Club training reports…
Heading up to Liberton tower we headed on to summit Braids and then went for a quick photo call to the cave before heading for the Hermie. We took the off road route to Midmar befoe the horrible steps and then the summit of Blackford. A quick descent back to KB and we had done 4.85 miles in about 73 minutes.
Gordon led a depleted “Social” group back to KB with Philippa telling Gordon that he was on fire tonight, much like the shut KB.
After a straight run to the summit we visited the bumps to the south. Hayley really enjoyed the rock climbing aspect of the first rock hillock (Corbie’s Craig). We headed on down and after an out and back of the southern bump we descended the scree down to the hermitage bridge.
A quick run along the Hermie and we headed back up the Arette (another joyous rock climb) and back up to the summit.
Descending back towards Observatory road we zigzagged down to the Duck Pond and after a quick circumnavigation we ascended once more.
Then it was straight back to KB in 4.02 miles 1 hour 10 minutes and 800 feet of climb.
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
Postponed by a week thanks to the beast from the east Monday’s ladies run left the bright lights of Edinburgh behind and headed to Athelstaneford (or Elshinford as the locals know it!) Head torches were definitely necessary as even the village streetlights are designed for low light pollution. We were few in number – me, Kirsty, Sandra and newbie Tawera – but we made up for it in enthusiasm. We even persuaded Billy to join us! We managed a 5 mile loop, taking in the unfinished 16th century Barnes Castle before heading to the Garleton Hills, the Hopetoun Monument beckoning us onwards. Kirsty described the run as taking us through a fairytale landscape, castle ruins, steep escarpments, wonderful chocolate fields with fresh sprouts of green grass, stone bridges, steps, remote farms and distant monuments on a calm winter night. Our reward was Billy’s chilli on our return – what else do you need from a Monday night?
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
This week’s ladies run saw us heading into the Pentlands. The snow had mostly melted but had left everywhere very wet, muddy and slippery underfoot. We set out from Margaret’s, unfortunately without Margaret herself as she is bravely fighting a cold in order to race at the Devil’s Burdens. This is great commitment.
Catherine led the run in her place. We set out through the woods at Dreghorn, up White Hill and across to Bonaly. We started out with 11 but lost Kirsty early on as she too was feeling under the weather and wanted to be ready for Saturday. More great commitment to our Devil’s Burdens teams! At Bonaly we lost two more due to headtorch malfunctions (or, proof that battery power is better than usb). The remaining 8 of us continued through the woods down to Torduff Reservoir and along the road to the dam. From there we headed back to Bonaly and over the shoulder of White Hill, under the bypass and home through the woods. A few of us managed to completely overshoot the turnoff, this might have been my fault but I was distracted by the fun trail and good conversation. Thanks to Catherine for coming to rescue us!
Reunited again back at Margaret’s we were joined by Bill who had been out on his own adventure. We warmed up with Margaret’s delicious soup, homemade bread, and a selection of cheese, followed by some amazing apple and raspberry crumble. If there had been any doubt, all the mud was worth it!
It was great to see some new faces on the run. Welcome to Carnethy Becky and friends! I’m super impressed with your enthusiasm for the muddy trails even without trail shoes! See you all at the next one!
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.
Tonight I decided to have a “Sweet Little Mystery” run, I was “Wishing I Was Lucky” and that a lot of people would “Make It Tonight” . I was hoping we wouldn’t have to be “Holding Back the River” and soon it was time to “Put the Light On”. Well it was Wet Wet Wet.
I was a little late having got halfway to KB with no fell shoes. But a phone call to Richard and the larger than usual group was there waiting when I arrived at 7:32.
A little rain doesn’t put off Carnethies!
A quick run across Craigmillar Park and along the fence and we were on golf course number 2, up the edge of the junior course to go onto the Misty Braids. We randomly weaved through the mist and jumped the wall on to Mortonhall Golf Course and ascended to the Masts. A quick dash to the trig for a photo shoot and then we had another random misty weave through Braids.
We managed to find our way to Lang Linn and ran back across the hermitage and summited Blackford before returning to KB.
A great wet run of 5 miles in 1 hour 20, Nicely finished off with a quick half pint in Leslie’s Bar.
We did Whinny Hill, the summit and Crow Hill before returning by Innocent Railway, Prestonfield and Inch Park and were back in 90 minutes having done 7 and a half miles. No fasties this week.
Check out the run on Strava – https://www.strava.com/activities/1267105906
After waving off the 2 7pm groups the long lost Drew Lennie turned up and we discussed plans for the run. We decided on Craigmillar Castle as Alfie (his four legged friend) would enjoy the freedom.
7 of us headed out across Inch Park and out to the wilds of Craigmillar. No-one fancied playing on the swings this time so we went off to explore Hawkhill Wood. After a quick circumnavigation through the undergrowth we ran round the Castle passing the film set for Outlander, then after a quick hill rep we returned to KB across the rugby pitch. We finished with another quick Hill rep and wall climb into Craigmillar Park. A nice 4.6 miles in 67 minutes.
Wed 7pm social
A healthy group of 10 including some newbies joined me for the “dry” pub run which covered 10 of the current or former pubs visited on the Xmas pub run. 14.4k in 1.27hrs so it was lot pacier than it will be at Xmas. The fasties were depleted in numbers after last week
Next week is the fancy dress Halloween run in Penicuik estate – details on night runs page.
Nine runners made up the fasties group this week for another run out to the Pentlands. A quick blast over Blackford hill, through the hermitage and Braidburn Valley park brought us to Oxgangs. Sticking to the side of the stream all nine of us made it to Redford Barracks with Jim Hardie then taking the lead through Covenanters Wood, under the bypass and to the fringes of the Pentlands. Everyone seemed happy to head higher so we made our way to the top of Allermuir via the handicap route that skirts Green Craig. At the windy nook the group split into two with five runners choosing to return to KB via Swanston. The remaining four popped over Caerketton and ran back via Morton Hall.
Next week the plan is to explore round the back of Caerketton. It’d be great to have a high turnout again as it was a real pleasure to run as part of a larger group yesterday. If you don’t fancy joining the faster group I hear that the 7pm social group is pretty awesome too.
Stats: 18 km, 573m, 2hrs 5 mins (or 20.3 km, 697m, 2hrs 7 mins).
The Wednesday Night 7.30 pm Social-Social Run had a good 5.7 mile run around the Braids…including a successful summit of the trig point.
Richard, Mark, Abby, Lyndsay, Sandra, Ken, Hayley, Patricia and Sandra
I hope John and the fasties aren’t taking over – he only left 3 to join me on the hospital run – Astley Ainslie/Royal Ed/Craighouse/XAids Hospice/City Hospital with a couple of Craiglockharts and Blackford thrown in. 8.5 miles I was told in about 95 mins – we didn’t do much socialising!
Do join us next week
Stats: 19.6k, 600m in 2 hrs 10 mins
Sprints were a bit of a misnomer for the ‘Golf Course Sprints’ 7.30 group starting at hole 10, or ‘the gherkin’, but we somehow held off the 7pm group doing the whole round until the last hole in an increasing ‘damp’ outing. With headtorches on the rain appeared oddly like snow, a cruel harbinger of things to come, but lying green on the ground. We got back to KB before the deafening and incomprehensible ‘we are about to throw you out the showers’ announcements on the PA. Which was nice.
Drookit is a word that best describes the runners that met up a KB for the 7pm run. They ventured out into the downpour bravely and set off for the Craiglockharts.
Half an hour later the rain was stopping as the Easy Group headed out (across the golf course for the first time since summer), heading over the shoulder of Blackford we entered the Hermitage wood. A figure in a full length black cape was standing by a 2 small fires. Was it a coven? We didn’t hang about!
It was dark in the woods and the early head torch users caused the front runners to run in the shadows, but it was a nice run along the river past the Tennis courts and over the wall into the secret off road path, carefully avoided by Sandra and Digby. We re-met them and headed up Easter Craiglockhart, passing the 7 o’clockers running down. The summit view was grand and the rain stayed off as we returned through the Hermitage and back across the golf course.
Now we were chasing the showers, with KB shutting at 9 we had 15 minutes to get back and shower.
We made it, and by the time we were dry the rain had started peeing down again.
So we missed some showers and caught others, a perfect night! 5.4 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes.