Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Richard Dennis Birthday Handicap Run

Photos; Peter, except Kathy took the one with Peter in

What a stunning day it was today. Hard getting up early at the weekend and hard venturing out in the cold. I made the mistake of "scooshing" my dirty windscreen and the water froze instantly. Need to get more chemicals in my screenwash before the winter proceeds  much further...

Anyway, arriving at Flotterstone the carpark was very nearly full and there was a good sized group of Porties milling about and flapping their arms to keep warm. A large group of  mixed ability went off first, just to get warm I think. I held back a bit, wanting to place myself about the middle so I might catch anyone going wrong from the first group but not be too late finishing. Paul Eunson came with me and pushed me - or I pushed myself, to hit the road a little harder than yesterday's stiff legs might have liked. I "let him go" on the way up the hill to the Maiden's Cleugh and settled in with myself. The first flour arrows on the road were all but obscured but the arrows on mud were still clear and fine, thank goodness. To my surprise however there were more arrows than there were when we left last night. It looked like Harmeny Running Club were also having some kind of organised Pentlands run. The potential was there for much confusion but nobody went wrong at all.

The day was absolutely still and absolutely crisp and sunny, and it was great to be out.

The first Porty to pass me was Richard at about 5 miles in. He was cheeky about my running so I nearly had to throw him in the ditch. He was followed closely by Ricky and Roly. Then I had another stretch alone until catching up to Jenni at the top of the steep tree-lined road. She rewarded me for this with a big soft sweety (Peppa the Pig?). We were soon but briefly joined by Kathy Henly who came tanking through and barely paused. I could see her disappearing into the distance for some time with a plume of dust behind her like the roadrunner. Towards the Howe another Porty (Porty I've not met yet) came by and chatted for a minute or two before moving through. Then, lastly, I could here the train-like breathing of Peter Buchanan and a shout of "I'm coming to get you Mary Hunter!". Peter and Graham whooshed by shouting stuff.

For a good while I had been following the debonair back of the aptly named Douglas Young and I had some notions of catching and overtaking him. On coffin lane this looked quite doable at times but since I hadn't caught him by the Howe I knew he would get into his downhill stride and there was little chance I would get him. Anyway, it was still a stunning day, and too good to hurry. And my legs were a little bit sore on the hard downhill in trail shoes.

Arriving at Flotterstone there was a large group of Porties all over again. There was fruit cake in a tin (quite low down so you got an automatic hamstring stretch) and Paul Eunson furnished me with an enamel mug of coffee. Then a batch of us went to the Flotterstone Inn some for lunch, some for soup, some for coffee, all for Emily's cupcakes and some for quite a lot of beer so there was singing in the car park when we emerged a couple of hours later. Great day out. Great club. Vive Ecosse ya Bass. Happy Birthday Richard.

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