Ultra is anything over marathon length, that’s 26 and a bit miles or 42 km, though some shorter upland runs make the ultra grade.
Archive Ultra pages here
Carnethy ultra series 2018 details
Everyone is invited since these are quite social and not races. Each route will provide options to join, leave or abort along the way to suit energy levels of time commitments. Some bits can be cycled:
17th December – Willie’s Eskapade – 25 miles from Mussleburgh to Carlops along the Esk. (Run Ldr – Willie Gibson)
20th January – Sea to Summit – 32 miles from South Queensferry, via East Cairn Hill to the Steading. (Run Ldr – Mark Hartree / Jeff Roberts)
large map (opens in new window and should be easy to print from – probably best in landscape orientation)
Annotated pdf maps – Leg 1 South Queensferry to East Calder, Leg 2 East Calder to The Steading
Starting from under the Forth Rail Bridge at South Queensferry at 0930 (the Sea bit).
The plan is to get the train to Dalmeny station for a start at the seashore below the Forth Road Bridge with toes or finders in the sea at 0930.
The route is in 2 distinct halves starting on trails and nice tracks out towards Kirknewton and East Calder where we will find a café/pub for a break. People can meet us/or leave using the Kirknewton train – let me know if you plan to do this. The second half crosses the A70 and heads for the hill including East Cairn Hill and Allermuir (the Summit bit). Escapes from this leg are to Balerno (A70, 44 bus to town) or Carlops, Nine Mile Burn or Flottersone (A702, 100 and 101 buses for town). Rough route map attached with 2 scales showing the general line. Distance is ~ 34 miles.
Bad weather – If the hill section is bad like last time we may amend the route accordingly. Weather permitting, this year we will make it all the way.
Bring food, money, head torch, waterproofs, drink and spare warm clothing, including maybe a change of kit for the pub.
Logistics: The logistics require a bit of planning.
· Trains from Edi Waverly arrive at Dalmeny at (dep 0839- 0855 <tel:0855> , dep 0848 – 0905 <tel:0905> and 0909 -0924 <tel:0924> ) so an 0930 start is possible. (5 mins later from Haymarket)
· Trains to Kirknewton leave Waverly at 1026 arriving around 1053 <tel:1053> every hour. They return at around 1119 <tel:1119> .
· We will have a café stop near Kirknewton or in East Calder (still tbc which one) – it will be the last food stop.
· Cars can be parked at the Steading then folk get a bus to Haymarket Station. Requires a 7 min walk to the right bus stop to get the No 4 service to Haymarket (d0744, a0821) or (d0816, a 0856)
Mark 0780 171 4032
Jeff 07929 201 137
24th February – Tweed Valley – 30 miles and 4900ft ascent from Galasheils to explore the Tweed Valley to Traquair and back. (Run Ldr – Pete Buchanan)
The Plan – We get the train from Waverly to Galashiels. Do a circuit of the stunning Tweed Valley with a café stop midway. Run back to Gala along the Southern Upland Way for a train back to Edinburgh.
The Route – Follow the Southern Upland Way to Yair to cross the River Tweed, then follow tarmac and hard pack trails onto forestry tracks, climbing and undulating for a couple of miles before dropping down past Glenbenna to Walkerburn at 13 miles. Download annotated map as PDF
Café Stop and a shop at Walkerburn. Caberstone Café, 07527 520 019
Then follow riverside path (muddy grass) for another 2 miles to Innerleithen (15miles). We stay on the South side of the river and another mile of tarmac until Traquair, where there is a dramatic 2 miles and 1200ft of climb up onto the Southern Upland Way. We stay on the hill tops from 18~23miles across Minch Moor covering some of the Feel the Burns route (in reverse.) At the 3 Brethren cairns we descend for 3 miles back down to Yair and where we started the Tweed circuit. We then retrace our route back over the last 5 miles to Gala. Distance – 31miles or thereabouts.
Bad weather / cutting short / joining – Walkerburn gives the option for joiners/leavers. The X62 (Melrose) and X95 (Hawick) bus from Edinburgh bus station will get you to Walkerburn or back to Edinburgh every 30mins. The second half or the route is over high ground so more exposed. Route could vary on the day. Alternatively if driving, there is parking near Yair just east of the bridge over the Tweed.
Clothing and kit – Food for 8hrs, money, head torch, waterproofs, gaiters if snow on hills, drink and spare warm clothing, including maybe a change of kit for the pub. It could be Baltic up there in Feb.
There isn’t particularly technical ground so I would recommend a cushioned trail shoe rather than a hill shoe. There are several miles of tarmac. Up on Minch Moor there is quite a lot of rocky path which will be tiring in thinner shoes.
Logistics – estimated run time ~7hrs
08.25 train from Waverley to Galashiels. (£10.80 return)
09:20 Start run from Gala train station
12:00 Café stop Walkerburn (13 miles). Option for joiners/leavers
Evening Train to Edinburgh ~18:05 (every 30 mins)
More info Pete Buchanan did this route in October
24th March – Edinburgh 17 Wards – 42 miles linking the highest points in the 17 Election Wards of Edinburgh. (Run Ldr – Jonny Muir)
large map (opens in new window and should be easy to print from – probably best in landscape orientation)
Download Mark’s annotated maps here (pdf 1.2Mb)
Maps of electoral wards 2007 onwards – City of Edinburgh council area maps
|1 – Almond / Mons Hill 119m|
|2 – Pentland Hills / East Cairn Hill 567m|
|3 – Drum Brae / Gyle and 5 – Inverleith / Corstorphine Hill 162m|
|4 – Forth / Silverknowes Neuk ~55m NT213754|
|5 – see 3|
|6 – Corstorphine / Inverleith Mast on south Corstorphine Hill 155m NT209736|
|7 – Sighthill / Gorgie Baberton Mains ~90m 195 696|
|8 – Colinton / Fairmilehead Allermuir Hill 492m|
|9 – Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart Wester Craiglockhart Hill 176m|
|10 – Meadows / Morningside Braid Hills top (to north of wall) 208m|
|11 – City Centre / Castle esplanade ~105m|
|12 – Leith Walk Easter Road / A1 junction ~54m NT269743|
|13 – Leith / Lochend Road roundabout ~25m NT277749|
|14 – Craigentinny / Duddingston Arthur’s Seat 251m|
|15 – Southside / Newington Blackford Hill 164m|
|16 – Liberton / Gilmerton Footpath junction at Mortonhall ~180m NT255686|
|17 – Portobello / Craigmillar Edmondstone 104m NT302697|
What is the Carnethy Winter Ultra Series?
The Winter Ultra Series has already run the length of the Esk, from the Sea 2 Summits in the Pentlands (epic) and around the Tweed Valley (stunning). You might have missed these, and boy, did you miss some adventures. It is all about running that little bit further than you might normally, or to train for your next long race, so here is your next chance to join the next day out running, all free, doing a route that you might never have thought of, courtesy of Jonny Muir.
What is 17 Wards all about?
For the first time, the highest points in each of the 17 Edinburgh Council Wards will be linked in a continuous push. The run of around 42-45 miles stretches from East Cairn Hill in the Western Pentlands to Mons Hill near South Queensferry, offering a mix of hill, trail and road running. It includes Allermuir, the Southside Hills, Arthur’s Seat, Castle Rock and Corstorphine Hill, as well as some more obscure high spots in SE Edinburgh.
Sounds kinda interesting, what is the route?
You can do all of it, or it is split into 3 legs of about the same distance:
Leg 1 – Drove Road to Juniper Green Inn (the proper hilly bit)
Leg 2 – Juniper Green Inn to Deacon Brodies Pub, Royal Mile (roady and traily bit)
Leg 3 – Deacon Brodies Pub to South Queensferry (roady and traily bit)
There are maps attached so you can decide how much you want to do. Download Mark’s annotated maps here (pdf 1.2Mb)
What is the plan? How will I get to and from legs?
There is some logistics to work out wrt to starting Leg 1. The other legs can be more easily started or finished using Lothian buses or the train. At the end of Leg 3 we will go to Dalmeny Station for a train back to town for Beer and Medals. Trains are very 20-30 mins. We are working on a plan with rough timings for Leg times. Once we know who is coming we can refine these details so look out for follow-up email the week before.
So let Jonny Muir and I know asap if you will run, and for what bits.
What shoes and kit do I need for this?
Leg 1 – Hill shoes, full cover winter hill clothing, waterproofs, food, £,map etc
Leg 2 & 3 – Trail/road shoes, city base running attire, map, money for bus and pub
A shoe change can be arranged at the L1/L2 changeover in Juniper Green. Leg 2 & 3 could be done by bike quite easily. A bike store in Morningside after Wester Craiglockhart at my house is possible for Leg 1 runners wanting to cycle L2 and L3.
It is not the most obvious route, why do this?
The run is being arranged in collaboration with Runner’s World, which is organising a 130-mile relay linking the 32 borough tops of London, taking place on the same day. The Edinburgh version is a far more attractive option (although London has some celebrity ringers, notably Richard Askwith). The run will feature in print and online versions of Runner’s World in May and Carnethy has the chance to feature.
Remind me, what do I need to do?
• Reply if you are interested.
• Say what bits you want to do, some or all.
• Say if you have someone who can drop you off at Leg 1.
• Look up Lothian Bus Journey Planner for times to get to/from Juniper Green or the Royal Mile.
21st April – Alternative John Muir – 33 miles visiting the stunning coast, rivers and trails of East Lothian. (Run Ldr – Mark Hartree / Keith Burns). Times on map may not be accurate! Refer to Keith’s emailed spreadsheet.
Sag wagon provided for full route.
Either run all the way, half run (coast)/ half bike (mostly off-road) or bike all the way (mixed on/off road)
53km of outstanding East Lothian coastline beaches, boulders and cliffs then return by River Tyne and Garleton Hills to Aberlady Bay. The last 27km can be done by mountain bike. Bikes will be collected at the start and delivered for pick up at Ravensheugh beach where we leave the coast.
Lunch break of soup, cheese, tea etc. at East Linton after 32km. Cake donations welcome.
Pics here: http://bestpartday.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/a-j-m-w-video.html
The club website has plenty of information on kit that you should take (it is winter and you will be on the go for many hours) and the run leader will offer additional advise subject to the weather forecast as the day approaches.
Give them a go. A prize for who does them all!
Jonny Muir set a new fastest known time (FKT) for the round of the Ring of Fire in Galloway on July 14. Setting out from Bruce’s Stone at 5am and moving anti-clockwise, he finished 14 hours and six minutes later, surpassing the previous record set by Glyn Jones in 1996 by 38 minutes.
The Ring of Fire (48 miles, 30 summits, 13,000ft) visits three ranges – the Minnigaff Hills, the Rhinns of Kells and the Range of the Awful Hand, climbing as high as 843 metres at Merrick. While the main ridges are runnable, the approaches, particularly on the Rhinns of Kells, are extremely rough and pathless.
Travelling solo and unsupported, and navigating on-sight, Jonny struggled early on, repeatedly twisting an ankle and was quickly exhausted by the tussocks around Curleywee, Cairngarroch and Darrou. Relief at reaching the end of the Rhinns of Kells was tempered by the dreadful descent of Black Craig to Loch Doon: head-high bracken, tussocks and lurking ankle-snapping holes. The reward for getting to the bottom was being deposited in a saturated fire break in dense forestry.
After six miles on forest roads, Jonny had to hack through another maze of trees to gain Shiel Hill. From there, he had four hours and 40 minutes to cover the next nine summits of the Range of the Awful Hand to break the record. Despite a poor line of descent off Bennan, the final hill, he reached Bruce’s Stone in a cloud of midges with time to spare – and was finally able to lie down.
Conclusion: it was very hard.
Continuing with the Carnethy tradition of abusing family holiday time I saw that the 30th edition of the Traunsee Bergmarathon coincided with our summer holiday to Austria. Once I’d secured an entry, I then booked some accommodation nearby in the village of Ebensee. This was the site of a Nazi concentration camp where over 8,000 died building underground tunnels to house Hitler’s V2 rocket program. Very little remains of this dark piece of history, and you have to seek out the hidden memorials.
The race itself was 70km with around 4,500m of ascent/descent taking in 7 hills around Lake Traunsee. After a lengthy briefing, mainly in German, the race started at 3.00am from the town square in Gmunden. The first few miles on forest tracks and trails reminded me of the Trossachs Night Trail Series, and the pace very similar- way too fast with 70km ahead of us. The route then went through a series of tunnels under the mountains, and I thought of those lost souls who had died in their construction.
Emerging in the open the race took a dramatic turn as we climbed the Traunstein; an almost vertical lump of rock rising from the lake to 1,691m. The markers followed one of the via ferrata routes; an 800m climb up cables, ladders and metal plates with some worrying exposure. Overnight rain had made the rocks and cables greasy, and at times my feet were struggling for grip. The Austrians, who made up 95% of the field, were much quicker than me at climbing, and I found myself frequently stepping aside to let them pass.
Once over the high point we faced a steep technical descent down more cables and scree filled gullys. I was somewhat relieved to reach the shores of the Lake, and one of the many aid stations, each one well stocked with food and drink, including “man cuts” and beer.
I reached the halfway point at Ebensee after 5.5 hours, and after a pit stop began the 1,200m climb up to the summit of Feuerkogel (1,592m). After another slippy descent down narrow forest trails the route eased into tracks and some sections of road back to Gmunden. I finished in just over 10hrs (47th and 1st Brit – out of 2), in time to spend the rest of the day with the family.
A fantastic race, very much of 2 halves. In fact the organisers give competitors the option of the full 70km, or either half from Gmunden to Ebensee, or Ebensee to Gmunden, if the exposed scrambling on Traunstein is not to your fancy.
Race info: http://www.bergmarathon.at/
Results: https://my3.raceresult.com/ 84075/results?lang=de#1_A472E2
Last weekend was a busy one for races with lots of superb Carnethy performances. At the West Highland Way Race David Hanna had a great run to come 5th in 17:44. I am sure there must have been other Carnethy runners there too so sorry if I have missed them off but I see that Nick Williamson of Dunbar who does a lot of our social runs also had a very good race. David McLure won and Nicola Adams Hendry was leading lady. The oldest competitor came under 24 hours at the age of 70!! Amazing.
This was my first attempt at the race and it went surprisingly well – if feeling like death would be a welcome release at points counts as well. I never want to see another pot of custard as long as I live. I did however manage the most awesome sprint finish (my fastest ever kilometre according to Strava) and made it around in 30 hours. Here is a photo of me looking completely deranged at Bridge of Orchy.