|Runner||Handicap||Finish Time||Run Time||Points|
Archives for September 2016
When travelling with work recently I’ve been trying to enter a local race when I’m away. It has many benefits, including seeing a bit more of the country you’re travelling to and also giving you something to do that isn’t eating and drinking. It’s actually quite fun, and most of the time you’ll be first Carnethy over the line, which is a very rare treat indeed. So, with a holiday to New York looming, I thought I’d do the same but for a pleasure trip, as I’ve quite enjoyed the novelty of it all and as I’ve said it is quite a good thing to do. A quick look online, and the only one that was open and available was the (catchily-named) Henry Isola 4M Cross Country in the Bronx area of town – a mere 100 block subway ride from our hotel. 4 Miles, easy peasy. Looking at last year’s times, they were not super-duper fast. Maybe, just maybe, I could actually do quite well? If nothing else it might be fun. My lovely wife, Jill, also thought it may be fun, and also signed up. Fun fun fun, what a fun thing to do on holiday! Did I say fun? Fun!
So, to the fun bit. Ho ho. For those of you that haven’t done this race before, it’s two laps in Van Cortlandt Park (fans of the 1970s cult film classic “The Warriors” may have heard of it). The start leads out round a playing field, then into some woods, up a hill (maybe 100ft in total), then back round into the open field. Then same again. Then that’s you, you can wander home, picking up a bagel on the way, maybe even a cwoffee, honk some car horns, spit, shout at strangers, and just generally enjoy the Big Apple. The joy, the fun!
To my surprise, it wasn’t fun! Getting up jetlagged wasn’t that fun. Stepping out into the morning heat wasn’t particularly fun either. We were not used to temperatures above 30 degrees, that’s for sure. Once registered at the park we hid under a tree until the start, trying to dodge the sunshine as best we could. Drinking lots and lots of water, too, because we were getting a bit crispy out there. Wandering out to the start line was a taste of what lay ahead, with the full weight of the sun bearing down. I started strongly, as I honestly thought I could do well, despite the conditions, and started daydreaming of a podium spot (seriously! I can’t believe I even thought that). The first mile was a solid effort while I got into things, pushing a quick but do-able pace, the leaders just ahead. I was looking around, sizing people up. Two super-fast lads were stretching out, long gone, but the rest didn’t seem so daunting. I was poised. In position. Ready. Then…I melted! Everything just went a bit soggy. As my body turned to liquid, the mouth turned to dust, not a single drop of moisture in my mouth or throat. I could feel every single degree of heat, both on my skin and in every gulp of air. Running became the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I’d barely done a mile…AND there was a bloody hill still ahead! Why was this so hard? Maybe, somehow, the hill would help? Unbelievably, it didn’t! In fact, if anything it just made things worse! Can you believe that? My pace crumbled, and the acclimatised locals flew by, one by one, skipping along quite happily, not even a drop of sweat. I seriously started to doubt whether I could finish two laps. I’d all but given up after the first lap, and the second was spent in some kind of survival mode. Even on the final 100 yards, I could not muster anything to contest the people running by. My word, it was grim.
After I finished, I cut a few corners and met Jill on her second lap. Was she enjoying it? Her language suggested otherwise. Specifically, her language directed at me. She also had some colourful opinions on my “fun” holiday idea. She finished well, though, and we went back to the hotel drinking as much fluid, and as many ice creams as we could. I don’t know if she enjoyed it after-the-fact, because I’ve deliberately never mentioned it again. That was three weeks ago.
Anyway, many thanks to the organisers and marshals! They were fantastic, the route was good too. In future, maybe we should run in cooler climates, or at least have longer than 12 hours to acclimatise. Ah well! Results here!
Some photos from today’s SHR and Carnethy champs race
On Tuesday night around half past six it was 22 degrees and bright and sunny in Edinburgh as Alison and I toddled around Mortonhall, boding well for the following evening’s final handicap race of the season. Typically race day arrived dank, dreich and dreary and by evening the haar over Arthur’s Seat reduced visibility to a few metres on the tops.
Some 32 diehards turned up though and set off into the murk on myriad route choices with 3 getting sufficiently lost they couldn’t even find some of the hills. Some over ran the course and took in Nether Hill (to catch the views perhaps) and on leaving Crow Hill people were running to the left and right of each other uncertain of the right descent line. On Whinny Hill several opted to do both tops to ensure that they actually did the summit. Again descent lines here were every which way as were ascent lines to the highest point on the crags.
However, all got safely back and there was much excited chatter at the finish line as route choice(?) was discussed. Sadly, due to an overbooking at Kilderkin the chat wasn’t continued there as there was no room in the inn despite assurances given to me the day before when I popped in to ensure everything was in order.
The prize giving will now be next Wednesday at KB and I’ll arrange for food to be served … Honest!
It was a lovely day for the Comrie Relay this year and Carnethy had three teams. A star studded A team; an Over 40s team and a Mixed team. The A team of James Waldie (leg 1), Konrad Rawlik & Iain Gilmore (leg 2), Eoin Lennon (leg 3) and Mike Reid (leg 4) completely dominated the race by leading all the way and recording the fastest time on every leg to win (for the third year running) by about 24 minutes ! The Over 40 team of Steve Best (1), Mike Lynch & Euan Mackinnon (2), Harry Gilmore (3) and Neil Burnett (4) finished 2nd Over 40 and 5th overall, while the Mixed team of Fiona Mackinnon (1), Matt Jones & Mary Lye (2), Andy Spenceley (3) and Adam Gamble (4) were also 2nd in their category and finished 8th overall.
This is a great low key event organised by Strathearn Harriers with what must be the best refreshments at any hill race – a post race BBQ and an amazing range of cakes – more than enough for everyone to get completely stuffed. Just as well we had run hard beforehand!
Race details here.
Well that certainly turned into a rather epic afternoon, and the furthest I’ve ever run in a single outing! Thanks for at least having all 5 relatively close together with plenty of streams to rehydrate between them, excellent planning.
Before I get to the times, a few highs and lows from the afternoon of adventure. I set off from Hillend at 12:30 with a rough estimate it would take me about 5h30, although I hadn’t measured the route. The weather forecast didn’t disappoint and I enjoyed my warmup jog round to Castlelaw where I caught my breath and chatted to one of the Pentland Push marshals, vaguely explaining what I was doing. Out with the map that I’d done my best not to look at in too much detail while printing, watch started, and off I set. Met Mark coming the other way down the track past the firing ranges as I headed for the re-entrant gorse bush. Think I took a reasonable route and really enjoyed the mini mountain marathon.
On the way over to Reservoir Dogs who should I bump into but President Willie who was doing the same as me only following a different route. Now some may argue that his route was smarter, or that it was [cough] cheating [cough], but I’m happy to let it stand if you are. Going to the official start of each race only added 10km, and what’s 10km between friends! Anyway, I made it round that and onto Bonaly Scalextric, starting to flag a bit. 3rd one done I continued on, passed the finish of the Pentland Push wishing it was also the finish for me. By the foot of Allermuir I was a bit broken, and after jogging out from the start accepted that this one I’d do well to maintain a brisk walk to the top. Descending Allermuir towards Caerketton I knew the game was up and it was a matter of getting to the finish, and anything less than 10 minutes for the doonhiller would be good.
So onto the times, and from anything I’ve seen on Strava they aren’t quick, but I guess I knew that would be the case going into this.
Mini Mountain Marathon – 48:49
Reservoir Dogs – 42:11
Bonaly Scalextric – 39:16
Allermuir Uphill – 27:22
Caerketton Doonhill – 10:14
Total time – 5 hours 50 minutes. Total distance – 43.6km (1450m ascent)
With my knees not behaving very well and generally not running fast (more like hobbling) at the moment, I was happy to time the Caerketton Doonhiller on Wednesday. But I had a plan for the Alt C5.
So on Saturday morning I studied the maps and worked out what I thought was the most ecconomical (in climb and distance) route to complete the run in a oner. So I headed off to The Uphill Allermuir start and parked the car.
With a loaf of soreen, 700ml water, and a can of green coke I set off.
The Uphill was fine, taken very easy, then down to the Capelaw col where the “Pentland Push” support tent was offering food and drink, I will remember that for later.
I skirted north of Capelaw and when I joined the Bonaly Scalectric route I started my watch. after that circuit I reclimbed Habour Hill and met the Mountain Safety guys from the Pentland Push (Fraser’s Pal Keith). After a Chat I was at the Maidens Cleugh gate and started the Reservoir Dogs circuit. A nice run but a bit hard underfoot, and there were strange looks from the walkers at Harelaw as I hobbled past. But I did overtake a cyclist on the climb back to my start point.
After half a loaf of soreen and a can of coke and a close look at the Mini-Mountain Marathon route I headed down to aim for checkpoint B to start my circuit. I met Jeff Roberts on his way up. He was even dafter (less smart) then me going to every start!
I found the checkpoint and restudied the map, then off I went, wading the first stream I decided the water was good enough, so as I soaked my knees int the cold water I drank my sig and refilled it and headed on. It took a while on my tired legs and I repeated the sig drink on my return before getting back to my start and then heading for Allermuir.
The Pentland Push food station came in handy as I drank some water with orange slices and chatted to Murdo McEwan, before climbing Allermuir again and heading for Caerketton and “Ran” the Doonhiller in 19 minutes.
With a mile jog after that I was back at the car.
A grand day out with nice varied routes, thanks Mark!
21 miles : 4381 feet : 6:33:55
Allermuir Uphill – 30:20
Bonaly Scalectric– 50:09
Reservoir Dogs– 57:10
Mini Mountain Marathon – 91:31
Caerketton Downhill – 19:10
The first question I got asked by the 10 folk who turned up on Friday night for the last Alternative Carnethy 5 race – was ‘is there a bad weather route?’
Results to follow.