Thursday, 11 September 2014

Bonaly Blast

photo Mike

I woke up today feeling a bit sniffly and not able to fully weight-bare on my right foot. Must have been a good session last night. Willie had us at the Meadows doing a fast mile (x4) every 10 mins. Which gave sufficient recovery to push hard. We probably pushed a little too hard and broke David 1.5 laps in. He had run a very good Half at the weekend despite it being 13.4 miles. Oh Edinburgh! We do seem to have a way of producing a major cock up or 2, every time. Anyway I ran home shredded after 5.33, 5.22, 5.22, 5.30.


I did some work with the magic stick this afternoon and the legs felt they might make Thurs night hill reps with the Carnethies. However the usual call-up notice suggested a change of venue - Bonaly - for the AltC5 race being organised by Mike L. My first thought was to go to Holyrood for 7 and see if anyone turned up and if they didn't, have a bit of a skivy hill reps session round the Seat. However Mike phoned and told me to man up. The more I looked at the route the more it appealed - more trails and smallish hills than Pentland hills.

Since I still hadn't returned the brother's bike I could cycle that there (thanks Neil!) which would assist the process. Bonaly is about 37mins from here. Just time to laminate a course map although it looks quite straightforward and there's a really strong chance I will be following not leading.

I got there for 6.45 and padlocked the bike securely, although the ned quotient for Bonaly is typically quite low at this time of the year. There was a muted splendour as the sun turned orange and sank into the gauzy mist. Not great light for photos. Especially hand held ones while running. But I was glad I ran with the camera as it was very pleasant out, and sometimes even the unintentional movement gives an interesting result.

Mike had been practising his starting vuvuzela at home but when it came to ready... steady... fartywhistle he impressed nobody. We didn't hang around till he got it right but legged it down the tarmac and onto Torduff Road immediately before the bypass. This we headed up knowing that if we got to the Reservoir we had gone too far. Mike had said at the start that we head down the road and then just follow a Gilmore. I thought this meant that I was in safe hands, however when we got to the reservoir I realised we might not be. Happily the gate over which we should have climbed was just 10 yards back. There was then quite a lot of up hill while we waited on the Radio Mast coming into view. As we got towards the brow of the grassy hill (previously Torphin Hill Golf Club) there were nice views of the sun going down, only slightly spoiled by me barking up my lungs. The three ahead got a bit of an advantage on the up-hill but I was back on their heels by the time we skirted the field and went through the gate.

This was Michael G country - his ten mile route (13.4) we did a year past Christmas was it? Anyway I felt reasonably familiar with the route as it is also near the Harrison Pk Sunday run and the 7 Reservoirs route. There was a bit of nav-on-the-run from Andrew and Konrad at the front but once we got towards the dreadful Kirk Brae I was able to contribute without getting my laminated copy out my back pocket. I felt since I was taking the photos someone else could do the orienteering.

I say dreadful Kirk Brae because I have only ever run up it. Let me tell you running down is not as bad although I was sympathetic towards Andrew and anyone else who had done the Caerketton downhill last night. Andrew had lowered the course record to sub 5 - pretty good going! I would imagine his legs weren't thrilled at the prospect of more fast downhill tonight. We turned right at the bottom and along Blinkbonny Road. Horse with party hat on...

I emailed Doug Runner we would be here - he must have been sitting less than a hundred yards from here if he was home, and got said email.

Update: this arrived back from Douglas:  read your mail at 7:00 pm just as friends arrived for dinner. Unfortunately,  getting up the riverbank to the wall is a major effort even with my new crossing in place, which brings you to a near vertical wall of brambles.  I was also wearing a freshly pressed shirt and cream slacks which would never have survived the scramble.  So, what with one thing and another I couldn't get to the wall - 20 yards away.  I left the conservatory door open but you must have been flying by on winged feet because we didn't hear a thing over the river noise.

Then up Poets' Glen. It occurred to me that since we would cross our path from a few minutes ago that we would now be climbing the same height we have just descended on the other side of the rectangle. Bummer. Sure enough I dropped a bit back from the leading 3 but given the nature of the rocky climb surrounded by trees you couldn't see the full horror up ahead and that softened the blow.

Next up, a more open feel as we headed to Clubbiedean Reservoir. A lovely soft evening in muted tweedy colours. The woods to the right (south east) of the reservoir were full of roots and tripping hazards which forced you to pay attention. I took quite a few photos but was watching my feet and they (the photos) came out very poorly.

I think the white streak might be Andrew who won the race.

photo Mike

Shame, because it was good fun zigging and zagging through the trees  before popping out at the steep grassy terminus of the reservoir. This we crossed and then headed down the main road beside it following round Torduff Reservoir and across that at the far end. Then a nice downhill to the finish at the top of the Bonaly car park. 5.94 miles and 39.42 for fourth place. 

Iain had some nav issues

Very good route, big thanks to Mike for organising that, handing out numbers and encouraging me to run it, it was great fun. Even the cycle home (possibly sub30 but I didn't time it very accurately) was fun. Nice to wring some entertainment out of the last of the summer evenings.

Mike's photos here
Report on Carnethy Website

1. Andrew Gilmore 38:52 2. Konrad Rawlik 38:59 3. Nick Williamson 39:25 4. Peter Buchanan 39:42 5. Steve Best 40:13 6. Chris Busby 40:24 7. Simon Titmuss 42:07 8. Alex McVey 42:08 9. Euan Boyd 42:24 10. Jasmin Paris 43:37 11. Iain Gilmore 44:39 12. Mark Hartree 45:57 13. Dougie MacQueen 46:11 14. David Harrington 46:24 15. Mary Lye 47:56 16. Anya Powers 58:05 17. Anna Hays 58:08 18. Britton Smith 58:41 19. Helen Wise 65:10 20. Willie Gibson 65:10 21. Kirsty Loudon 1:19:47

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