XIVth Annual International Infamous Club Pub Run

Words by Mary & Nick
What with 12/12/12, the Christmas party, the Club Pub Run and the upcoming ESKapade, Carnethy has contributed heavily to 2012's festive fun. I'm left wondering how I filled my time before my Carnethification.
The XIVth (but my first) Annual International Infamous Club Pub Run lived up to its reputation. Matthew and I pitched up (late, natch) hot and sweaty in our non-technical Santa suits at KB. Thought we'd missed the start as the reception area was devoid of runners, before realising (duh!) that everyone was in the bar for a pre-run snifter. Essential sustenance for the two minute jog to the Braidburn. A couple of rugby clubs followed, and what they lacked in décor was compensated for in fruit and veg provision. We pressed on rosy-cheeked and laden with turnips, cauliflowers and inappropriately positioned leeks.
I'll admit that it already gets hazy for me at this point. There were more pubs, immense walls to be negotiated, muddy fields, swigs of whisky mac, yet more pubs, regular patrons demanding to be serenaded, mince pies and mulled wine (warmed, I believe, by Willie's own body heat), more carol caterwauling and more pubs. After several hours I realised that Bob wasn't inexplicably changing clothes every few minutes, but that he has an identical twin brother, Harry.
Eventually we descended as a ravening horde upon Al's Kitchen. We feasted. It was heaven. Matthew, Andy and I set off once more into the night to complete a very early morning Day 20 Marcothon, offsetting our impending hangovers with the smugness of having engineered a “day off”.
Huge thanks to Al, Nick, Willie, Gordon and everyone else who helped organise such a great night. Happy Christmas!!

Mary Lye

Beware the Night Runners my dear, they also drink beer

“Filled with mingled cream and amber, I will drain that glass again
Such hilarious visions clamber, through the chambers of my brain
Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies come to life and fade away;
Who cares how time advances, I am drinking ale today”
Edgar Allan Poe

Hilarious visions?  Well if the sight of some 27 Santas, elves, Christmas puddings, fairies, a bawdily attired She-Ra, cowboys and skeletons (eh?) as well as runners bedecked in every size, shape and colour of sparkling lights cavorting around the streets of Edinburgh doesn’t count as an hilarious vision, what does?

Running to the start in my full body luminous blue led light suit, I got the usual mixed reactions from the Edinburghers I passed.  Totally ignored by the first passer-by, the next chap I passed from behind cried out a similarly unappreciative “Jeez”, lots of car drivers tooted and one woman wound down her car window shouted something about “light suit”, then stopped her car and the rush hour traffic to take a couple of photographs of me as I ran by.  As I ran up Mayfield Road and I moved out to pass a crowd of people walking towards me I heard one bloke say - sotto voce – “That’s a right miserable looking Santa”?  Hmm, quaintest thoughts… At which point my fan in the car slowed down again to take another photo, holding up the same rush hour traffic.

Aye, so much for solo adventures but on arrival at the start at KB the aforementioned swarming mass of Carnethies filled the bar in all assortments of full fancy dress.  After much meeting and greeting (Bob’s aye greeting), the first ales were consumed and it was out for the obligatory photograph, then off into the night.  Next stop the Braidburn where they must have been expecting us as there were no other customers.  Up the hill to the welcoming Liberton Rugby Club where we chatted at the bar with one of the regulars who couldn’t believe that a year had passed since we’d been there last.  At once a plan was hatched to go back in May in Santa outfits to see how that might confuse him.  An obliging barmaid opened the backdoor to let us run across the playing fields – avoiding the road – before putting the robustness of our fancy dress to the test by crawling though a gap in the beech hedge.  Over a squelchy Inch Park to Lismore Rugby Club, which had opened especially for us, where there was a table laid out with vegetables like a harvest festival.  Ali at the bar explained it was all being thrown out as by the weekend it would be past its sell by date.  So after further ales were consumed our hillrunning horde headed out into the night clutching apples, turnips and leeks, with the predicable jokes being banded about not having “mushroom” to carry anything more and “wasn’t the barman a “funghi””…  Aye, it’s the way we tell ‘em.
So, up the road to the always roasting Robin’s Nest were Jane J was awaiting in sparkly Santa garb amongst the otherwise sombrely dressed clientele.  Some off road running through the wooded dark dell of Moredun Park and up to what used to be the old village of Stenhouse to sing Christmas Carols outside the Casa Macdonald and the Thin family home before filling the Northfield to the brim then to have the music turned off in the Waverley.  From there to the “Battle of the Christmas Houses”.  Two houses on opposing sides of the street in a desperate bid to out do each other in the amount of Christmas tat and electronic lights and gadgetry they can attach to the outside of their houses with out bringing down the electric grid.  Sadly, one of the houses had most off its lights off so its full majesty was lost but when the owner noticed the circus had come to town and was filling the street outside with mayhem and mirth then the master switch was thrown and the undoubted winner of the contest was lit up in a display to rival Blackpool Illuminations!

Next, the Old Bordeaux which seemed to confuse a number of people as it burned down over a decade ago but tradition must be followed so we stood by its former back wall and drank old Bordeaux (mulled of course) and warm mincemeat pies courtesy of Willie G who’d carried them with him.  Conjecture as to where Willie had secreted the mincemeat pies in order to keep them so warm was putting people off having second helpings and so we headed off towards Broomhills Farm to find access which had been there for decades blocked by building works of two new houses.  Undaunted a way was found between the two climbing walls and stumbling over rubble to the field beyond before squeezing through the gaps of a superfluous 10ft high spiked ‘safety fence’ which comes out at right angles to an electricity substation and runs to the river below us.  I say superfluous because it possible to approach it from either side through open fields.


Over the muddy ploughed fields by Broomhills and up to Morton Mains, then out and down to the Tusitala.  “Who cares how time advances”?  Chris Henty apparently as this solo Santa had been waiting patiently there for about an hour for us to arrive, which we did just as he was leaving.  Some gentle discussion (well done Gordon) clarified that the drinks bill was not £71 but half that and we were off to zig-zag through Buckstone estate and into the dark confines of Mortonhall and the beckoning Stable Bar and some excellent Stewart’s ale with the odd sprinkling of drams appearing.  I’d called home – ‘Al’s Kitchen’ to say we were on our way but there’s a Czech proverb to the effect that “a fine beer may be judged with only one sip”, but its better to be thoroughly sure and so more ales were ordered as we sprawled around the large blazing log fire.  But “time and tide” as Burns wrote, and with thoughts of my sulky, sullen dame (just kidding dearest), I chivvied everyone up for the final leg to my place.  In the darkness several found out why Standykehead is known as ‘Puddle Walk’ and then we clambered over our final obstacle course – safety barriers blocking off access and egress to Liberton Park – to keep people well clear of nearby Scottish Water building works. 

Duly ignored we cantered over the final mile to Al’s kitchen, where Alison did us proud with homemade hot soup and bread, and a groaning board of delicacies and cakes and as the party slipped into the wee sma’ hours the evening continued as it began in the good company and conviviality of family and friends.

Nick Macdonald

ali's kitchen

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