great route, shit weather
The only silver lining here was that the wind was mostly on our backs, though the first half had some unexpectedly headwind-like gusts.
Jim and Graham of Carnethy felt they should do a long run on Sunday. I tagged along and others waited in the wings to see if the poor forecast improved. It did not and the final crew was only 5 in total: Nick from Dunbar, myself (solo Porty), and Phil, Jim and Graham from Carnethy. We caught the 9.30am bus to Peebles with the idea of following the Cross Borders Trail from there to West Linton then up to Carlops, Nine Mile Burn then over the Pentlands to the Steading. Allowances were going to be made to stop at a war memorial and run till we hit the 30 mile mark in respect of the Tynecastle Bronze regulations.
Nick, Graham, Phil and Jim
Graham has run this route several times before, generally in reverse, getting the bus home. This was good because we just followed his directions, but bad in that I never once got out the map in my backpack to become familiar with the twists and turns of the trails which weren't always very well marked or instinctive. And we had our heads down due to the steady drizzle and HIGH winds. After a couple of streets-worth of Peebles, we headed up a trail into the hills. (That's about all I remember.) Apart from Nick doing his now famous comedy falling at the first possible hurdle immediately after discussing his gravitational vulnerability.
And there were some wooded bits about 5 or 6 miles into it which was nice as the storm force winds abated and the rain stopped lashing us momentarily.
Graham suggested we stopped to admire the view. I think he was being sarcastic but took a photo just in case. It would have been splendid on a sunny day.
War Memorial at West Linton.
It would be wrong to post a photo that came out unflattering of everyone in it. Wrong.
First pint in West Linton.
As you can see the whole day was hilarious.
Second pint came almost too quickly after the first - less than 5 miles later at Carlops. Although welcome, the process of sitting down and cooling off makes starting back up in the cold damp weather (with a pint sloshing about internally) a bit of a chore.
Interestingly we all wore different footwear. Mine had the least grip. Had I looked more closely at the map and worked out road to off-road miles, or anticipated just how wet and muddy it would be, I might well have worn something with more grip. The Hokas were all over the place and I fell twice or more. Ideal shoe would have been something very grippy but with enough cushioning for quite a few miles on road.
Shoes were cleaned regularly in all the puddles, but round the side of Black Hill and coming off the Pentlands at Allermuir was like descending on roller skates (in Hoka Challengers). Going up (at Nine Mile Burn) was ok although the wind by the top felt like 40~50mph and I fell over here taking photos and a short bit of video (to show how strong the wind was howling.) (Video may be blogged later.)
To make up the miles and avoid the high winds at the Kips we went down the drove road and round the back of Black Hill.
About the only photo with all 5.
The weather was improving and the sun nearly came out as we approached Allermuir.
Howling gale at top.
Heading to the Steading.
What would be a great journey run on a pleasant day turned out to be quite tough. There was lots of fun and chat but it wasn't the best TB run ever. I was tired for a couple of days afterwards - I think just the exposure to the elements and quite a lot of tricky ground (while wearing roller skates!) Thanks to Jim and Graham for organising and route finding. They got the mileage spot on with Garmins bleeping 30 miles just yards before the Steading. That was impressive. We had a couple of pints then a last dash for the bus at the terminus and I was home for a very welcome dinner.
Next day, Monday, I cycled to and from work then ran to Fight Club at 6pm (circuits and boxercise at Leith Academy evening classes) leaving at 7.15 to shower, change and cycle to Gilmore Pl and book group at 8pm. Rest of the week has been less hectic in the taper for the horrible C5 on Saturday. Unsmiley face.