Eóin Lennon continued his great form with a magnificent 10th place at the National Cross-Country Champs at Callendar Park, Falkirk, on Saturday, in was a very high standard field of almost 700 internationals and club runners This is possible the highest place ever by a Carnethy man (although not by a Carnethy, as Angela Mudge won in 1999 and her and others – eg Lyn Wilson, Jill Mykura – have had top 5 finishes). Also having good runs were Liam Braby (66th) and Mark Johnston (166th). Carnethy finished 17th in the team out of the 38 clubs competing with Patrick Harrington (193), Jim Hardie (268) and Bruce Smith (287) running well to make up the rest of the counters. This is not bad when considering that for most clubs this is the main aim of the winter and it is taken incredibly seriously. Other Carnethies running included Simon Titmuss, Harry Gilmore and Mike Lynch. Results
Archives for February 2018
Some Carnethy heroes tackled the Glentress trail marathon on Sunday 24th Feb. It’s a two lap, hilly race around some of the Glentress mountain bike trails, although at only 25 miles it perhaps shouldn’t be called a marathon! However there was 5,036 foot elevation gain so it was no walk in the park. It was a very cold and frosty morning but the trails were beautiful, the views were splendid and the sun was out. The lap started out undulating gently with a small loop around a car park, and then joined the fire road climbing steadily up, before we joined the black mountain bike run. The trail kicked up sharply in places and then wound through the forest on switchbacks which weren’t too steep and easily runnable (on the first lap at least!) There was snow on the ground at the top which meant some of the descent was icy. There were a few mountain bikers out on the downhill which certainly made it more interesting (turns out I speed up a lot when there’s a bike approaching fast from behind on a winding single track!) The route was different from previous races: we went up higher and had a more technical descent before we joined a larger track down to the end of the first lap. Cruelly we had to run up the short steep hill to the start / finish to the turnaround, before heading back out to do it all over again!
James Britton ran an excellent race to come home in 2nd place. Remarkably James had only entered the marathon at the last minute when he found out earlier in the week that the half was full. Chatting with him before the race he said the furthest he’d run so far in 2018 was 16 miles!
I finished as 2nd female (12th overall) after struggling through a dark place for most of the second lap. Nicola Duncan finished just behind me as 3rd female (13th overall). Andy Gravett, not content with having run the 10km with his wife the day before, was the next Carnethy home.
Looking at the lap breakdowns, we definitely all suffered (or at least slowed substantially) on the second lap. More sensible folk opted for the half marathon the previous day. One lap was probably a much better idea! Mary Lye had a great run to finish 2nd female v40.
Some key things I learnt from the race: 3 cliff shot blocks and 250ml of Tailwind isn’t enough fuel for a race that tough and probably goes a long way to explaining the dark place I was in for lap 2. I need to run up more hills and not give up and walk when it gets tough. Sounds like a reason to go to hill reps. As soon as my legs recover…
|James Britton 3:29:14||Adam Gamble 1:40:19||Oliver Reed 51:07|
|Rachel Normand 3:59:46||Steve Best 1:44:13||Fiona Fulton 55:35|
|Nicola Duncan 4:03:43||Brian Kennedy 1:57:34||Andy Gravett 1:02:50|
|Andy Gravett 5:06:24||Mary Lye 2:02:15|
|Scott Robson 2:06:22|
|Nikki Maclean 2:20:57|
|Rod Dalitz 3:28:45|
Photo credit to Stephen Wilson https://www.granddayoutphotography.co.uk/
Sixteen Carnethys turned out for various stages on the run. Four joined along the way, Digby and Nicola Dunn made use of a shortcut option, and others left early to meet commitments having done their fill. This makes for a great way of running with always someone new to chat to. The pace was relaxed and the café in Walkerburn excellent. Cool bright clear weather showed winter isn’t over, but spring is on the way and clumps of snow drops here and there confirming that we were the lucky ones.
I suffered and slogged away at the back, then cut my run short after 27+ miles with the prospect of a lift home. Well done to Pete Buchanan, Lucas Lefevre, Graham Nash, Andy Howett, Auren Clark, Aisling Ailing and Alan Hogg who did the whole route of around 30 miles, with others doing at least 14 miles. Everyone who wanted to get to see the rugby did, and I think everyone got home from Galashiels.
For those of you thinking an Ultra run (>26.2 miles) like this is beyond you, get this out of your heads. Come along and see where you get to, you might be surprised, and yes, you can do it. The pace accommodates everyone there. Thanks to Pete B for the route plan and to all those who enjoyed the stunning Borders.
Pete Buchanan’s write up here
Shorter circuit from Yair with short cut:
As good a day as I’ve ever seen in the Borders. Lovely sunshine, crisp and cold. Mature pine woods (see them now, the chainsaws are advancing), great views from the ridge. A splendid 21 miles starting in Yair, and after visiting the café in Walkerburn, Nicola and I took a shorter route directly up the valley to meet the Southern Upland Way at the top (on our shortcut a prominent forest track marked on the map must have been marked 30 years ago, and it snagged and tripped us as we beat our way up feeling intrepid), pausing to snack in the sunshine and see if the fasties, on a longer route, would appear. Which they didn’t. So we set off slowly. They soon arrived and we were together again until returning to Yair, where various permutations either carried on back to Galashiels, bailed, or got into cars.
Those who started and finished in Galashiels did the true Ultra distance, some did a marathon distance, and I was well pleased to do the 21 miles. The Yair loop with the short cut is shown in yellow on the map. The short cut took 2 miles off the distance (measured from the Café).
We must do this again! (on a sunny day of course)
The spring edition of the club journal is now available for free download here
7pm sharp saw 18 runners and 1 cyclist assemble at Morningside Railway Station for the inaugural Carnethy ‘Train in Vain’ run to be lead by Mike. A unique chance to visit 8 Edinburgh stations, over a distance of 9.6 miles, with some history thrown in as a bonus. The intricate route took us from Morningside, Blackford, Merchiston, Dalry, Murrayfield, Balgreen, Gorgie, Slateford and back to The Waiting Room.
The evening provided a fantastic opportunity to gain some local railway history and have sights of interest pointed out to us. Mike had done his homework! Fortunately there was no test at the end, although I fear Jim might have been bottom of the class as he was intent on sabotaging our powers of concentration by supplying buckfast at every station.
I apologise for the poor quality of my photos but I set my tiny camera to ‘intelligent auto’ and the illumination from Mike’s ‘mother of all’ head torches seemed to confuse it. The camera wasn’t sure if it was night or day, whether to flash or not!
Thank you Mike for a great and informative night out. Next year perhaps Micheal Portillo might like to join us? He would certainly learn something but could he keep up with the pace? Doubtful.
20 odd of us (and Nick on a bike) gathered at Morningside Railway Station last night for a run of just under 10 miles around some of Edinburgh’s abandoned railway stations.
At one time, there were 50 stations within the City boundary (can you believe it?) and over the past weeks I’ve been trotting round most of them (thanks for the company Neil and Peter!) to see what would make a decent (and hopefully interesting) midweek route and settled on the following: Morningside, Blackford Hill, Merchiston, Murrayfield, Pinkhill, Balgreen Halt, Gorgie East and Craiglockhart.
We kept the pace reasonable, in order to get back to The Waiting Room for last food orders, with stops at each station (with some Buckfast thrown in for its warming and reviving properties). Route here: https://www.strava.com/activities/1419583151 or Googlemap with links to stations on old railways site.
About the stations...
Morningside Road Railway Station
It was opened by the Edinburgh Suburban and Southside Junction Railway (ESSJR) on 1 December 1884 as Morningside Station. After the ESSJR was incorporated into the North British Railway on 1 March 1885, the station was renamed Morningside Road in October 1886. It closed on 10th September 1962, when passenger rail services were withdrawn from the Edinburgh Suburban line as part of the British Railways rationalisation programme known as the Beeching Axe, although the line itself was retained for rail freight use. The route continues to be used for freight services to this day, and occasionally diverted passenger trains also pass through Morningside. The repurposed station building serves as a branch of the Bank of Scotland.
Blackford Hill Railway Station
Was opened on 1 December 1884 and closed on 10th September 1962, when passenger rail services were withdrawn from the Edinburgh Suburban line although the line itself was retained for rail freight use. The route continues to be used for freight services to this day, so freight trains avoid Edinburgh’s main stations of Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket, and occasionally diverted passenger trains also pass along this line. This station was on the inner circle. The inner circle line ran anti-clockwise; the outer circle, beside it, ran clockwise from Waverley station and through the southern suburbs. The next circular stops after here were Newington, Duddingston & Craigmillar, Portobello, Piershill and Abbeyhill. A local advocacy group, the Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG), ran a campaign for the SSJR line to be re-opened to passenger services, and proposes that it should be operated either as a commuter rail service or as a light rail system to form an extension of the Edinburgh Tram Network. Following a petition submitted to the Scottish Parliament in 2007, the proposal was rejected in 2009 by transport planners due to anticipated cost.
Merchiston Railway Station
This station was built by the Caledonian Railway between 1879 and 1883, with the last passenger service on 6th September 1965. The station was demolished shortly afterwards and the track bed has become a footpath. The station was constructed with two platforms and a small overhead footbridge, at the bottom of what was then Bonaly Place (since renamed Harrison Place). Although a small suburban station, it had very long platforms to match the trains stopping here; reaching from Harrison Road to Shandon Place. After closure the first part of the old line from Princes Street Station became the Western Approach Road, built in the 1970s. The part of the track occupying the former station at Merchiston is now a footpath, extending to a service road leading west to Slateford Yards. Merchiston was the only station on the line between the Caledonian Railway’s Princes Street Station (at the West End of Princes Street) and Slateford about two miles to the SW. This line carried trains from Princes Street Station to Glasgow via Shotts, Lanark and Carlisle and the south.
Murrayfield Railway Station
This intermediate station on the Caledonian Railway’s route around West and North Edinburgh (from Slateford Junction to Granton, Newhaven and Leith) was opened by that company on 1 September 1879. It closed to regular passenger traffic on 1 October 1951, and closed for good on 30th April 1962. At the time, it was the nearest station to Murrayfield Rugby Stadium.
Pinkhill Railway Station
Pinkhill served Edinburgh Zoo and was the last stop on the line from Edinburgh Waverley to Corstorphine. The Corstorphine branch (at that time handling the journey to Waverley in just over 11 minutes) closed to passengers at the end of 1967. The platforms at Pinkhill closed January 1968.
Balgreen Halt Railway Station
A halt, in railway parlance, is a small station, usually unstaffed or with very few staff, and with few or no facilities. In some cases, trains stop only on request, when passengers on the platform indicate that they wish to board, or passengers on the train inform the crew that they wish to alight. The station was opened by the London and North Eastern Railway in 1934. The line passed on to the Scottish Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948, to be then closed by the British Railways Board. The stationmaster’s house remains standing, in the site which has been landscaped as part of a garden. Balgreen tram stop is now adjacent to where the railway station stood.
Gorgie East Railway Station
This was named Gorgie Station until 1952, and was opened on 1 December 1884 and served the closed in 1962, when passenger rail services were withdrawn from the Edinburgh Suburban line. There is now no trace of the station but the route continues to be used for freight services to this day.
Craiglockhart Railway Station
It was opened by the Edinburgh Suburban and Southside Junction Railway (ESSJR) on 1 December 1884. The station closed in 1962, when passenger rail services were withdrawn from the Edinburgh Suburban line although the line itself was retained for rail freight use. Craiglockhart station was built for the North British Railway in 1887. Except for a short period, 1917-19, at the end of World War I, the station remained open to passengers until 1962.
Weary legged from sprints at lunchtime I led the group a direct route to Braids summit. After a brief rest to take in the views we continued towards the Stable Bar. A visit to the Seven Acre Park added to the excitement of the run and after a quick play we braved the electric fences to run back through the mudfest that is Tower Farm Stables.
Deciding that one mud fest a night is enough, we avoided the ploughed fields and crossed Carigmillar Park Golf Club to home. 5.3 miles (a bit over the promised 4 sorry).
While Matthew and pals headed north last Saturday I went in the other direction to a part of the country hanging off the bottom of the Lakes that I’d otherwise probably never have visited. Starting from Milnthorpe Cricket Pavilion, the Silverdale Circuit is a 21-mile trail race which moves in and out of Cumbria and Lancashire, takes in lots of muddy paths, some coastline hanging over the upper reaches of Morecambe Bay, a few small hills, and some Fairy Steps to be squeezed through (tricky with girth).
This was my second event organized by Ascend Events; the previous one was a drenched and misty Four Passes starting from Rosthwaite Village Hall last October. These are very inclusive friendly events, with walkers starting an hour before runners and little focus on winners and trophies (but still some excellent runners leading the way); more of a focus on a good day out with well-stocked feed stations, and a warm meal, trifle, cake, hot drinks and good conversation waiting at the finish.
This course involved a lot of navigation work, especially as the field thinned out in the second half. In ‘Seven Hills spirit’ runners would appear in front of you, you’d overtake them, and then find them in front of you again. All good fun, and, as I said, nicely uncompetitive… well… for somebody used to contributing to the last 10% of the field in Baddingsgill Rounds, it was good to come in 24th (results). Although on closer analysis this turned out to be 23rd human as Pedro in the ‘K9’ category came in well before me – well he has more legs.
I’d recommend these events. They run four in the year. The Derwentwater Dawdle (22 miles) in April and their toughest run (Five Passes, 33 miles) in July already have Carnethy representation. I’ll be back for the Four Passes again at the end of September in the hope of seeing something of the supposedly beautiful route this time out. Let me know if you’re interested in joining me and we can make a trip out of this. Prices aren’t bad and I can’t recommend the trifle highly enough.
It was an early drive up north on Sunday for Fraser McCoull, Noel Finegan and myself for the inaugural ‘Fetteresso Forest Marathon’ organised by Christopher Cowley and his team from Stonehaven Running Club, in managed pine woodland of Fetteresso a few miles west of Stonehaven.
The £10 entry fee – appealing to the thrifty Yorkshire side of me (thanks Dad) – was fantastic value for money, the organisation was spot on, the route tough (more on that later) well-marked and marshaled – two of which were later seen en route in fancy dress as ‘pink teddy bear’ and ‘white rabbit’ – well at least I hope they were… also there were definitely two water stations (cup-less).
The course was ‘undulating’, ‘twisty’ and ‘turny’, surprisingly not as dull as ‘26.2 miles of forest fire road’ sounds, made all the more arduous by the thin layer of old snow and ice that covered most sections of the course, this made a consistent pace and rhythm hard to maintain without your feet ripping behind you or out to one side, a few bloody knees at the end. There was at times that ‘maze’ feeling you can get in managed forests, but only for a time then it would open out into more varied scenery. I had a decent run to finish 5th in 3hrs 22mins, quite happy considering the 2500ft of ascent and probably 16 miles of crusty snow and ice. Fraser rounded out the top ten in 3hrs 42mins, Noel in 3hrs 50. Around 90 or so starters (hopefully more next year) the winners being Mark Mosgrove of Banchory RC in 3hrs 08mins and Lauren Kedar of Cosmic Hillbashers in 3hrs 43mins.
The post-race afters of soup (potato and leek, and tomato) together with tea, coffee, and tray bakes helped put events costing three or more times as much to shame, even included edible tree shaped medals (left over Christmas tree decorations or ‘forest themed’? Either way they were really good with a cup of tea!). Well worth checking out next year, hopefully a bit less precarious conditions next time!
Results and other info on Stonehaven’s page https://stonehavenrunningclub.webnode.com/club-races/fetteresso-forest-marathon/