Arthur’s Seat Lunchtime Handicap
|(not organised by CHRC)|
The handicap is once a month, but every Monday at 12:30 a group of intrepid office workers take time away from their desks to explore the hidden depths of Holyrood Park. This interim return to sanity sees them winding their way around the tracks and pathways over Arthurs Seat, Salisbury Crags, Whinny Hill, Dunsapie Hill and a multitude of points in between. There is no fixed route, there is no fixed run time and there is no fixed pace; just a wee chance to escape the drudgery of the 9 to 5.
It’s so good a chance to escape that several runners turn up on other days of the week (there’s often a Thursday run and a harder paced run on Wednesdays) often prompted by a quick email. To join in the normal run just turn up at 12.30. We meet at the foot of the Radical road opposite Holyrood Palace car park.However, once a month (approximately) we get a bit more competitive and hold a handicap race around the 7 tops (which doubles as the ‘default route’ most Mondays).
Starting from the foot of the Radical Road the actual route is effectively up to yourself; however you have to reach each of the 7 peaks (in either a clockwise or anticlockwise manner depending on what mood the handicappers are in).
|1.||Salisbury Crags||(575-113 = 462ft rise)|
|2.||Arthurs Seat trig point||(822-375 = 447ft)|
|3.||Round grassy lump on Nether Hill overlooking Pollock Halls||(775-740 = 35)|
|4.||Rocky top on Crow Hill||(775-730 = 45)|
|5.||Dunsapie||(460-375 = 85)|
|6.||Whinny Hill||(580-350 = 230)|
|7.||Haggis Knowe||(210-175 = 35)|
|The current course record for this was set on 4th November 2013 when Paul Faulkner beat his own 2011 record with a time of 25 minutes 32 seconds, an improvement of 17 seconds.|
Previous record to that was Stewart Whitlie’s 26 minutes and 2 seconds (which had stood for several years) whilst Jill Stephen currently holds the best ladies time of 29:54 minutes. Don’t let these times put you off – there are runners who have a handicap of 55 minutes and the regular Monday runs are held at a much more leisurely pace, stopping to regroup on the tops (and after some of the descents).
One example route for the handicap is shown below – taken from Derek’s gps watch and overlaid on the OS map and google map’s photo of the area. The dotted line and the pink splodge are alternative routes, but there are so many variations that finding a new line becomes part of the challenge.
|Results & reports: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011|
|To join the Handicap go on the mailing list by contacting Neil McLure and you will then get start times sent by email, and also confirmation of normal runs.|
|There are countless choices between the crags|
and the high point – the route above goes straight up the Gutted Haddie,
and is not recommended for faint hearts – there is a much more runnable route that contours
Northwards round the West side of the hill and follows the main tourist track
and there are other, quicker routes that you’ll discover over time.
Kings Buildings 4 mile handicap
|(not organised by CHRC)|
Run by Alex Jackson and Bill Byers on the last Thursday of every month. It has been running since 1983 and is still popular for those who want a 20 – 30 min hard lunchtime run. Starts at Kings Buildings at 1pm, be there 10 minutes early. The Route is a clockwise circuit of Kings Buildings and Blackford Hill running through the Hermitage.
All results since 1983 are on this web page, where there is also a search engine to find fastest times, indiviual people etc.
Kings Buildings 4 mile Hill Race – not currently running
|Started by Ronnie Brown and now run by Willie Gibson and Win Rampen on the second Thursday of every month.|
The “Hill Handicap” happens on the second Thursday of each month at 12:50. Participants meet in the changing room of the King’s Buildings. House 10 minutes beforehand.
Course description (4.3 miles 290 metres climb)
The course is 4.3 miles and is largely flexible
with only three mandatory way-points in the first half. The start is at the phone box at Entrance 2.
The Race proceeds down Blackford Avenue to the entrance of the park at Blackford Pond. Any route is allowed to the trig point at the top of Blackford Hill.
Then proceed to the top of Braid Hill, again by the route of your choice. Some prefer the wet crossing across Braid burn while others take the bridge, your decision. There are a lot of options on this leg which are worth scouting out From Braid trig turn left, for home, and proceed along the bridal path, cutting off in front of the communication tower and then back onto the track. Follow it down to Braid Hills Road, crossing over into Liberton Tower Farm. Take the farm track down through the farm steading to Liberton Brae. Now finish along the road by running up Mayfield Rd. to the traffic light, turning left and sprinting along West Mains Rd. The finish is the tree on the near side of Entrance 2.