Gareth had mentioned the Harrison Park Sunday Run a while back. It seemed to contribute to his very fast half marathon pb (1.14?) and so hearing lesser mortals are allowed along I thought I would give it a test ride today. Particularly because Gareth was coming past to pick up Chloe who is virtually a neighbour. We also collected Nicola and arrived at the canal in plenty time for the 9am kick off.
Barging past Gary R
It starts from that bit of the canal with barges, rowing boats and ducks - you know the bit - and heads out of town crossing the Lanark Road on that bridge taking us onto the Water of Leith trail and under the bypass. Then through the tunnel and somewhere, possibly the other side of Colinton Dell, we crossed the river on this small bridge.
Then a couple of paths I've only ever seen while in Graham Henry's company. I had heard there was a big hill up from Currie Kirk. I wanted to position myself towards the front so that when I was dropped on the hill it would be, so to speak, from less of a height. This I did and was about halfway down the pack by the top of the hill. I think a few of the faster HP crowd were off doing Glasgow and other races today and I might have got off lightly.
We were now skirting the Pentlands and I recognised a small overlap with the 7 Reservoirs route, before it climbs up the off road track above Harlaw Road. The routes split at this point to allow a 14 or 16+mile option. Gareth opted for the 16 miler and I followed. Nicola chose that distance as well making it an all Porty gang.
Nicola caught up along the reservoir.
There was some event going on that finished at the car park.
Gareth blagged a quick drink here!
We ran down from Harlaw and re-joined the WoL path from the Balerno. Normally this is 12 miles from my home and I kept having to remind myself I got to stop shortly after Craiglockhart. Just as well, as I was feeling it from 12 miles.
back through the tunnel
The weather today was kinda grey. Not cold and I wouldn't really have noticed except with the lack of light, photos were always going to be iffy. I have tried to rescue a few from utter drabness to illustrate the route. I noticed yesterday there is a point where maximum pace and minimum light levels produce bad photos with loads of camera shake. I try to take several shots of every snap as the failure rate climbs considerably in these situations. Other images, I crank up the contrast and saturation. Excuse the "art". And sometimes you get happy accidents.
I began to lose it here dropping back, as these 2 raised the pace for the last mile.
Note the difference here:
Gareth's kit is dry - I couldn't have got mine any wetter if I'd gone in for a swim.
stats: miles getting faster in the second half as we came back downhill.
Distance 16.36 miles.