Historians may be interested in the following link /club_training_sessions/lunchtime-handicaps/ (scroll to the bottom), that I used to organise from KB on the second Thursday of every month.
In those days I was running a bit faster. My recollection is that the record was around 27 minutes but I can’t remember who held it.
The easy runners went round it in 66 minutes whilst the fasties did it twice in about 100 minutes. Gordon’s Strava here
Having had a very tiring slushy sprint session (hardly sprinting but!!) at Bush at Lunchtime, I was feeling fairly weary and fed up of slush. I thought both sides of the Hermitage and Braidburn Park would be a nice, likely to be snowless, easy 4 miler.
As the group arrived I asked where they would like to go, Alan intervened, and correctly announced that I had made the decision already, so we headed off. We summitted Blackford and took in the views before descending to the steps. They resembled an icefall so after a quick look at the snow cleaned trail shoes of the group I decided to take the long way down.
The earthy slopes and fallen trees of the Hermitage were soon behind us as we squelched across the final grass to the tennis courts. Braidburn Park was good running and then we took the high route along the south Hermitage popping out into the field. Some building preparation work left us ankle deep in mud (sorry!) and the clean shoes were no longer.
A couple of bum slides on the final descent and we headed back into Craigmillar Park and home. A lovely run but 1.15 miles over the promised, but no-one seemed to care
The 6 Beasts from the East met at KB at 7pm and in perfect conditions covered the circuit over Blackford, Braids and the 2 Craiglockhart. Good running and no traffic – it was a bit like Christmas Day. Perfect visibility and no need for head torches. A few skiers and sledgers on the golf courses and the odd dog walker but otherwise it was eerily quiet apart from a flash of lightning and thunder on the Braids. It was only after we got to Craig East that the snow came on but by then we were on the way back. Strava https://www.strava.com/activities/1430447919 Great evening
With red and yellow weather alerts being issued regarding travelling on the roads numbers were slightly down for the 7 o’clock social group but six runners made it to KB on foot or by bike for the allotted start time. With an inch or two of snow on the ground conditions were almost perfect for a night run. Head torches were largely redundant the moonlight reflecting off the snow giving more than enough light to run by and the snow provided nice cushioning underfoot. We headed across the golf course out of KB to the top of Blackford hill and then on to the the Braids. From here we took the southern route to the Craiglockharts. Gordon left us to run home shortly after with the rest of us skirting Blackford on the way back to KB. Chris L had to head home but Neil, Chris B, Laura and myself carried on to Leslie’s where Mike M had some seats reserved for us and even got the first round in.
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).
7pm came and went and as Gordon wasn’t there we all stood around looking confused. Fiona tried to round us all up and she, Ryan and I quickly devised a route. Or at least decided we would start by heading up Blackford Hill and not take any shortcuts. We almost turned into a dead end on the way out of KB but managed to make it (along the road) to Blackford Hill. Then we dropped down into the Braids where we unfortunately lost one due to injury and two due to headtorch issues. We made it across to the top of Braid Hill easily and then discussed what to do next.
No one was sure so Ryan took control and led us down to the Stable Bar at Mortonhall. Unfortunately no one knew where to go from here so we backtracked slightly and headed back up the path towards Braid Road. We missed the turnoff back towards the Braids and emerged on the roads in Buckstone. Another runner came past so we followed him and hoped he wasn’t heading to his house. Fiona tried to take a shortcut through someone’s garden but eventually we found our way back to the Braids, crossed over the road and dropped down to the Lodge Coffee House, then back up the steps to Blackford golf course via another couple of wrong turns. Lee and Lucas led us back over the golf course to KB, only ten minutes late, after 8 and a bit miles.
There was also a really big moon.
Kudos to Ryan, Fiona and everyone else who helped lead the run and everyone for their patience and good humour about all the dead ends and wrong turns!
The 7.30 group (also without Gordon!):
An email at work warned me that there would be a Gordonless 7pm run. Irene had offered me a lift in for 7:30, so I was going to share transport and help save the planet. I am usually there to check everyone was happy, so I was picturing a group of headless 7pm-ers in a bit of a tiz. How right I was.
But by 7:30, 15 of us had gathered and I decided to run in the trees to stay out of the cold. Wrapped up like Nanook of the North I ventured out and led the way to Easter Craiglockhart. The North Hermitage path was muddy and slippy but fairly warm as I took off one of my layers. As we reached Comiston Road we were missing three – it turned out that Lindsay had got a fly in the eye which Irene had to extricate. So not only was it a Blue Moon run, it was a Bluebottle Run.
Jumping the wall onto the “secret path” we ran past the first snowdrops of the year. It took about 5 minutes for all of us to get through the metal bar gate squeeze and then we headed up to Craiglockhart summit. The Super Blood Red Blue Moon was showing itself through the clouds as we stopped for a photo.
The return route took us along the Hermitage main path, turning left too soon into Blackford Quarry left me leading the group over the ridge and down a rather slippy, wet, Broken Glass covered, rocky slope to rejoin the planned route. Up through the reclaimed quarry and across Craigmillar Park and back to KB.
5.6 miles in 1 hour 25 (1 hour 8 minutes if you take off photo stops and fly extraction time).
Good Fun as ever
Lee looked worried, Matt was even more concerned, Mary pannicked and then Gordon walked in.
It seems like it must be an Ex-Presidential thing that Leadership is still expected.
Gordon was aiming for Arthur’s Seat with his loyal followers.
Half an hour later I had 16 eager followers as we headed across Criaigmillar Park for the Hermitage.
A quick dash up the Lang Lynn left one queazy runner , but after a few minutes recovery we were off again.
Cutting across Braids we headed down to Braidburn Park and back over Blackford.
Gordon was the sole remaining (and only showering) 7pm runner and handed over Catherine Forrest’s Greenmantle Dash prize before we headed home.
No Beers this week , But Jim and Graham were in the Trossachs making up for us.