Carnethy hill running club gas station in spanish

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Following on from last year’s cancellation due to the Beast from gas monkey cast the East, this year Rat Race offered the option of running the Mighty Deerstalker twice which I took up in a fit of eagerness or stupidity, with a start 2 hours before the main field. Luckily the weather broke and there was no rain or snow for the event itself, but the after effects of Storm Gareth meant the ground was so sodden that the tracks to and from Traquair House were very gloopy. Rising water levels on the Tweed and Leithen Water meant that not only did the traditional upstream water section have to be dropped, but by 5pm a replacement wade across the Leithen, plus part of the route down from Pirn Craig, both had to be removed after the first lap. Apart from the water, the challenge here is mainly the steepness of the climbs / descents, coupled with lack of grip underfoot, plus the inevitable queuing in some spots and doing most of it at night. It was poignant to see the flowers planted at the spot where a participant died early in the 2017 event.

7 Hills 7 Stouts is definitely one of my better stupid ideas… Thankfully I’d picked tgas advisors the nicer weather day of the weekend and we weren’t running in snow, sleet and rain between pubs. 15 of us gathered on Calton Hill at noon and set off for an afternoon of hills and stouts. First stop was Finnegans Wake, an Irish bar on Victoria St. This hadn’t been open early enough last year but since it was St Patrick’s Day they were and promised live music from electricity flows through 12pm. It was certainly loud and lively, and I think most of us were glad to have our refreshment and make a dash for the castle. Still, good to embrace the celebrations.

After appearing in several tourist photos in front of the castle and a brisk walk back across the esplanade (apparently we’d been told not to run) we jogged down to Malones for another half of the black stuff. Malones were once again happy to supply Guinness hats to those without one already, although some were immediately asked to take them off as they were blocking the view of the screen. With all of us now suitably dressed and heading out of town the toots, waves and thumbs up from cars began. I guess we are quite an entertaining sight, and I bet if they knew exactly what we were doing they’d think we were even madder.

Our reward for reaching the tower on Corstorphine was the first round of Fifteens (look them up, great running fuel). Onwards to Luckies at Balgreen. There was a moment of confusion as to whether I’d said 10 and a half Guinness instead of 10 halves of Guinness but thankfully they got it right and nobody had to drink a full pint. A slippery scramble up Craiglockhart then Braid Hills Hotel. Following the Braids our next stop was the Hermitage, bumping into Bill Gauld en route. A second batch of Fifteens were served on top of Blackford to keep us going until Leslie’s. On the way we met Sean and gas 85 told him to grab his kit and meet us there. We also found Ken who’d abandoned children to join us for one hill one stout.

Any more sensible route suggestions I made for going up Arthur’s Seat were rejected and most of us went via the Gutted Haddie. Final pub stop was Kilderkin and a switch to Murphy’s Irish Stout. All that remained was to go back up Calton Hill and pose for photos taken by any tourist susceptible to Mark’s charm and good looks. Thanks to all who came out, cheers to Luke and Declan for making Fifteens, and well done to those who had all seven stouts impact of electricity in the 1920s!

As part of the Hillend Mini-Mountain Marathon weekend I’d organised a group start time of 9:45 on Saturday. This coincided nicely with heavy snow and thick cloud on the hill. Carnethys are a hardy bunch though and fourteen runners set off towards Allermuir with various objectives. Two solo runners were aiming to complete the long course, a pair were doing a short course+ with everyone else (another pair, a trio and a group of 5) targeting the short course. The introduction to navigation gas oil ratio 50 to 1 group made their way round the short course working on a mixture of the 5 ‘Ds’ (description, direction, distance, duration, don’t/danger) with the twin objective of finding the controls and developing our navigation skills. The various groups met up in Cobbs afterwards to warm up, eat and chat of controls found and missed.

Over the weekend 30+ Carnethys completed the courses with many choosing to head out with friends later on Saturday or taking advantage of the sun on Sunday. Thank you to everyone who came out despite the conditions. The next event in the mini-mountain marathon series is pencilled in for the weekend of the 6th and 7th April and will likely start at Red Moss carpark to allow us to enjoy the less visited south-west Pentlands. A similar format will apply with tortugas ninjas a group meeting up on the Saturday morning to run and then head to the pub for lunch. For those members who are developing their navigation skills (absolute novices welcome) there will be a group(s) you can join heading round the short course. Everyone else will be free to head out and enjoy the courses in their own time over the weekend. If you have any questions, or suggestions on how the format can be improved, send them to me at captains@carnethy.com