One of those days where you think the photos you’re taking are genius, only to be undeceived when you get home…
The met office forecast for lovely sunshine after showers didn’t quite happen but it was a splendid day out regardless. The first time we’ve been round the back of Mavisbank House, revealing more desperate ruination of a once beautiful building. What a shame.
The going was an odd mix of wet, mud and melting slick ice, precipitating Nick the lone cyclist to the ground on more than one occasion. The bacon roll stop in Penicuik was as welcome as usual and set us up for the more remote part of the run with lovely views over to the Pentlands. Penicuik sees some runners stopping and other appearing. Joel’s dog Merlin appeared, magically. We were a bit worried about the fasties but they had sped straight to the bar and rather slowly appeared clutching pints to nab the remaining rolls. Shane and Laura visited with new baby (nice pic by Alan below). I think everyone had a go with it as it processed around the tables – laid out unusually neatly this year, as for a wedding. A ring was even found on the floor, though no-one seemed to have lost it, and no-one was inclined to marry just at that moment.
Habbie’s Howe is the last part before Carlops where the river runs through a beautiful glen. My favourite part of the route. If only we could find a good way after this. The landowner is not at all keen for anyone to be on his land and makes it obvious with electric fences barring the path. They’ll shout at you too if they get the chance. Nevertheless we got to the cosy Allan Ramsay, with a very tasty IPA and an eccentric food system.
I enjoyed it all!
This year I ran down to Lasswade to join The Eskapade, two miles away from where I live. Willie’s ETA was 10.30am and sure enough, right on schedule, it was a sight to behold as Carnethys piled over the high stone wall there and shimmied down a sign post.
I love running most when it’s not a race but a sociable trot, and with lots of intermissions for local history and geology lessons, the miles flew by as Willie led us alongside Midlothian’s beautiful Esk.
A huge supply of bacon rolls at Penicuik were met with enthusiasm. Some of the speedier Carnethys, with a later starting time from Musselburgh, joined the party at this point, plus Merlin – Joel’s dog.
I opted to run back to Loanhead whilst most ran on to Carlops. A great few hours out at this hectic time of the year. Perfect!
Alan’s photos –
The fasties report:
The ‘long lie’ group set of from Musselburgh just before 10am in pursuit of the main group. This year, thanks to Graham’s laminated map, we managed to avoid a detour up the South Esk. Shortly after Polton we did make a deliberate detour to Stewart’s Brewery to take advantage of their Christmas open day. Samples of their festive brew Fezziwig and mince pies all round! Some of us also fuelled up on steak pies made with one of their ales. Those that hadn’t been to Stewart’s before got a quick tour while myself and Graham discussed First World Problems. Then it was back to the Esk, through Roslin Glen and up to Penicuik to finish off the bacon rolls. At this point I chose to bail and get a lift to Carlops (thanks John) as my legs were suffering after an Ultimate Frisbee tournament the day before, and 18 miles.