Club training reports…
Seven Carnethy ladies set off from Woodhouselee under the leadership of Moira. A beautiful evening to be out in the Pentlands and in such good company. We ran just over five miles before returning to a wonderful selection of homemade salads, bread, cake and strawberries. Thank you Moira for being such an excellent guide and hostess and for giving us all a fun evening.
It being a nice evening and willing accomplices we decided on Arthur’s Seat. After the inevitable tarmac and eschewing the gate squeeze we exited the main entrance of Pollock Halls and headed straight for Arthur’s Seat. To be a bit exotic we went up the Gutted Haddie, through the crowds on Arthur’s and attempted to name the mountains silhouetted on the horizon; followed the Mon Lunchtime handicap route (qv) over Nether, Crow, Dunsapie and Whinnie Hills, then switched to the Carnethy Handicap route.
Leaving 2 of the party at the col to return to KB the remainder did an out and back to the top of Salisbury Crags, then headed back to KB. A jolly good 6.65 miles in an hour and a half.
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.
Wednesday 7pm social run had 10 participants who took the 7 Hills route To Arthur’s Seat to do the 7 tops. After 3 deer last week it was a Tawny Owl this week on Whinny Hill. We returned via Prestonfield and Inch Park. Run on Strava here
The sun was shining and the seaside was calling so the ladies run headed down the coast to Dirleton for a 7.5 mile beach/trail run. We followed part of the John Muir Ultra course through the trees skirting the posh houses at Archerfield before emerging at Yellowcraigs and into the sunshine. We then turned west on a course bound for Gullane along deserted tracks and coves – the day trippers having headed for home! There are still numerous planks of wood adrift along the coast from the load that fell overboard a few months ago! We then skirted around the edge of Gullane, with a necessary half mile on tarmac, before reentering the woods around Archerfield and so back to Dirleton, just beating the return of the haar!
The 7pm group took advantage of the weather and went for a slightly longer run including Allermuir and Caerketton.
The 7.30 group was led by Moira as Willie continues his island odyssey! And the 7pm group may have run further than our pleasant 10k but were any of them wearing a shirt and tie and celebrating their birthday?
With this my last run before heading for Arran and SIPR Marshalling, and then heading to Harris for the LAMM, and the sn being out. and Lynsey Van Der Blyth heading south at the end of May, it was Lynsey’s Call, BEER or ICE CREAM !
Ice Cream it was so we headed for Braidburn Park and then descended on the Garage at Commiston for the cold stuff before a pleasant 5 minutes licking the night away.
The re-invigorated we Summited Blackford before heading for the still closed KB Union.
The 7 o’clockers’ not a pub run
No fancy dress.
No dodgy carol singing.
No mince pies.
No pubs! Although a lady in Burdiehouse Burn Park did ask if we were on the pub run…
Gordon led the way round a variation of the dry pub run on a beautiful evening.
The 7 o’clockers on Strava
The “Further” group taking Allermuir from the rear.
With at least four new runners, the short history of Craigmillar and surrounds was recited at the regular stops. The new runners also found out that if they run ahead Willie then decides to suddenly change route!
We all got back a few minutes before Gordon’s 7 o’clockers returned from their Craiglockhart and Braids run, with a Blackford Quarry Arète to sort the men from the boys before braving the shouts of “Fore” on the golf course.
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.