The ESKtravaganza 2014


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 for us.
I 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 Rolls".
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.


The Start


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, Fraser, Nick and I were over. I reckon 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 on we continued 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 just started.


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 regrouping 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 trial.
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, Cali Ingham, Caroline Williams, Cat Meighan, Charlotte Morgan, Craig Mattocks, Dave Meikle, Digby Maass, Fiona Mackennzie, Fiona Plain, Fraser Gibson, Graeme Dunbar, Graham Nash, Gregor Heron, Ian Jackson, Joanne Anderson, Joel Sylvester ,John Littlewood, Finlay Hartree, Karen Meikle, Kate James, Kate Jenkins, Kathy Henley, Keith Burns, Mark Hartree, Matt Davis, Mick James, Mike Lynch, Moira Stewart, Neil Burnett, Nick Macdonald, Nigel Fawthrop, Peter Buchanan, Phil Humphries, Phil Young, Rachel Fawthrop, Richard Lathe, Rod Dalitz, Ruth Dooley, Sally Cross, Sean Walker, Senga Plain, Steven Yule, Tim Doyle, Win Rampen and Gordon Cameron.



Special Thanks to
Helen Wise (injured but still driving people here and there).
Nick MacDonald 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.



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