Arthur’s Seat & Arthur’s Eats (F)east
(A menu for disaster or how the “F” got into the anagrams)

But many will be Last who are First; and First who are Last.
Matthew 19:30

But many who are First will be Last; and the Last First."
Mark 10:31

“ Where’s the pies”?
Willie Gibson

Aye, what do a couple of apostles know that our handicapper can’t thwart? Well, funnily enough Matthew (18:25) seemed to have worked out the conundrum (its Gospel) as he romped home comfortably to win the final race.

Luckily for him, there were old hands about to lead others astray, as Keith Burns zigzagged across the course (“When were the Crags included in the course”? ”Year one” … about sums up his progress). Gordon C struck off from Whinny Hill in “obviously the completely wrong direction” (which gained him two minutes), whilst Ben “Bated” some others. With eight contenders to win the series there was all to play for but—as usual—the non-contenders continued to muck it all up all the more by running fast and furious. (Not our handicapper’s excuse but apparently, his rationale).

On a night where there was more debate about the post race menu rather than the planned course and the alternative courses which were actually run, I was minded of my old mate Bishop Desmond Tutu, when I—and Willie M—listened to the usual protests against start & run times … although I’m the race organiser, not the handicapper ... Suddenly we were back to menus again of course as the usual protests arose, which said basically … what my old mate opined … “I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.” Tough then, for they wanted was what was served, although maybe eaten by someone else.

Oh, you want more info about the race itself. They came, they soared, they, concurred on everything but route choice and set off in a hundred different directions into the soft summer’s night. The route should take them up the dry dam, straight up Arthur’s Seat to the summit, and then continue across to Crow Hill, down to Dunsappie then after partly retracing their steps they should curve up Whinny Hill to the far summit. Alas, Whinny Hill is covered in man-eating gorse and has several tops as those who went off in search of their own particular choice of top found out. Running up paths others were running down, criss-crossing trods through the rock and gorse, runners turning off the proper track; a casual observer would be hard put to realise it was a race and that they were all supposed to be heading in the same direction!
After myriad mysterious meanderings Matt Grove came in four minutes ahead of the pack and somewhat bemused that there was no one in ahead of him as he’d seen several runners running ahead. Then they all came in thick and fast (and listening to some of the route choices, some thicker than others).

So with the last runner home before dark it was off to KB to a wonderful varied menu. “Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a thirty thousand page menu and no food “, according to Robert Pirsig and we were about to put that theory into practice. The week before, Willie G had made the final arrangements with the Bar and fixed up traditional fair of pie and chips, etc. But when I went in to collect the menu, I was given the usual menu filled with fajitas and brimming with bruchettas. So our order of 30+ varied meals with tons of toppings and sumptuous sauces and side orders took them somewhat by surprise and left them with more pies than Willie could eat in a week!
Then the real chaos began. Some people hadn’t ordered and I’d asked for some “contingency” dished to be prepared for just this eventuality but as several people chose the same contingency, confusion reigned as everyone tried to secure a meal for themselves. Still everyone was fed and even some of the pies were eaten and it was down to the business in hand. Individual handicap prizes were awarded and after using two different methodologies Willie M and I confirmed that with 96 points, Gordon Cameron was the series winner and he pulled on the leader’s vest and was awarded the trophy.

Thereafter, beer and conversation flowed in equal measure and the series was done. Next time, Willie G and I are going to organise a p*ss up in a brewery instead.
Nick Macdonald

After all that here are the Results.



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