Suddenly December arrives and I as I think of how the last year has flown by
and that important date is drawing close, time to get organised.
Yes, it is ESkapade time again.
Life is easier these days,
Joel has happened by The Allan Ramsay
and warned them of our appearance
(more on that later!).
Digby has warned about the new borders railway and reccied a bit.
Nick MacDonald has reccied a lot and found an alternative route
check with The Royal Hotel in Penicuik
and the lunchtime food is sorted,
and finally I have to find the
minibus firm's details and that
is set up.
I dig out last years email, edit
it a bit, and send it off.
The flurry of emails arrive, "I will be there", I wont be there", "I will turn
up somewhere en route"," I want egg rolls", "Can they do cheese
When 50 or so people send emails, and
some of them send a few, I try to go
through them as best I can but by the
time the spreadsheet is organised I
have word blindness.
I copy it and send it out and wait
for the corrections. Bob J pulls out
so I delete him, but didn't notice
I had him in twice (once is definitely
enough). A few corrections arrive and
one totally forgotten phones me up
and I at last am organised, ish!!!
Too many for the minibus, so I call on Helen to pick up a carful
(thanks), then by the evening enough have called off to have
not needed her (too late to change now), so I arrive list in
hand at Carlops.
10 on the minibus (only 2 missing) at 7:50 we are off.
This is when I relax, we are on our way, now it will all just
happen, time to enjoy! as ever.
There are 35 runners (aged between 70
and 11) and 3 dogs at the start on a
fine cold windy day. Finlay Hartree is
the youngest runner to have taken part
in the run. He was at the front for most
of the first hour or so, as we followed
the west bank of the Esk, crossing at
the footbridge and entering Dalkeith
Country Park. Regrouping regularly we
followed the usual route apart from a
pig detour (bracken clearing porkers)
and met up with Fiona Hartree just after
the Montague Bridge, where we said goodbye
to Finlay for the day.
It is at this point that Nick took over
to show us the new way out of the park.
A neatly placed log by a wall behind
a holly bush (Ben went the old way waving
happily as we called to him). Within
a couple of seconds Matt,
the climbers amongst us have an advantage
as it took ages for the rest to scramble
over and after about 10 minutes we were
ready to be guided to rejoin our old
route at the railway bridge.
We respected the privacy of the Melville
Castle Estate as we ran through the woodland
to regroup at the Folly at Kings Acre
before the run across the golf course
and over the Lasswade Wall.
My phone rang, it was The Allan Ramsay, "I
have just talked to the chef and he
says he can only do simple snack food
at the end!", Why I asked "He
didn't have enough notice", "so
a month and two
phone calls in the last week is not
eoungh notice". INCREDIBLE!!!!
We ran up to the cemetary to meet Win
Rampen and reunite with Ben. Running
to Polton Mill where we found Sean,
Rachel, Kate, Nigel and Caroline. After
a quick break for a cup of juice and
a bite we were off
through Roslin Glen and with the
option of a short cut the group split
to regroup at the Royal Hotel.
The Railway walkway was as roady
as ever. Why did it get tarmaced?
Sore legged I hobbled in to the Hotel.
They were organised (as ever) and
with Lashings of hot water and 80
or so assorted hot rolls
we were soon revitalised and ready
to head out into the snow that had
The Penicuik leavers left and the Penicuik
arrivers were eager to move. Nick Mac
was cramped up so sent us off with "I'll
make my own way" and
we headed into Penicuik Estate. The
fresh legged led the way and after
a couple of times we crossed the
pipe bridge and climbed into the cold
wind. The groups separated into fast,
less fast, slow and
even more slow as the biting wind
made hanging about to regroup a bit of
A dozen of us had a hot drink at the usual sighting pillar,
and then headed for Amazon Dean and regouped at the bridge.
After a bit of a wait we headed on
leaving Matt Davis to meet the tail
enders. Running through the valley
I noticed we had lost my wee boy,
after a while waiting and running
back we gave up on him and carried
on. We met up with Joel et al (including
the lost wee boy) at the top of the
climb, he had taken a short cut off
the 'Official' route.
We ran the last mile across the fields
and to Carlops and regrouped while
buying pints in The Allan Ramsay.
After about 10 minutes Nick arrived
to complete our group.
We had all had yet another Grand Day out.
I headed off to a family party and the limited menu available didn't appeal to
too many, but seemingly the soup was Hot and the rolls were Fresh
so at least Digby was happy!
Thanks to all that took part.
Willie Gibson, Ben Bate, Bob Waterhouse,
Joel Sylvester ,John Littlewood,
Steven Yule, Tim Doyle, Win Rampen and Gordon Cameron.
Special Thanks to
Helen Wise (injured but still driving people here and there).
for wonderful reccieing skills (and Digby Maass).
Joel Sylvester for looking after the tailenders on the second half and for helping
me not inform "The Allan Ramsay" well enough.