While all the other kids were off playing at the Eildons SHR championship race, or maybe preparing for the Seven Hills of Edinburgh, I decided to take a short trip over the Forth for the Largo Law hill race. I had been thinking of doing the race for much of the week, but was still undecided on the day. The weather swung it though, it was a nice day and worthy of a trip to the seaside. Also, it was nice and short, which is always good.
So, “nice and short” never really works out that way, I don’t know why I say these things. It usually means, “heart-attack sprinting and a-lot-longer-than-you-think”, and that’s exactly what I got. The first mile or so was a rapid run round roads and forest trails, and I watched 7 Hills & Beers veterans Thomas and Jonny Knox fly off into the distance. Once my breathing settled down I managed to catch Jonny, and was gaining a little on Thomas, but then came the problem of Largo Law itself. It’s pretty steep, and I don’t do steep, so down the field I tumbled, Jonny bounding past me like I was standing still. No matter, it was a nice day after all, and if I ever looked up from my feet I’m sure the views would have been lovely! Back off the Law, I tried to reclaim some ground pushing hard along the grass covered trails with a little success. It was very pleasant running along thin trods, brushing past chest height grass and catching a few people. I caught sight of Jonny on the run-in, but was too far behind to get anywhere near him. Ah well!
Afterwards I remembered that I’m allergic to grass, chest height grass falls into that category too, and that was probably the reason why my legs looked like they’d been flash-fried in oil. It was all I could do to sprint to the nearest shop for some antihistamine, or an epi pen. Either would do, really, anything to stop MY SKIN BURNING LIKE HELLFIRE!! I sat through the prizegiving eating an ice cream to cool me down, and swallowing handfuls of piriton like they were pick n mix. Thomas scooped third place, Jonny first MV50, Michael G of Porty claimed 5th, these three were the only people I knew so they all get a mention! I finished 7th, which is my best ever result other than the Oldhamstocks Flower Show (2nd, btw). Fast lad Ben Hukins won the race for the third year straight, and Jennifer Cruikshanks won for the ladies. Charlotte’s female record is still safe, though! Many thanks to Anster Haddies for a great wee race!
I have wanted to run the Seven Hills for almost as long as I’ve lived in Edinburgh. Okay that is only four and half years, but I was quite excited to finally get the chance this year. The day started off quite cool waiting for the start on Calton Hill. Carnethies milled about forming teams (A team, AA team, XX team, AAA team), discussing routes (turn right and go down the really dodgy bit, I tried to ignore any new route ideas I hadn’t recced) and posing for a photo. After a warning of what was closed (turnstiles) and what was open (alottments near Reid Memorial Church) and which golf courses were ok to run across we were off. At some point early on the sun came out and for once I felt my choice of vest only was wise (as a Canadian I’m not sure I’ll ever understand the popularity of shorts, gloves and vest in snow). It was actually dare I say it… HOT! I’ll blame the heat (and the hills) for my gradual decrease in pace as the race proceeded. I also opted not to get stuck in the turnstile or climb the wall at Pollock Halls. However, I am sure that my route choice did not make a huge difference in my overall time. Great day out with prizes won by Stewart Whitlie (4th overall and 1st V50) and John Hammond (5th overall) and Carnethy A: Stewart, John and Nigel Shekelton (1 st team).
The danger of competing in a race with a small field is that the chances of coming last are significantly high. Add to this that the race is also a triathlon, with the majority of participants being affiliated triathlon club members, and the odds for us Carnethy runners weren’t looking good for the swim leg. United as four runners, we stood on the beach at Threipmuir Reservoir for the start of the Pentland Solstice Triathlon, trying discreetly to mingle with eighty triathletes. On dry land we managed to blend in well, it wasn’t until we hit the water was it apparent that we were different! Joel defended Carnethy pride by putting in a great 750m swim and leaving the water with the fast guys. Mark, Mike and I were left thrashing around out there for longer. In fact I was last but one to exit the water, preceded one place by Mike. Despite our bad swim placings I was happy with my time, as was Mike who was over a minute faster than last year. The rest of the field were just better.
The three good things about being last out of the water are that you can’t stop smiling for the rest of the race when you are back in your comfort zone, there are lots of competitors ahead waiting to be overtaken and most importantly your bike is easy to spot in transition as it’s the only one left dangling!
The 15km bike leg was fun, places to be gained. The 5km run was short, more people to be caught and passed.
Despite being last out of the water, we weren’t last to finish. We had all made time on the stronger swimmers but as Mike pointed out, in a sprint triathlon, the distances and time involved aren’t big enough to do significant damage to the faster swimmers even if you are a ‘tidy’ biker and runner. Only standard distance for him from now on.
We enjoyed Carnethy support and encouragement from Graeme Dunbar and Kate Crowe at transitions and the finish.
A fantastic local event, organised to precision by Pentland Triathletes. We are now looking forward to Aviemore Triathlon together in August.
Last night Charlie, Euan and I decided to hit the Pentlands. It was a fine evening, after all. No point in us reccying the 7 Hills route with the rest of them, seeing as none of us were doing the race and I think I’ve ran the course at least 5 times in as many weeks. Also, as a faster (some would just say just “longer”) run, I believe it’s expected to hit Allermuir or Caerketton at some point in the evening. So, nothing else for it than the standard “Nash Dash” route of Blackford, Swanston, Allermuir, Caerketton, Mortonhall. A true classic, only improved with a stop at the Stables bar for a swift half of Stewart’s 80 shilling. I’ll try to bring some imagination next time, perhaps doing that route in the opposite direction (ooooh!).
11.4miles, 2,400ft ascent, 1hr 48mins running (11mins drinking).
On Saturday 18th June 2016 Jasmin Paris aided by a carefully selected support team, left Glen Nevis Youth Hostel at 03 00 and headed onto Ramsay’s Round traveling in an anticlockwise direction, she returned to the Youth Hostel 16hours and 13mins later.
Not only had she broken the Ladies record of 19 hours 39mins held by Nicky Spinks of Dark Peak Fell Runners, but she had also broken the Men’s overall record established by Jon Ascroft of Carnethy in July 2015.
Jasmin is only 1 of 4 ladies out of 92 successful finishers that have completed the round within 24 hours.
Carnethy currently has a total of 10 members who also successfully completed the round within the specified time limit.
I hope that Jasmin’s journey will inspire others to start looking at the round and preparing themselves for a sub 24h journey in the not too distant future.
Well done Jasmin and huge congratulations.
I would anticipate that following her recovery Jasmin will compile a short summary report, I’m sure it will prove to be of interest to all.
Watch this space.
The Wicklow Round is the Republic of Ireland’s equivalent of the Charlie Ramsay Round, encompassing 26 hills, with 6000m climb, over 100 + km in under 24 hours. It was first completed in 2009, with about 25 completions since then (https://www.imra.ie/wicklowround/).
As part of my on-going ‘tick-the-boxes-in-Ireland-before-re-emigrating’ mission, I completed the round at the weekend, in 21h 06 minutes. As I went around the first 8 hours I debated whether it was dominated by ‘fog and bog’ or ‘clag and peat-hag’. The sky cleared after the highest point (Lugnaquilla, 925m) making for a lovely day of running, trotting, shuffling, walking and crawling.
Another good day out. If anybody fancies it, I’d recommend doing it before mid June as the ferns grow like fiends this time of year.
Five Carnethy travelled South to meet the dragon of Wales. Four were running, one (Matt Curry) was part of the paparazzi for the day with instructions of action shots of good running style and muscle definition, or featuring the dashing good looks of the Carnethy team.
The race – a south to north route over the 15 tops in Wales over 3000ft, starting and finishing near sea level, required being vegan for a day for some vague reason. The fire from the Dragon must have some cause after all… The route forms part of the Skyrunning series and Anthony Hemmings and Alan Renville needed to get one over on me after I’d pipped them in Glencoe last year. Ross Christie had a chance of a podium place and set off from the 5am midges at the start with the lead pack to the top of Snowdon, cloaked in thick mist and covered with probably >200 people doing the 3 summits race at 0620.
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