Sunday, 6 January 2013

Pentlands 12 miler

A new route today, adapted from one that Ben came up with. Ben's route was (starting at Flotterstone)  Turnhouse - Carnethy - Scald Law, S. Black Hill then cutting down before East Kip to the Howe and running down the road for a while, then turning back up the track to Maiden's Cleugh, over Harbour Hill, Capelaw and Castlelaw and then down the hill back to F'stone. I modified the 2nd half by heading up to Phantom's Cleugh avoiding Harbour Hill, over Capelaw and then round the side of Castlelaw on the red crunchy path and back down to the car park.

Arriving at Flotterstone car park about  200 other people had had the same idea. The car park and all around it was absolutely jam-packed and we found ourselves in a queue for parking from which there was no escape. Hell's teeth! We had not allowed ourselves a lot of time to get the run done before dark and so we were quickly trying to think of other options when the familiar and friendly face of Ian Campbell (HBT!) appeared at the car window. He wished us happy new year and offered us his parking space as he had just finished running for the day. Rarely are the omens so good...

Going up Turnhouse was tough. I have a benchmark of 25 minutes for getting from the car park to the top of Turnhouse. Anything quicker is good, anything slower is a bit slow. 25 minutes ticked round as I was on the final push for the summit. It was 27 minutes to the actual summit. That did seem like the hardest part of the day though. Soon we were running down the other side, which was fun, and then up into the clouds at Carnethy. The whole upper part of the run (Carnethy, Scald Law and S. Black Hill) was in the cloud and was very windy on the west sides. Meanwhile I was getting a real surge of delight at being out there. It was filthy underfoot, the wind was battering us and we could hardly see.

Dropping down to the Howe was like changing season - it was pleasant down there - even a wee bit sunny at times. Running down the road was wonderfully easy and it was a thought to turn back up into the hills. Which is why I trimmed them a bit.

12 miles in all and we were out for about 2 and a half hours and finished just as it was getting dark.

I'm dreading going back to being busy this week...

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