Winter edition now available for free download here. Enjoy!
The race due to be held tonight (13th) has unfortunately had to be cancelled due to sheet ice on the trails. Hopefully it will be rescheduled for next year. Keep your eye on the web page here.
With the prospect of missing another Borders cross country (what will Digby say?) I ventured to the outskirts of Beijing yesterday for the Dajue Temple – Haidian Three Peaks Race to, in the words of Google Translate, “experience the most pure cross-country race”. I had assumed entry on the day would be possible but discovered on the Saturday night that in China insurance must be purchased for each individual person and therefore pre-entry was the only way to race. Still, I showed up at the startline hoping my English charm might sway them and sure enough I was permitted to start, but would be ineligible for any prizes should I be so fortunate.
The race itself took in three peaks that if Google translate is to be believed were Miaofeng, Sangfeng and “the northern tip of radish”, all above 1000m in height and was a bit further than the course at Berwick being 21km in length. A small group led out with me tucked in just behind for the 1000m climb to the first top. Warm sunshine on the climb was quickly replaced by a bitter north-westerly wind for the majority of the race as we sped along rocky single-track and dusty paths. A happy miscount of the climbs meant I was surprised to find myself at the top of the final descent still expecting another climb and not too far behind 3rd place who passed me while I struggled to negotiate a particularly low-hanging section of tree branches. Still an unofficial 4th place and “first foreigner” meant that, with prizes down to 8th had I entered I would have returned weighed down with a hefty collection of goodies that by my reckoning easily doubled your entry fee. Probably a good thing I didn’t though as my suitcase is pretty close to weight as it is and the 5km jog back to the station would have been even more unpleasant.
Again I have no idea where results are, although perhaps if someone has a smattering of Chinese they can decipher their location from the website http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/QSrli2ZDNTw7e3waiKiMKA or perhaps Google translate works more effectively for others.
John died peacefully at home last week. He had been living with cancer for many years but had carried on playing tennis and climbing until very close to his death.
John has been a member of Carnethy since 1996 ad had taken part in many Mountain Marathons. He was a regular on the Esk Run until a couple of years ago.
There will be a non-religious funeral for him at Mortonhall crematorium at 10am on Saturday 9th December, followed by an informal gathering from1-3pm at Alien Rock, 8 Pier Place Edinburgh EH6 4LP.
Our sympathies go to Margaret and his family.
Sunday was a superb day in the Pentlands for a race- cold and sunny with blue skies.
The route, starting at Threipmuir Reservoir, was mainly low level with a few climbs. We passed Loganlea, Glencorse, Bonaly, Torduff, Clubbiedean and Harlaw Reservoirs on mixed terrain.
Beautiful views, great support from the marshals and a good atmosphere all round. A highlight was the hot soup on an open fire and a fine spread of baking at the end, which was I was certainly ready for!
At least four Carnethys raced:
James Britton 1h 21m 57s (1st overall)
Rachel Newstead 1h 38m 50s (1st lady)
Abigail Robertson 1h 45m 21s (2nd lady)
Nick Goldfinch 1h 53m 40s
Provisional results: http://www.pentland7reservoirs.org.uk/Results2017.pdf
A load of Carnethies made the journey along to Foxlake last Saturday for the inaugural Foxlake Nocturnal Ultra. A simple idea, one of the few as-many-laps-as-you-can ultras, consisting of a 5k loop and time limit of 6 hours. I’d entered a while ago as a means to getting a long run during the winter, which is something I always struggle to do. Also, my workmate, Roger, managed to persuade me that 5k laps would be fun and we should totally do it. I’m really not an ultra person, as I always just buckle at an early stage and withdraw. It seems that I can happily run ultra distances, as long as there’s alcohol involved and nice stops at country pubs. I have no idea why this is. So it seemed only sensible that I ask the organisers via facebook if there was a bar, and if it had beer, and if I was able to have a pint on the way round, but they laughed it off thinking I was joking. Em…haha!(?) A subsequent race-prep email confirmed that if anyone turns up drunk they’ll be ejected from the event. Sob.
So to the race itself. The route was actually really good. Lovely single-track trails through forests, and edges of fields, over bridges and weaving through farms. Coloured lights lit-up sections of forest, people whizzed overhead on zipwires, and they even put a “rave barn” on the route to run through which was great fun. FYI: it was more of a disco barn as I didn’t hear any of the Old Skool Anthems I was expecting. It was all great fun and had a brilliant atmosphere.
At the leading end of things, Carnethy heroes Dave Hanna, Matt Curry and Nicola Duncan were all pushing hard in the solo event, followed not far behind by Phil Humphries and my workmate Roger. In the teams, Eoin, Aisling and John Busby had formed a team for Aisling’s work and were always out in front, but Alan Renville also had a Carnethy team in who were also running strongly. During the race it was very hard to tell, because the live timing results were nothing short of incomprehensible, so for the entire thing I had no idea who was winning at anything.
In the end, Nicola won the Ladies’ event, Dave Hanna was second male, Matt third male, Phil 7th male, and Roger 10th male. I withdrew as expected, obviously. I chucked it on the 8th lap, after confirming 8 times that there was no bar, and I just fell apart. Eoin, Aisling and John won the mixed teams prize, with Alan Renville and co in third place.
I thought that the results presentation hid some of the outstanding runs involved. For the presentation the solo males and females were separated, as were male, female and mixed teams. So, I thought I’d pool some of them together. It was pleasing to see that in the top 6 overall included three males and three females. Also, the overall team results were dominated by mixed team, not a male-only team, setting a high bar for any team in future.
|Stuart Paterson||14||6:05:57||21:37.3||Solo Males|
|David Hanna||14||6:28:41||23:50.3||Solo Males|
|Nicola Duncan||13||5:51:09||23:27.6||Solo Females|
|Matthew Curry||13||5:59:38||23:30.8||Solo Males|
|Ali Wyllie||13||6:06:00||24:43.4||Solo Females|
|Jo Newens||13||6:10:52||26:32.4||Solo Females|
|Team Lennon Busby Allum||18||6:14:52||0:17:07||Mixed Teams|
|Team Ross Pollock Parks||17||6:11:11||0:18:44||Male Teams|
|Team Griffin Saunders Peacock||17||6:21:45||0:19:51||Male Teams|
On Monday night seven Carnethy Ladies ran from Philippa’s house in Morningside over to the Craiglockhart Hills via the old railway footbridge and Balcarres Street. We almost got stuck in deep, muddy excavations on the side of Easter Craiglockhart Hill, but managed to dig ourselves out and get to the summit. On the way down we saw a head torch approaching up the hill and later found out this was Bill, who was taking a slightly shorter route. After the second hill, we ran through woods and along tracks to the old City Hospital grounds (now an upmarket residential area). Back at Philippa’s we met up again with Bill and enjoyed delicious soup, bread and cake.
A recent work trip to Dubai required some extracurricular activities to avoid over-eating and to help acclimatise. I contacted the Dubai Creek Striders (DCS) and Urban Ultra via Facebook as both looked like they did interesting stuff in and out of the city, asking when they trained and if anything was on of interest. A reply from both said it was the Dubai Triathlon Festival early on the Friday morning which I had free, so I signed up, found a bike hire, sorted the collection logistics, and figured it would be a good way to acclimatise 7hrs after I landed. I also noted two 18.30 interval sessions with the DCS within a few miles of my hotel. Great.
I entered the Sprint Triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) figuring the Olympic at twice the distance could too hot for a sleep deprived, pale skinned aspirant Jock, who last ran in +8C with the forecast for the end of the race >30C. Best to enjoy it rather than melt. I found the venue, glad to have hire car rather than a taxi since it was by the sea, in the desert, about 5 miles from the nearest hotel (rather than from the hotel). I found the bike hirer and set the bike up opting for flat pedals for such a short bike section. My swim was hot and I exited in mid-pack I think. I lost a few minutes on the hired bike after taking the Super Sprint turn off and having to re-cross a sand strip back onto my road. Other than that, only very expensive bikes overtook me and the breeze kept the sweat off. The run went really well being overtaken by only one person and finishing with a top 15 time with a 4.42/km pace! Any further and I would have slowed in the heat. Overall, 34/300 and 4th V50.
The next day I got up at 04.30 and drove 2 hrs to a mountain called Jebel Hafeet near Al Ain. Strava showed the route up and down to be 21km (CR – Paul Faulkner) so an early start could bag a desert Munro before it got too hot and before a recce of a site. By some freakish and random coincidence, I met Paul Faulkner in a parking place in the Green Mubazzarah Park at the bottom while I was looking for a map of the hill. Weird, unplanned, unbelievable. In short, he showed me to the route start and gave advice for at the top, left me for dead in the morning heat, bought me breakfast in his hotel, and drove me back to the bottom of the hill to save my legs on the tarmac. Totally weird but great to meet up after 2 years.
Monday and Wednesday night saw me finish my meetings in time to find the Interval Sessions at 18.30 with the DCS club – one doing pyramids on a 400m track and one doing 1/2M training on a 1500m loop around an artificial pond. The sessions were quite “structured” unlike our “let’s go” Wintervals but very friendly folk, interesting sessions and my first ever track session, and nice to exchange club information. I am not sure I will do another track session since you have to try and run fast.
So, apart from having to work as well, a rather satisfactory trip. One race, one hill bagged with a 007 style Prince’s Lair on the top, 2 club meets and a final visit around an amazing Grand Mosque.