Social events, runs & cycles
Pub ‘n’ Chips
Hi Everyone – it’s a Wednesday night KB run with a difference this week (25th July), as we’ll do this year’s Pub ‘n’ Chips run; a trot of about 7 miles (with ~900 feet of ascent) round south Edinburgh, including 2 hills, a bunch of pubs, a chip shop and probably some al fresco Pimms.
If you’d like a loosener, head to KB bar as early as you like, then we’ll leave around 7pm. No need to let us know in advance whether you’re coming, just turn up with cash for the drinks and chips and we’ll take things from there. It’ll obviously be a later finish than the usual Wednesday evening KB runs, and there’ll be no showers available afterwards!
For details of previous years, just take a look at the pub-n-chips page.
Taproom Special – 28th July
Unlike part 1 of the crusade this one has plenty of options to drop in (or out) at various points. I’ll try to keep the FB event updated with progress if anyone is interested in doing that. We’ll be stopping at Stewart’s, Summerhall and Hanging Bat on the way.
Options for getting to Cross Borders are either train from Waverley to Eskbank or 29 bus to Tesco nearby (or running there). Brewery opens at 2pm and they’ll probably let us in if we’re early, but if you arrive by train at 2:15 you’ll still have time for a quick schooner before we set off. I’d say road or trail shoes will be fine unless the Pentlands section suddenly gets very muddy. Bring some water and emergency rations in case you need them between stops. I’ll take an order for pizza to be delivered to Campervan when we get to Hanging Bat. Think that covers everything but give me a shout if I’ve missed anything.
On Saturday 30th June I led a new route that I’d titled A Carnethy Crusade due to tenuous links to Knights of Templar (we passed through Temple). Crusading must be like baking as 13 started out and a dozen made it to Cross Borders Brewery after losing one to the heat. It really was quite warm out on Saturday as you may have noticed! However, that just made the first beer taste even nicer when we eventually arrived after 34km (2km further than advertised, not that anyone brought this up during the final mile). The route starts by going up Dundreich before dropping down to the source of the River South Esk, which is then followed all the way to Eskbank, round reservoirs, across fields, through woodland, and along a few tracks and quiet roads.
Watch out for part 2, The Taproom Special, that will start from Cross Borders and finish at Campervan in Leith… another 30km or so.
Mike’s pics –
20 swim-runners took to the Pentlands last night for a sneaky wee run round the local reservoirs. Mike coordinated with the weather deities to ensure fine conditions for the run – dry, warm and with practically no wind. We met at Bonaly car park to start, then straight into the main climb of the day to Bonaly reservoir (despite Mike confusing it with Torduff). The group skipped along, working-up some heat before the first dip. The first swim proved quick, though my trainers felt heavier than last year, and the water fairly cool compared to the warm air. Then through some woods down to the next reservoir (even colder, much clearer), and then a military-style attack on the next (also pretty cold, also pretty clear). Back onto the run, things were going well – the runners ran, the chatters chatted, and it was all very enjoyable! The sting to this route is the third swim, across Threipmuir, the longest of the route. Threipmuir was fairly warm compared to the previous, but I think that warmth is held in its sludgy-brown colour, and the duration meant things were getting a bit chilly. The group spread-out a bit across the swim, meaning those that were quick swimmers had to hang around for…em…me. Sorry! We moved quickly to Harlaw, dodging through the woods and straight into the short swim crossing of Harlaw, and quickly back running for the long slog to Clubbiedean. This part is my favourite section – a nice weaving trod across the moorland at the foot of Harbour Hill, then down into the reservoir hidden among a clump of trees. Clubbiedean also feels like the wildest of these swims, being completely surrounded by greenery, and was as enjoyable as ever! The last of the day was Torduff, the most dramatic of them all. Entry and exit to this one is always a bit annoying, but it needed to be done, and so we did. All that was left was an easy jog down to the cars, for a brief game of “hide my nakedness” around the cars and then head home for a well deserved feed!
Thanks to Mike Lynch for sorting all the everything.
Roughly 40 Carnethies descended on Roslin for the ReTired persons Tour.
With Moat View filled with cars, and bikes secured to the wheely bins we headed down the cycle track and across the fields to Langhill dip. This is the start of the Bluebell Wood, well worth a visit especially in late May.
A turn left at the end led us to Dryden Tower.
“Initially intended as a hilltop eye-catcher for Dryden House, demolished in 1938, and is still a prominent landmark. It originally belonged to a wider landscape known locally as ‘The Pleasure’ which was destroyed by the construction of Bilston Glen colliery. It was perhaps built to commemorate the Battle of Roslin, 24th February, 1303, when the Scots successfully defeated three English Divisions.”
Then we descended into the Bilston Burn Glen, a SSSI!
The river runs down a pretty Glen before disappearing underground where Bilston Glen Colliery used to be.
We ran round the Blank OS Map. I reckon when is was surveyed the fields were still being reinstated, so there is no OS info on the Map.
Running along the field edge led us to the old Marshaling Yard for the railway that serviced the colliery, then we crossed the Bilton Viaduct.
The current bridge replaced one by Thomas Bouch of Tay Disaster Fame
“Authorised by an Act of 1870, the Edinburgh Loanhead & Roslin Railway first troubled the timetablers in 1874, becoming part of the North British empire three years later when an extension opened through Glencorse to the fringes of Penicuik.
Passenger services over the viaduct ended in 1933 but coal traffic to Roslin Colliery continued to pass over it until 1st June 1969.”
A run past the impressive, but little written of , Ice House at Mountmarle and a left turn took us to the Battle of Roslin Memorial, the very battle thet our own Carnethy 5 Race commemorates.
2 bottles of Cava almost got round everybody, and we toasted the English Defeat.
“The invaders’ progress was swift and it was only thanks to the efforts of Abernethy, the Cistercian prior of Mount Lothian (at Balantradoch, now the village of Temple), that the alarm was raised and a Scottish army assembled. A former Templar knight himself, Prior Abernethy sent monks on horseback to find the men who led the resistance at the time. Together they mustered an army of common people 8,000 strong at Biggar and set off to meet the invaders. Sir William Wallace appears to have refused to take command of the army, perhaps lacking confidence in his own ability to lead after the defeat at Falkirk. Sir John Comyn (a leading contender for the vacant throne of Scotland) was elected as overall commander and Sir Symon Fraser as leader of the army. The hastily-assembled forces then moved north via Carlops and by the evening of February 23rd had assembled in Bilston Wood, ready to strike.
Prior Abernethy’s local knowledge was put to good use as the Scots encircled the first contingent of the English army on an embankment of the River Esk in the early hours of February 24th. Segrave was among those captured for ransom. Most survivors who escaped into the woods of Roslin Glen were ambushed and slaughtered but a few managed to alert the second group, besieging Dalhousie Castle under the command of Sir Ralph de Confrey.
The English army immediately rode to face the Scots, now positioned in a defensive line across the summit of Langhill, the slope immediately to the west of the present-day Roslin BioCentre. Charging up the hill, they were picked off by Scottish archers and driven back across the field towards a ravine. The slaughter was such that the area became known as “Shinbanes Field”, five cartloads of bones being removed by farmworkers for reburial as late as the 19th century. The quiet little stream at the foot of the hill that ran red with blood is still known as the Killburn, the forest as Hewan (“Hewing”) Wood and a ridge where huge numbers of bodies piled up and were left to rot as “Stinkin’ Rig”. The English army was driven towards a precipice and slaughtered, Ralph de Confrey being among the dead.
This second battle had scarcely ended when news came of the arrival of the third contingent, prompting the murder of all English prisoners too low-born to be ransomed. Exhausted, the Scots army rested on high ground above the River Esk at Montmarle, where a monument to the battle was erected in 1994 (opposite Dryden farm, at the edge of what was the original site of The Roslin Insititute).
After winning two battles in the space of a few hours, the soldiers must have doubted their ability to prevail in a third but once again the ingenuity of Prior Abernethy saved the day. As the finale to a stirring speech he bade the tired soldiers look towards the Pentland Hills where a band of hard-working Cistercian monks under the prior’s instructions had erected a huge canvas saltire, a silver cross on a blue background shining in the late afternoon sun to inspire them to one last effort. Approaching along the valley from Borthwick Castle via Rosewell, the remaining English forces under Sir Richard Neville were defeated and the Battle of Rosslyn finally won.”
The headed across the Shinbanes Field and along Roslin Glen, where Fraser and I had installed steps across a fallen tree. With some taking the high road and some the low road, we all got to Rosslyn Castle more or less together.
A quick photo call and then a run round the chapel and we got back to the Pizza Frenzy at Moat View.
Cathi fired into action and soon the hungry runners were filled with food and wine.
Thanks to the extra food bringers, and to Cathi, Helen and Fraser for all their help.
After most people had left we had a few whiskies to Celebrate my imminent 60th Birthday.
Thanks to all that came along.
You couldn’t have got better weather, or a better feast at Keith’s. Great soup served by delightful children, and just an amazing layout of food and cake. I have eaten far too much. I’m not alone in that! Many thanks to Bärbel and the cake bringers.
Plastic in the sea is very topical but the entire coastline is littered with planks. The timber came off cargo vessel the Frisian Lady on March 2 while it was 110 nautical miles east of Souter Lighthouse, off the South Shields coast. There have been dire warnings that taking this littering eyesore is criminal. Actually the environmental impact is criminal, and it’s going to be around for a very long time. Get out and help yourselves. You’ll have to carry it miles though. No-one else is going to clear it up.
A great day out; all 34.4 miles of it! More if you took some of the longer beach headland variations, or went to the seabird center and the gps hunted about for a signal.
For the record we had 23 starters for the AJMW 18, most filing elaborate but believable reasons for not going the full distance, even with bicycle assistance. The two features of this year’s outing were the planks scattered (we hear) the length of the North Sea coastline from a ship that shed its load (off Newcastle in a storm) and the perfect weather. The photos tell the story well. The Seabird Centre presented its usual timekeeping challenge with good coffee and bacon rolls. The tide was out, allowing a splinter group to take the boulder beach and tide-trap option around the Tantallon headlands. The rest of us traversed the top of the Gin Head cliffs and along the Castle moat to re-join the shore party at Seacliffe harbour. The low tide exposed vast swathes of sand and boulders for route choice to Ravensheugh and the bike pick up for the return half. Lunch at East Linton presented the usual conflict between feeding and timekeeping, with lunch and afternoon tea merging seamlessly. The River Tyne path was a riot of wild garlic and tree blossoms. On the ascent to the Garleton Hills Mike and Neil got confused by Mark H’s strictly runners-only option after leaving the river. They climbed to the Hopetoun monument by the hitherto unexplored Cogtail Burn valley to emerge back on route to enjoy the valuable practice at double-barbed-wire-fence-with-wall crossing at the foot of final climb. All were in, and all-in, after around 8 hours of glorious sunshine.
Next year we have experimental modifications to remove a lot of tarmac from the second half.
Alan’s pics –
Jeff’s pics –
Forget extreme ironing – this was extreme whisky tasting. After a wee warm up in the Steading, Jeff’s unusual home made and very palatable sloe whisky, and the delightful Glencadam – a honeyed and full bodied whisky – we had the choice of the bad weather route or Castlelaw and bust. After that warmup caution had become a laughable notion so we went for it. Up and into the blizzard. Spectacle and contact wearers had an advantage as the ice scoured the eyeballs. Huddled on a hillside a very fine smokey whisky from Oban warmed us as we sheltered as best we could in the lee. The next was a recommendation from Willie; an unusually thick Pedro Ximenez sherry cask finished whisky. Oz was very taken by this one, and demanded a photo of its colour in the cup. The coup de grace was administered by a full on 46% Bunnahabhain; a fine finish and a fitting toast to Andy Millard, co-founder of the run. We were glad to get off the hill and back to the Steading for food. Thanks to Oz for another inspired outing. Same again next year (but with sunshine)!
Whisky Chaser Ode
We gathered together in the warm Steading bar,
Drank coffee and beers, spied the menu from afar.
Off we trotted into gloom and dreich weather,
Good whisky was forecast, and no doubt some blether.
Boghall trails boggy, Woodhouslee climbing,
Two bottles down and Castlelaw looming.
The spindrift coated the deep muddy peat
So we cuddled together in the leeside to preserve our heat.
Allermuir, Caerketton and a toast with an Islay
Andy Millard remembered for the 5th bottle finale.
Down through the snow and a meal in the Steading,
Beer and more whisky, and for some – apple crumble pudding.
The 17 Wards Ultra run, the 4th in this year’s series, was completed today by Jonny Muir (well, it was his idea).
12 started at 0830 down the A70 at Little Vantage and enjoyed wet feet from the start along Thieves Road. East Cairn Hill and Allermuir and lots of bog got us to Juniper Green and 16 miles done. A few dropped out leaving 8. We Headed for The Southside Hills and I bailed near home, then Jeff Roberts bailed leaving half the starters. Lucas Lefevre and Alan Hogg called it quits some time later and by the Royal Mile, or the 36th Mile, all but Jonny was prepared to continue when Michelle Hetherington and Mick James called it a day also. I drove into town with food and drinks to help refuel Jonny, and Rachael Normand came out also and we saw Jonny off with a half marathon to do. The rest of us drove to a pub with parking, then Rachael cycled to catch Jonny with a head torch, smile and a rucsac of moral support.
Jonny managed the full route that ended up being 49 miles and 11.5 hrs of running. A great achievement for him and the rest of us who had a go. Nice route in parts and certainly novel.
More pics from Michelle and Nadine…