1 Boghall – Al McGowan
2 Dreghorn – Steve Best
3 Nine Mile Burn – Michael Wilkinson
4 Portmore Loch – Chris Busby
5 Red Moss – Hilary Spenceley
6 Arthurs Seat – Bruce McAdam
Gold – Hilary Spenceley
Silver – Irene Schierloh
Bronze – Matt Jones
|April – Boghall|
Extraordinary happening at Boghall Handicap
In an unprecedented event the handicapper got it right and everybody came in at the same time! We shall never see the like again.
Now… who forgot to pay for their meal at the Steading? <peers around with narrowed eyes>
|May – Dreghorn|
Click for gallery
39 starters and 42 finishes for the 2nd handicap of the year at Dreghorn.
The rain stayed off and running conditions were good, if a little breezy over the tops.
This was the second running of this course (new last year). Its a challenging route, and map reading skills are an advantage.
First home was Steve Best (a good 10 minutes ahead of 2nd) after hoodwinking the handicapper into believing he was still injured. (Good to see you back racing, Steve).
Last off and 2nd last home was Andrew Normand after experiencing some route finding issues (he also appears to have lost his razor, sporting a good growth of facial hair). Matt Grove hobbled in in last place, his final handicap race.
Many thanks to Ina, Mark, Nicola and her 2 little helpers for recording the finishing times.
Thanks also to the marshal at Green Craig, who climbed up with a Carnerthy Flag to mark the final checkpoint.
27 Carnethies then headed to Dantes Restaurant in Colinton, where we enjoyed some Tomato Soup (with a kick of chilli) followed by a pizza or pasta – many thanks to the staff for getting us all served so quickly.
Matt Grove was presented with a chocolate cake (baked by Mrs Davis), Yorkshire Rose Flag and other goodies to wish him well on his transfer to Philadelphia Penitentiary next week.
Secretary, Carnethy HRC
|June – Nine Mile Burn|
Click for gallery
Meanwhile, in a place far far away, a race (The Red Moss Kips race) was minus one runner.
It is not the first time that Carnethy has led someone astray.
The very runable route was enjoyed by all as we ran up the “Eskalator” (Strava Segment) past Spittal farm and on over Spittal Hill.
As we ran over Green Law we could see a long string of runners heading up The Kips. We seemed to be climbing faster than them as I ran past Davie Duncan and, turning at the top, I noticed Big Al approaching from the east having chased the pack.
The descent was fast and furious and soon we were all back at Nine Mile Burn, but one runner looked a little confused. A female runner (name with held to avoid embarrassment) had been led astray by the Good looking Carnethies and had chased us back to end up only 4 miles (in a straight line) from where she should be.
20 of us headed back to The Steading for food and beer.
A grand night out!
Well, against all odds (namely me being the “organiser”) yesterday’s handicap was a fab, sun-drenched, breeze-cooled event. Most people seemed to have fun, except Jim Hardie who regurgitated a triple-doughnut pre-race-snack somewhere on Spittal Hill. A Red Moss Kips runner, lured away from her race pack, reflected philosophically that it had been a very enjoyable descent, albeit to the wrong finishing line. Huge thanks to Nikki and Melanie for manning the fort in the face of adversity: dodgy timers, runners with duplicate numbers, stray Red Mossers, and a “handicap organiser” who showed a complete dereliction of duty in turning up late and bunking off for a run. Thanks to JBF for showing me this lovely route a couple of years ago. Thanks also to Cat and Dani, who turned up eager to help…at Boghall :-D. . I will take credit for the gorgeous weather. Due to timer issues, the run times might be slightly out (mine is out by about a minute). Everyone’s times were taken from the same watch though, so are consistent.
Carnethy Handicap – from the perspective of a stray runner
Hill races can be a navigation nightmare, but the Red Moss Kips race provides a beautiful straight circuit with visibility for miles on sunny days (like yesterday) – it’s impossible to get lost. I’m not exactly famous for my navigation skills but this time I excelled, even for my own standards. It takes a genius like me to manage to start one race and finish another race – all in under 1 hour! To my own defence, I was perfectly aware that I was running in the opposite direction to the route indicated on the map (so was not really lost), but picture this series of unfortunate incidences (not to be used as a ‘golden rule for race navigation’):
1. Be sufficiently confident that you find your way through the Pentlands with your eyes closed, so don’t bother looking closely at the route map
2. Only listen to the route description of the race organiser with half an ear. So if he mentions a ‘sharp left turn’ don’t worry – it will be obvious which turn he means
3. Look closely to the ground while running so that you only see the runners in front of you and miss any runner that may join you from a different direction
4. When you reach the top of West Kip, follow the runners taking a sharp left U-TURN (‘ah, that must have been the sharp turn the guy mentioned!’) although you bloody well know that this is opposite to the route on the map.
5. Draw the only possible conclusion one would reach if ALL runners (carrying race numbers) in your vicinity confidently take the u-turn and absolutely nobody takes the direction you think is right: I must have the wrong map (or more precisely: my husband must have handed me the wrong map)
6. Even when the first doubts creep in, keep going as the new route is nicely downhill and easy.
7. Suffer the consequences by serving as entertainment of the evening for the Carnethy runners who completed their handicap from Nine Mile Burns to West Kip and back.
Thanks to the nice Carnethies for joining me on this pleasant run, to Willie for helping me contact the organisers of the race I should have run, and especially to the friendly runner for giving me a lift back home!
Table of results here –
|Position||First Name||Last Name||Finish time||Run Time|
|July – Portmore Loch|
Wonderful views and fast running for last night’s handicap. Euan ran so fast he overshot the turn for home and ended up amongst the manicured lawns and tennis courts of Portmore House; Fraser ran so fast he ended up in a field and embarked on his own cross country route with barbed wire obstacles, but did eventually finish. Nobody felt inclined to run back and look for Euan so a few piled into a car, on the supposition that if he found the loch he’d find the finish. Happily he was located on the main road and returned to the fold.
Afters was a BBQ amongst the pines in the wonderful garden of Jasmin & Konrad at Gladhouse reservoir. Superb. Well done to Helen for organising. Mike’s photos here and provisional results below.
Well, it didn’t start well.
A slow puncture coming in from Edinburgh left me pushing the bike for the last couple of miles up to the start. When I finally arrived I was hoping to negotiate a halfway sane handicap, but everyone decided that after a year or so off hill races, and no training, I must be faster than them.
So, after half an hour of toiling up hill, while being savaged by flies, I ended up running on my own with only distant (and fast disappearing) specks where my club mates should be. Then the low evening sun and dark shade kicked in and I couldn’t even see the specks anymore. A map, compass, GPS or elementary knowledge of the route/area would have helped at this point. I had none.
The Moorfoots are a beautiful place in the sun and almost perfectly quiet. The run began to take on a surreal aspect at this point, as I wandered through sun dappled woods there were cows, sheep, hares who leapt so high I thought they were deer, and grouse exploding from under my feet. I begun to laugh. This carried on for a while and I was pretty contented jumping over fences, running through little valleys and generally going in circles. Then emerging from a wood I suddenly found myself facing a stately home, croquet pitch and a pond with a working fountain. Hill races don’t normally have fountains in them. The laughing began to take on a manic, questioning-of sanity-tone.
Eventually I found a rose covered cottage, a nice lady kindly explained that I was so far from Portmore Loch that she had no idea how to get there. She suggested I take a left turn to the Gardeners Cottage. There was no Gardeners Cottage. I was in another forest. At this point I begin to seriously consider the possibility that I had entered some kind of fairy tale and the old lady had sent me into a magical wood to be captured by the faerie people, the laughter gave way to crying. I tried leaving the woods and crossing a sheep field, the sheep STRONGLY objected. Thought then it might be sensible to head for the high ground to get an idea of where I was. The problem with the view from the high ground in a forest is that there isn’t one.
Eventually after another dozen or so fence/field/stream/forest crossings I gave up on trying to get back to the start cross country and headed for the sound of the A703. It was a well timed choice, after 30 seconds running up the road the first car I met turned out to be full of Carnethies sent to rescue me.
I didn’t have a GPS on but I’ve tried to give my best guess at where I went!
|Runner||Predicted Run Time||Handicap||Finish time||Race no.||Run Time|
|Fraser||Gibson||48.1||31.46||96.24||43||64.38 got lost!|
|Euan||Innes||120||49||90 lost & rescued by car!|
|August – Red Moss|
I had full opportunity to observe the antics as I slipped remorselessly down the field, eventually to enjoy the bird song, sighing breezes and the views in the pearly autumnal light in splendid solitude.
This route needs a rethink! Both to avoid ambiguity and because of sensitivities surrounding the grouse moor.
|Position||Race no||Runner||Predicted Run Time (mm:ss)||Handicap (mm:ss)||Finish time|
|25||228||Chris||Busby||H/cap 22.09 but started at 27||27.00||69.11|
|September – Arthur’s Seat handicap|
“But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first”. Matthew versed off at 1930 but we had started at 1830 so by then it was too late for such advice. (Look the quote up).
For the second time in as many weeks I had the pleasure of organising a run over the—inner city—but still rough bounds of Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat. Last week a modest run for a “Speed of Light Run Leader’s” reunion—this included at least 5 Carnethy members—and last night for—what has been for some 12 years now—the handicap series finale.
Some 35 souls—a wonderfully rewarding mix of members and non-members and complete newcomers—strayed out on what turned out to be a surprisingly warm, windless run, taking in each of the tops including the somewhat slippery summit of Arthur’s Seat and the highest point of Salisbury Crags by every which way imaginable—some unimaginable, or at least unlikely. One runner—despite the helpful, indeed, sage, advice of the Race Organiser—opted to cut through the trees at the start and leg it up the road for his summit approach thereby adding—as predicted —a minute and forty five seconds to his ascent. Sadly, his status as Men’s Captain precludes me from naming him.
Mike Lynch, with knee problems (“WKP”) set off and returned almost immediately recognising he was still crocked but still managed to cycle to pertinent points to film / photo events and to make acerbic, sorry observant (damn you non-predictive text) comments. President Willie G arrived (WKP) and post Paddy Buckley Round recce with no heel pads either but helped with the finish recording and to make acerbic, sorry again, observant comments.
People won and people lost in terms of their aspirations and abilities, runs and results, hurdles and handicaps but our superb—competitors please feel free to choose your own adjective—handicapper Phil Young will fill you all in on all of that—but for me the winners were quite simply Anya and Mary as “many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first”. Last? No, easily first—Anya for giving it her all—perhaps even leaving bits of arse (her seat) well behind (that was the big pun and joke folks) on the descents and Mary for selflessly hanging back to guide Anya whilst abandoning her own chances of winning anything, except our thanks and impatience.
Post-race—pints, pizza and prizes poured promptly in pure perfection in the pub found our measure—both the pub and measure being the Kilderkin. A Kilderkin is traditionally a measure of 16 – 18 gallons of ale but although we consumed 16 pizzas I doubt we did justice to the ale unless someone can unravel the ale algebra around—3 Hops plus (X) PA = ?…
A fine night and a fitting end to the 2014 handicap series.
Arthur’s Seat Handicap – a newcomer’s perspective
Running is a true gift. More specifically, it is a truly humbling gift. As a tiny, young American woman, from the very, very flat lands of Chicago, my first experience running with the Carnethy hill runners was at the very least humbling, and at the most, downright embarrassing. Luckily, no one runs because it’s attractive, so in the end even though my arse was covered in grass, my legs were covered in some unknown species of plant, and my pride was, and still is tumbling down some rocks on Aruthur’s seat, I had an absolutely wonderful time. (the amount of running vs. walking/tumbling/sprawling/climbing still to be determined.) The people I met, especially my ever patient guide, Mary, as well as the views to be seen, plus the ever enthralling release of dopamine into the bloodstream made my first running experience in Edinburgh something to be remembered. It reminded me of the beauty of running, how much there is to still learn about running, and that each and every day we can run is truly a gift. So, to the Carnethy Hill Running Club: Thank you, for an amazing introduction to hill running in Edinburgh.