The Broughton Tyke
aka Matt Davis
Where was everyone? Just two of us turned up for the start of the Trossachs journey run. Alan and I set off up through the woods and into Glen Finglas. Although the weather forecast had been bad we had little rain throughout the day. We left the Glen Finglas reservoir and headed up the hill track into Gleann Casaig. On the far side of the valley we could see another track leading up to a small hydro dam higher up the valley. Near the dam we spent some time looking at a tiny dam on our side of the valley, up the hillside from the track. It was only a few feet wide and seemed to catch a small trickle from an area of boggy ground above. We couldn’t work out what it was for.
Near the top of the valley we came into the thick mist that hung over all the hill tops. When we reached the ridge between Ben Vane and Ben Ledi, Alan said he wanted to test an electronic gizmo. He wandered round in the mist holding a small box with an aerial above his head. Actually, I think he was trying to contact ET – didn’t work though, just made the rain come down heavier. We were very glad of the line of rusty fence posts that guided us along the ridge to Ben Ledi. When we couldn’t see more than 50 yards ahead the ground looked disturbingly lumpy and disorientating. When we eventually reached the summit it was surprisingly calm and mild so we sat on a grassy knoll for lunch.
We continued down the tourist path for a while, occasionally meeting walkers looming up out of the mist. We left the path part way down and with a combination of compass bearings & lie of the land we stravaiged our way down the hillside. Soon we came below the cloud base and could see our objective of a gate in a deer fence. This led to a path through a deciduous woodland plantation and out though another gate at the bottom. It was much easier than the climbing of deer fences I had to do during the recce. We were now on The Great Trossach Path which took us on a lovely high path overlooking Loch Venacher, all the way back to the car park. If we had gone a few days earlier, this is what it would have looked like. On the very last bit, just before the car park, the ground was totally blue – covered with a carpet of bluebells.
The Borders are secret Scotland and the area around Selkirk hosts some cracking races like Feel the Burns and the Bowhill Duathlon Series among others. These two are in winter and whilst can be tough in wet conditions, show that the hills in the area eminently runnable. So, to make use of a mountain bike race series, Durty Events decided to use one of the marked bike routes to add a new couple of races – an Ultra Marathon and a Half Ultra. Advertised as 44km, the Ultra looked like it was going to be a trail marathon and turned out to be such.
After a month of drought, rain was forecast and the clag was down. Waterproofs were donned but soon removed only to be needed again for 30mins in the race (for those who bothered). The half Ultra did a lollipop route from the start to do a circuit around the Bowhill Estate and down Duchess Drive to loop back around and over Pernassie Hill to return to Selkirk. The Ultra route headed past Broadmeadows passing a ruined castle and following a fabulous river trail, up to the Three Brethren, a tour of Yair Hill Forest and back up the Southern Upland way to return to Selkirk Rugby Club. The views were limited in the low cloud and trees but the odd glimpse into the valleys was possible now and then.
This is a really great selection of trails with only around 2km on tarmac and the rest using forest tracks, steep winding mountain bike descents, a section on green trods through heather and lovely single track paths, all in a stunning area. Well worth the visit. The organization was great, with plenty of route markings and marshals where needed. The four aid stations were well stocked with water, fruit, great cakes, biscuits and pretzels, and friendly helpers. Results are here: http://www.durtytiming.com/race-results.html.
There were a few Carnethys in both races. Carnethy results… Read more…
Carnethy Summer collection being modelled on Wednesday Night. Hayley – Ladies Small, Willie – Unisex Medium, Sandra – Unisex Large, Jeff – Unisex Small
See gear page for details
|Runner||Start Time May||Actual May||Fin Time||Time Order||Fin Order|
Eddie Rooney was first home today and takes the honours.
Great New PB’s for Neil and Jill.
Jill also had the fastest time with a good sub 30 time.
Everyone beat their handicap by at least a minute as conditions were mainly firm and dry and the east wind was there and helping a bit.
Seeing as we are mountain goats and like to bleat – it was a bit too warm and the scree was pretty dry and slippy.
We were troubled by “too many tourists around and they predictably scatter in all directions when you shout ahead, making things worse.”
See you June 5th
Map – http://carnethy.com/club_training_sessions/lunchtime-handicaps
Results page – http://carnethy.com/category/mon-arthurs-seat-handicaps/
Short version – where the hell were you? Numbers were low this year, possibly due to Stuc, with just a dozen of us venturing out from The Steading. Even stalwarts like Nick, Gordon and Shane were missing.
More fool them. Personally, I think Oz excelled himself this year, with a set of ridiculously good malt whiskies and the finest weather ever experienced on a Chaser. Even better, despite multiple drams at each stop (for those that wanted them), there was still enough left to auction off at the end, for the benefit of the Friends of the Pentlands. I shall enjoy the remains of the Kilchoman all the more for knowing I outbid The President for it. Thanks Oz!
For the full story – read on.
Finlay Wild won the race with Andy Fallas in 2nd place in a big field, the race being a British, Scottish and Carnethy championship race. Stewart Whitlie was 3rd V50 and the Carnethy prizes stopped there. Apart from Lucky Fionna, who scored a spot prize of a rather large bottle of vodka. Interesting spot prize tactic of allocating them before the race started. Not a bad idea.
Does everyone find this a really hard race? In the lower echelons we did, but we feel contentedly tired. We couldn’t have had better weather. Spectacularly lovely with endless views. In cold easterly winds the sun warmed the day and it was perfect running conditions. Fully marked and marshalled you can’t get lost (well I assume), and you will never be short of a jelly baby or some water.
Remarkably I ran to the second the same time as on my first outing in 2011, though the course now has a different start. This is a narrow track and very boggy normally though fortunately relatively dry today. With the very large field it turned into a 3 mile long queue. Your race position was largely determined by where you started, which is rather annoying. I’d like to race to my best running ability, not to where you position yourself at the start. Oh well; so I ran for the craic and the SHR mug. But I don’t want a cracked cup thank you.
I took quite a few photos of descending runners (not actually high fiving Harry!), but the camera starts up so slowly I just have a lot of photos of my thigh. I’ve spared you those.
Matthew Curry’s superb photos on facebook.
Results here. Prizewinners on http://www.stucachroin5000.org.uk and also results with bib numbers
Carnethy Ladies in Surprise Road Race Win…
Carnethy Ladies pulled off an unexpected win in today’s 20-mile, very flat, Edinburgh to North Berwick road race. The Ladies Team, of Abigail Robertson, Paloma Heras and Sally Cross were first female team, based on combined time. Sally was also 2nd LV50. Two Carnethy Men also raced. It was a lovely sunny day but with a strong headwind.
Alberto Lopez 2h 32m 22s
Abigail Robertson 2h 42m 43s (4th woman)
Paloma Heras 3h 03m 49s
Sally Cross 3h 04m 18s
Ian Jackson 3h 16m 11s
Full results here: http://www.b-howie.demon.co.uk/enb17.pdf
Twelve Carnethys braved the 53 miles of the Highland Fling last Saturday. It was an early start and a very long day. The organisation was superb and drop bags for four checkpoints were collected at the start and magicked to the right places. I’d never used dropbags before and packed a picnic into each one, most of which I left behind at each checkpoint and mainly ate sachets of baby food. Yum.
The race started fast and we rolled out of Milngavie amid cheers. I settled into a comfortable pace but let go on the downhills and hoped I wouldn’t suffer for it later. The descent of Conic Hill was particularly fun and I passed lots of people on the descent into Balmaha. We took the high path to Rowardennan but then the trail ran alongside Loch Lomond and was more technical with lots of scrambling over rocks. It was hard to get into a rhythm but great fun. I hit a low point just before Beinglas but luckily was convinced to eat something before I left the checkpoint, which probably saved my race.
I’m not really sure what happened between there and the finish, I think I spent most of the time arguing with myself about whether I should run or walk. I came into Tyndrum convinced there were still two miles to go so I took an energy gel. I’m sure this helped me finish strongly down the red carpet to the line, although from the photos it was more of a shuffle than a sprint. I’d been the third place lady since 25 miles and despite being convinced I would be caught in the final uphill miles, managed to stay ahead till the end. Third place was much better than I had been hoping for (which was just to finish my first 50 miler) so I’m very happy about it!
Donnie Campbell’s record from 2016 was lowered by 10 minutes by Rob Sinclair who finished in the unfathomable time of 6:41:13.
The finish was spectacular, there was prosecco in the goody bag and the soup, courtesy of the Real Food Cafe, was excellent. Apparently the ceilidh was fun too but I had passed out by then. It’s worth putting your name in the ballot for!
Full Carnethy results:
Rachel Newstead 8:55:29, John Hammond 8:55:44, Alex Coakley 9:29:13, Douglas Macqueen 10:01:32, Myvanwy Fenton-May 10:05:05, Alexis Dole 10:14:51, Aisling Allum 11:16:57, Lee Murphy 11:39:33, Jamie Megaw 12:42:46, Lauren Mckay 12:58:39, Hayley Mckinnon 13:35:32, Ina Donat 13:54:44
The 7.30-ers decided to do a bluebell run. With the first aid kit being returned to Big Al, I warned David to be careful, as last time the kit was here it was required to patch him up after a wire trip.
We set off up Observatory Hill, it was hard work (strava segment) and then wound our way through the broom to the duck pond before climbing to the hermitage. A lovely woody run and then the tennis courts. Both sides of Braid Burn Park and then across Comiston Road and along to the Bluebell Wood. I reckon we were a week early for the full magnificence!
After a quick run across the junior golf course we ascended the Blackford Quarry Arete, I suggested straight home but was overruled by a load of summiteers , so it was Blackford Summit and then home.
3 of the 7 of us completed the run with a quick beer at Leslie’s.
5.5 miles in 62 minutes moving time, pacey for the easy run!
By the way, the first aid kit jinx hit me as I tripped on a root and sprawled across the Hermitage. I decided to keep all my wounds on show, but I now have a lovely crack in my garmin watch face!
It turns out Willie doesn’t think any one of these is an adequate reason to avoid dipping a toe into mountain marathoning.
Edinample was a great introduction into what is involved for a novice like me. In actual fact, it isn’t 26.2miles and Willie has a selection of spare tents.
The location was great (see picture of view from camp site), the company was lovely, the hills were spectacular and the lack of washing facilities liberating!
I would definitely recommend any worried novices like me give an event like this a go.
Thank you to all who put so much into making it a success- from Andy from marking the course, to Willie patiently trying to teach me to navigate, to Helen for lending me warm blankets.
I admit my navigational skills leave a lot to be desired, my fitness level could be better, and my limited camping equipment has seen better days; but after a bath and an uninterrupted 10.5 hour recovery sleep last night, I feel quite positive that I could be back to try again….
The routes taken by most people are below, uncharged watches aside, Ross Christie got most points both days with a fantastic 360 Day 1 and 270 Day 2. Alasdair Hood and Gordon Eadie won the oldies award with Alasdair celebrating his 59th birthday on Saturday with 220? points and 120 on a escape early day 2. Helen Wise was out on her own day 1 (230 Points) and with Fraser Day 2 (170 Points). Willie, Patricia and Tracey had a good Day 1 (120) and were joined by Jason Coombs for day 2 (110). Joel was out day 2 (180 points) , Cali and Bob got the OAP prize Day 2, and Jeff and Helen did Day 1 on Day 2. All in All a great weekend.
Ross Christie’s Report
With the LAMM fast approaching I needed to practice my navigating skills as well as spending a good amount of time on pathless, open hillside and carrying my pack. The Carnethy weekend at Edinample came along just at the right time, one month before the LAMM and on a rare free weekend. I set off at Midday on Saturday from the campsite with the intention of hitting as many controls as possible – in the end I think I hit all but 3 or 4 and totalled 360 points. The shorter navigational runs I’ve done over the past few weeks really helped! There were some great hidden spots on the route, particularly Lochan A Chroin below Stuc and Lochan Na Mna which I’ve often admired from the summit of Ben Vorlich.
A night around the campfire with plenty of beer and whisky was a great way recover but maybe not the best preparation for day 2!
The second day controls were dotted around to the west of Lochearnhead around Glen Kendrum and Glen Ogle. Again this was a great way of seeing some less visited hills and the ridge North West from Meall an t-Seallaidh was particularly dramatic. I managed to collect 270 points with some higher scoring controls tucked away in some farther flung locations.
I’d highly recommend a weekend like this for people looking to get a taster of mountain marathons as there are plenty of experienced people to show you the ropes but it’s also a great way for experienced mountain marathoners to sharpen navigational skills and explore new places.
Thanks to Willie for organising and Win for the excellent campsite.
We should do more of these!
‘Cheap and Cheerful’ is how the organiser described this 4.5 mile sprint up a very modest hill. I was very cheerful (and I’m very cheap) to win a bottle of wine as 2nd V60; the fine array of cake and the wide spread of prizes adding to the cheer. I don’t know of any other race that has 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in all the categories.
Only 3 Carnethys – the others being Garry MacInnes who was 2nd V50; and Ali Black, position unknown as yet. Scion of the Monday Arthur’s Seat Handicap Neil McLure nabbed a bottle too, for 3rd place in a category I can’t remember. But he’s not a Carnethy so never mind.
A very popular race so I did at least have some competition. A shame not to see some Carnethy juniors there. Results here at some point.
Carnethy Hill Running Club is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland with registered number SC492072 and having its registered office at 2A King’s Stables Road Edinburgh