. It had been very wet for a while. Helen and Digby revisited the day before the run, placed a few rocks in the ankle deep water and called it a goer.
Problem 2. The Roslin Glen path is closed due to large fallen trees.
Solution: Joel, Helen and I ran the route. After slithering down mud slopes, slipping under trees and sawing away some branches we decided it would take too long. The high route option, not as close to the river, but takes in Roslin Chapel and Roslin Castle was the way to go.
Problem 3. The minibus company had no bus available.
Solution: Leave Helen to use her phone for an hour or so and phone as many taxi companies as possible. She managed to find a bus, and cheaper than last year.
Problem 4. Floods
Solution: Joel checked the rickety bridge in Penicuik Estate, and Joel Helen and I checked the path at Polton Mill, We found no problems, but discovered new paths into Mavisbank House so added that to the route.
So on the day we had a few call offs with Man Flu, but 20 or so runners and 2 cyclists met at Goose Green Crescent, arriving by minibus, but bike and car. With the usual sprint to the Big wall we entered Dalkeith Park and had a lovely jog through the park with A lovely view of the Montague Bridge. Over or through the wall at the other end, there were a few shouts of derision as the water depth was over the ankles (we weren’t even at Lass Wade), but we are hill runners.
With a short stop at the folly in Kings Acre we ran to Lasswade where we were joined by Clare and Win Rampen. Mavisbank House was a good stop and the Glen option went down well, but not as well as the tea/coffee and bacon rolls at The Royal Hotel (thanks Simon for your 8th year as host).
Florence the dog had a altercation with a car on the way there but appeared unharmed. But an aborted second section as Heather and Rob went to find a vet, proved she was OK.
Nick Mac cycled to The Royal with Keith Burns and on to Carlops without Keith Burns.
Graham and Olly caught us up having left Musselburgh 75 minutes behind us, they stole three of our group and headed off for Carlops and beyond.
The rest of us headed off at 13:50 and enjoyed a slow jog through the wildest scenery of the trip passed the water sighting towers above the deep Esk Valley to Amazon Dean and on to the Beer and Food at Carlops.
A grand Day out.
It was an interesting course, of 2 laps, and had a bit of everything, including a double water ‘jump’ through the lake itself and a very big hole at the end of a bridge where the soil had been washed away. The rest of the course was either very hard, or very soft. That, combined with the darkness and head torches all over place, meant that you needed to keep your wits about you.
I quickly found myself in a group of 3: Alan Ramsay from Lothian and Louise Mitchell (first female) and we took turns to lead, overtake, fall back and generally do the pacing until the final wooded section on the last lap where I thought I had both of them, taking the lead. Alas I ran out of puff (or more accurately didn’t have a fast enough finish) and they both got me with seconds to spare. The swines. Still, 10th in 45.06 for the 6.45 miles was good enough and another testing workout. Alan Renville had a good run to come in 18th in 48.53. Marcus D’agrosa won for the second successive race, in 39.10.
This year the 20 odd runners (and they were odd) who took part in all or part of the Annual, Infamous, International Club Pub Run, ran accompanied by the sound of music provided by Patricia’s, fiesty, festive, ok mostly maudlin shuffle mix on her mobile phone. Matt’s moaning about the choice of music and why was there no Wham (so Last Christmas) made me comment that it was nice to run to the sound of music, cue chorus of “the hills are alive”. Somehow this led to a challenge to write up the run to the tune of a song from The Sound of Music, oh and slag off Mike Lynch too. Obviously.
Oddly, when I’d said goodbye to everyone and run home a scene from the Sound of Music featuring the song “Goodbye” was showing on TV.
Aye well, so here’s my post run write up based on the Sound of Music’s “Favourite Things”. With apologies to Oscar and Hammerstein… And other people who post run will also be dead by morning…