1st Carnethy Winter Night Run 2007 - Bonaly

"The rain came heavily and fell in floods; but now the sun [moon} is rising” (William Wordsworth)

Nick Macdonald

“Nothing lasts forever, not even cold November rain”, according to the lyrics of a Guns and Roses track and for the dozen of us who came out to brave the elements—10 guns and 2 roses—or 9 Carnethies and 1 Carnegie, oh and a dog, depending upon how you like to compile your stats—the lyrics proved to be true and the previous hours of torrential rain let up sufficiently to reward us with a strangely satisfying run in the Pentlands.

My route re-recc’ed on Sunday included a couple of long, brisk (glorious) descents and a river crossing which might not be advisable in the conditions we faced, although it was pretty dreich when I was out then, so a “tamer” route was improvised as we waited for Willie, Simon and Bob—who were running over from the south side of the Pentlands to join us—then we set off straight up the track from the top car park out into the gloom and glour, where we met Michael W, who was also running to join us.

With some surprise, we came out on the open hillside to find the rain had lessened and looking back the sparkly, spangled, sprawl of Edinburgh’s city lights glistened below us. Harbours are either awash with water or filled with mud, depending upon time and tide and so it should have come as no surprise to be running through deep water and mud towards Harbour Hill. The paths had become veritable rivers, perhaps even “rivers of Bob alone”, as Bob persisted with the totally superfluous head torch and so was actively avoided by anyone who actually wanted to see, on what was becoming an increasingly clear evening.

From the top of Harbour Hill, we swung south down the ridge. The front runners getting pulled by the slope of the hill to drop too far left before rejoining the organiser on what was after all, the path. Alas, not all the front runners came back to the fold, as Gordon’s dog Cody vanished into the then, muggy murk to disappear for several anxious moments, calls and whistles before eventually reappearing. Dropping down into the valley, it was time for a reCalibration (this is the act of adjusting your route to accommodate Cali’s running speed and still have time for sufficient food and drink at the post play pub). So taking a more direct path, I actually mistyped “bath”, we splished, splashed back to where we’d come out on the open hillside and ran back down our ascent path. Then it was off to the excellent Spylaw Tavern in Colinton to eat, drink and be merry including eating what remained of a Walsh! Not real of course but the remains of Gordon’s superb “Walsh” 50th birthday cake from the weekend.

A good night and yet another occasion in which to love, live and laugh. As we all headed homewards, Willie G girded his loins or maybe he was just adjusting his tracksters in readiness for running back over the Pentlands to head in to work to measure some gases. With a prawn curry, a plate of onion rings and several pints of IPA under his belt, he may have had his work cut out!

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