Archives for June 2018
Congratulations to Graham Nash and John Ryan who ran the Scottish 4000 footers last weekend! A low-key effort, they set off from Glenmore lodge, running the Cairngorm 4000ers (Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Braeriach, Angel’s Peak, Cairn Toul) and then making their way through Dalwhinnie, past Loch Ossian, and towards Glen Nevis for the final four (Aonoch Beag, Aonoch Mor, Carn Mor Dearg and finally Ben Nevis). Using Strava stats: 83miles, 15,600ft climb, 23hrs 14mins, 53secs. Amazing!
It has been an outstanding year for both runners, truly exceptional, and I’m sure there’s more to come!
Roughly 40 Carnethies descended on Roslin for the ReTired persons Tour.
With Moat View filled with cars, and bikes secured to the wheely bins we headed down the cycle track and across the fields to Langhill dip. This is the start of the Bluebell Wood, well worth a visit especially in late May.
A turn left at the end led us to Dryden Tower.
“Initially intended as a hilltop eye-catcher for Dryden House, demolished in 1938, and is still a prominent landmark. It originally belonged to a wider landscape known locally as ‘The Pleasure’ which was destroyed by the construction of Bilston Glen colliery. It was perhaps built to commemorate the Battle of Roslin, 24th February, 1303, when the Scots successfully defeated three English Divisions.”
Then we descended into the Bilston Burn Glen, a SSSI!
The river runs down a pretty Glen before disappearing underground where Bilston Glen Colliery used to be.
We ran round the Blank OS Map. I reckon when is was surveyed the fields were still being reinstated, so there is no OS info on the Map.
Running along the field edge led us to the old Marshaling Yard for the railway that serviced the colliery, then we crossed the Bilton Viaduct.
The current bridge replaced one by Thomas Bouch of Tay Disaster Fame
“Authorised by an Act of 1870, the Edinburgh Loanhead & Roslin Railway first troubled the timetablers in 1874, becoming part of the North British empire three years later when an extension opened through Glencorse to the fringes of Penicuik.
Passenger services over the viaduct ended in 1933 but coal traffic to Roslin Colliery continued to pass over it until 1st June 1969.”
A run past the impressive, but little written of , Ice House at Mountmarle and a left turn took us to the Battle of Roslin Memorial, the very battle thet our own Carnethy 5 Race commemorates.
2 bottles of Cava almost got round everybody, and we toasted the English Defeat.
“The invaders’ progress was swift and it was only thanks to the efforts of Abernethy, the Cistercian prior of Mount Lothian (at Balantradoch, now the village of Temple), that the alarm was raised and a Scottish army assembled. A former Templar knight himself, Prior Abernethy sent monks on horseback to find the men who led the resistance at the time. Together they mustered an army of common people 8,000 strong at Biggar and set off to meet the invaders. Sir William Wallace appears to have refused to take command of the army, perhaps lacking confidence in his own ability to lead after the defeat at Falkirk. Sir John Comyn (a leading contender for the vacant throne of Scotland) was elected as overall commander and Sir Symon Fraser as leader of the army. The hastily-assembled forces then moved north via Carlops and by the evening of February 23rd had assembled in Bilston Wood, ready to strike.
Prior Abernethy’s local knowledge was put to good use as the Scots encircled the first contingent of the English army on an embankment of the River Esk in the early hours of February 24th. Segrave was among those captured for ransom. Most survivors who escaped into the woods of Roslin Glen were ambushed and slaughtered but a few managed to alert the second group, besieging Dalhousie Castle under the command of Sir Ralph de Confrey.
The English army immediately rode to face the Scots, now positioned in a defensive line across the summit of Langhill, the slope immediately to the west of the present-day Roslin BioCentre. Charging up the hill, they were picked off by Scottish archers and driven back across the field towards a ravine. The slaughter was such that the area became known as “Shinbanes Field”, five cartloads of bones being removed by farmworkers for reburial as late as the 19th century. The quiet little stream at the foot of the hill that ran red with blood is still known as the Killburn, the forest as Hewan (“Hewing”) Wood and a ridge where huge numbers of bodies piled up and were left to rot as “Stinkin’ Rig”. The English army was driven towards a precipice and slaughtered, Ralph de Confrey being among the dead.
This second battle had scarcely ended when news came of the arrival of the third contingent, prompting the murder of all English prisoners too low-born to be ransomed. Exhausted, the Scots army rested on high ground above the River Esk at Montmarle, where a monument to the battle was erected in 1994 (opposite Dryden farm, at the edge of what was the original site of The Roslin Insititute).
After winning two battles in the space of a few hours, the soldiers must have doubted their ability to prevail in a third but once again the ingenuity of Prior Abernethy saved the day. As the finale to a stirring speech he bade the tired soldiers look towards the Pentland Hills where a band of hard-working Cistercian monks under the prior’s instructions had erected a huge canvas saltire, a silver cross on a blue background shining in the late afternoon sun to inspire them to one last effort. Approaching along the valley from Borthwick Castle via Rosewell, the remaining English forces under Sir Richard Neville were defeated and the Battle of Rosslyn finally won.”
The headed across the Shinbanes Field and along Roslin Glen, where Fraser and I had installed steps across a fallen tree. With some taking the high road and some the low road, we all got to Rosslyn Castle more or less together.
A quick photo call and then a run round the chapel and we got back to the Pizza Frenzy at Moat View.
Cathi fired into action and soon the hungry runners were filled with food and wine.
Thanks to the extra food bringers, and to Cathi, Helen and Fraser for all their help.
After most people had left we had a few whiskies to Celebrate my imminent 60th Birthday.
Thanks to all that came along.
A link to the start times is now up on the handicaps page. NB contact Phil before Wed 27/7 if you are new and want a handicap, as Phil is on holiday for 2 weeks from Friday 29th. Otherwise you will get an average handicap (23:30) on the night.
One of the listed ultimate 500 races in the world. An SHR Championship Race. Described as one of the toughest races in the Scottish hillrunning calendar but probably never described as the cheapest race in the world though. What? Oh yes, prizes and the whole event sponsored by the Sligachan Hotel, free hot meal, free drink, free post-race ceilidh, a mere £4 entry fee and amazing scenery. Full details on the Glamaig race page.
What Can You Do?
Take part of course, Carnethies must enter on the day only but others can enter online via SiEntries or again on the day but to make any club race work we need people to help with registration, help with time recording, help controlling traffic and controlling enthusiastic spectators. So if you’re coming up to support and help, then let me know in reply to this or text 07889717822.
The second round of the British Hill/Fell Running Championship took place in Wales this Saturday. Arriving half an hour before the start of the women’s race there was no time for a recce but the clear blue skies allowed the surrounding hills to be admired in all their glory. Nigel had seen multiple runners pointing at one hill in particular so we too looked at it, pointed at it and decided it looked like a pretty good hill to run up on a scorching afternoon. The ladies race set off at half past two and after shouting encouragement at Rachel, Tracy and Kristen (Tracy’s cousin from the USA) the Carnethy men performed a quick warm up. We then stood in a stream to cool back down and cheer through the leading women who looked extremely hot.
The race itself involved a run round a field before heading out along a farm track that zig zagged up the lower half of Tal y Mignedd. Passing through a gate the track turned into a grassy path. After rounding the obelisk at the top of the hill it was a fast descent (for some) all the way back to the start field. The leaders shot off from the gun, kicking up the dust along the track section. Nigel came past me on the track section and I tried to keep him in sight as the gradient increased. Towards the top of the hill I hung on to the coat tails of an older runner who pulled me up to Nigel and we reached the summit at the same time. Nigel then disappeared off down the hill and I followed at a more sedate pace. The final section along the track was horrid and the finish line was a most welcome sight. Simon came storming across the line shortly after followed by Will.
After standing in a different stream to cool down we joined everyone else in heading over to the barn for the prizegiving. No prizes for Carnethy this time although the small Scottish contingent in the men’s race acquitted themselves admirably with James Espie winning overall, Ross Gollan 3rd (1st U23), Ewan Brown 5th and Al Anthony 6th (1st V40). Tents were pitched, beers were purchased and the merits of going to see Elvis were discussed. The fact Elvis was performing in a barn and the midges were out in force ended any discussion and we spent a happy evening in the company of locals and visiting fell runners while Elvis performed a mammoth 3+ hour set. Sunday’s recovery run involved a circuit up and over Snowdon and was excellent.
Results can be found here https://www.racetek-live.co.uk/website/public_results/678/complete_results/
|Position||First Name||Surname||Club||Runner Category||Time||Local|
|37||Alistair||Duncan||Carse of Gowrie Velo||M40||0:49:13|
|56||Fiona||Kelsall||Ochil Hill Runners||F40||0:53:16|
|62||David||Duncan||Ochil Hill Runners||M60||0:53:46|
|73||David||Osburn||Lomand Hill Runners||M50||0:56:20|
|87||Brian||McCarthy||Celbridge Town Harrier||M40||1:01:55|
|96||Patrick||Maliott||Lomand Hill Runners||M50||1:07:38|
Harlaw results. Points and positions after 3 races are on the handicaps page.
We had 61 runner of which 51 finished in a 10 minute spell, so well done the finishers for a high quality set of results.
Handicaps for the Lammermuir race will be out soon.
|Runner||Member?||Handicap||Run Time||Finish Time||Points|