20th February 2010

Circumnavigation of Edinburgh 2010

What a fabulous day for a run! From start to Finish in gorgeous sunshine, not a breath of wind.
Michael reports: It was a great day for a run around Edinburgh. The ground, on the early part of the run, was frozen but the sun was shining, making the crossing of the muddy fields an almost pleasant experience. The overgrown railway line was tackled without a murmur of dissent, but rather than hack our way through the last 100 yards to the muddle scramble onto the main road we took the easy option and leapt across a spool of razor wire to make it back onto the main road within touching distance of the entrance to the Drum Estate. The pace in the early part of the run was faster than last year, so just after Joppa we took a detour onto the beach. The soft sand we thought would sl ow us down. We ran along the sand, enjoying the sea breeze and sunshine, listening to the sound of the waves and occasionally leaping over the wooden palisades which divided the beach. At this point we were joined by Stephanie, who had run from Musselburgh. We arrived in Portobello at 11:55 a.m. still 20 minutes ahead of schedule.
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Bikers: Only 3 this year, and bikemeister Keith and daughter headed off the wrong way round the circuit (!). There's a logic here, we are reassured. Accounts are that the descent of White Hill in morning frost is in the "interesting-extreme" bracket. But all made it round, although in the wrong direction.
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Richard: The trip out to the start boded well, the white flanks of the Pentlands in early morning sunshine and ice-haze. No Bill to pipe us off this year, but a small group headed off hale and hearty to Straiton where, if our members have not had their supper yet,… we will move on. Fantastic fast run through past street-art, old railways, dumps, itinerant people encampments, live railways, shell houses, down to Joppa and that run along the shore with the waves breaking to Portobello, where sadly Mario's had shut shutters and we found alternative sources of bacon rolls and baked potatoes (aye Michael). Newcomers dipped in and, aside from an exchange with an irate bus-man along the Seafield Road (tho I have no idea how M O'C managed to squeeze through those railings - a re-run of the famous Bill Gauld and the Pollock Hall gates episode)
Onwards, the run along the front is still something, especially as the traffic dies down and the Forth bridges loom in the distance. Running fast it doesn't take much time. James was firing on all cylinders, holding pace with Cameron, Ramon, Andy.
Here still feeling fresh and chirpy into Cramond to meet up with Shane (The Third Biker - should be the title for a novel). The mild at the Cramond Inn is excellent, and we tarried.

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Ekeing out from Cramond the legs were beginning to stiffen, but soon we were up and down the steps and along, with some dispute about whether coming up to Cammo we should go the purist way round, or the established route (and took the purist way that added another half km to our trip - insert smiley here).
Into Cammo, and onwards to the trad spot at the enviro-mental spot where for the first time you can see the Pentlands and start to imagine the pint at the end!
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The tram-stuff at Maybury is a mess, hopefully next year sorted (according to the Council). Thence to the RBS over the bridge and soon that horrid bit (the tarmac from the Broiler farm over the bypass and the canal) that we will re-route next year I swear you. As the daylight faltered we crossed the Water of Leith at Currie into the Pentlands, those bumps we’d left behind in the morning, now rising above us again. At precisely 15:27 the sun drifted behind the horizon, but we’d made excellent time and even the ascent of White Hill was a pleasure, with Cameron et al. determined to run the whole thing even after having done 30 miles already (they did!)
Thence the last few miles in the gloaming, the frost rendering deep mud into quick traverses; hey that was good. And back to the Steading where the fire was on and the pints were cool.
Runners (all way) Michael O'C, Richard L, Ramon GC, Andy M, and Cameron B. Other runners who did chunks: James, Phil, Ben, Anna, Stephanie, Bikers: Keith and Alison (all
way) and Shane, and others (though whether having lunch constitutes participation is open to debate) Overall makes 15 in all and 7 finishers (a record)

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