Sunday, 19 June 2011

7 Hills of Edinburgh

Isobel Knox's photos show what the HBTs were up to. 
Meanwhile in Porty land...

Oh how I love this race. I have to overcome this growing aversion for road-running though as I was hating it all the way to Corstorphine Hill and then cheered up once I got amongst the bushes. I came off Corstorphine Hill a new and unplanned way which happily came out alright - emerging from the woods just above the steep road that takes you down to the main Corstorphine Road. Again - not much pleasure to be had at Balgreen etc. or wherever it was. I was a little bit surprised to be passed at this point by Don Naylor. Gordon's training is working for me but maybe not that well.

At Craiglockhart I caught up to and passed Paul Eunson on the muddy scramble up the side of the hill. I only found out later he'd had a nasty knock from falling while coming down from the castle and had not recovered - and later dropped out.

I seemed to be catching up with the Challengers sooner than usual but this turned out to be because there had been less time between their start and the Race start than usual. All shortcuts worked well except one that we'd planned coming off Blackford Hill - I went further left than I intended and had to run back on myself. Probably only cost a couple of minutes but put a knock in my confidence and I spent the next mile thinking that I was going the wrong way. However it all worked out. Come Pollock Halls getting over the wall was easy and also very gratifying as as I landed I saw a bunch of people I'd been with at the gates of the Halls now probably 300m behind and I never saw them again.

Going over Arthur's Seat I snuck past Michael Nowicki and another Porty by going left over the climby stuff rather than the slower more sedate path and again never saw them again. Coming down the other side I was pleased to see Jim Ramsay still going strong and up for a bit of banter. Shortly after I could hear him talking to someone - who was it going to be? The fleet of foot Gillian MacKelvie floating downhill as she does. Eek! Luckily she floated a bit too far downhill and I veered off left taking a shorter line and then, reluctant as I was, kept moving as best I could. I was given extra incentive in the closing  moments of the race as 2 Edinburgh ACs who I'd swapped places with a couple of times came past me. As each time I'd got past them it had been on an uphill I felt I really had to fight this one out so went back ahead and stayed ahead.

Its a great race to finish. Much banter and chatting at the end. There were a good number of Porties set on going to the pub for some pints afterwards, which sounded pretty good. Let it be known, lest we become known as HBT2 however that what we were drinking was lager based drinks and white wine...

Talking of HBTs I thought Izzy Knox and Deborah MacDonald were just playing a cruel joke on me by pretending to finish after me but it turns out that, like Don Naylor, they were taking a thoroughly relaxed approach to the whole thing. Ian Campbell was likewise relaxed, telling me he's putting his energies into coaching rather than self-glorification these days. I saw Ivor. N. to say hello to but never got any of his chat.

Special mention should be made of Michael Geoghegan who also did Glen Rosa yesterday and took some kind of epic tumble today so he had a bruised forehead and a black eye by the time he got to the pub.

Good results for the Porties - I think Shery was 3rd lady in the race and Emily won the ladies' race in the challenge. Willie was 1st Vet (Vet begins at 50 in this race) and Portobello won the 2nd team prize.

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