There are few enough good reasons to venture to Edinburgh, but this is one that I can recommend to all Westies. And so it was that Hamilton and I ventured to Queen Street for the 7:50 Sunday morning train to Waverley. This event starts at Calton Hill before visiting Castle Esplanade, then the hills at Costorphine, Craiglockhart, Braid andBlackford before scrambling up Arthur’s Seat then ‘sprinting’ back to Calton. Although you have to visit the hills in that order, you can run between them any route you want…well, within reason, that is! Obviously the locals have inside knowledge but thie merely serves to provide a convenient excuse for a slow time.
It was a glorious day, too warm for running but great for the views of the city. After I inardvertantly bumslid down Princes Street gardens, Mr Semple stole a lead which I struggled to make up through the west end of the city, Eventually I caught up with him before Costorphine, where I burned him off on the gentle ascent past the zoo, never seeing him again for the rest of the race. I started feeling the heat a bit during the last third of the race as we headed towards Arthur’s Seat. Still, I was happy enough with my 2:15 finish, even if it was considerably slower than my last attempt in 1987, as I never tired of explaining to anyone who would listen! Hamilton came home a few minutes afterwards.
There’s a great atmosphere at the event, which is brilliantly organised, with plenty food, commemorative coasters and spot prizes at the finish. We finished off the day joining Jamie, Nixon and a few other Trotters in the Guildford Arms for a few beers. Biggest surprise was the late arrival of Robin Thomas, who was evidently too busy organising the finishing line quiche counter…ah changed days indeed.
Thanks to Jane for cheering us on at Craiglockhart and at the base of Arthur’s Seat, where she guided me up the left hand path, discreetly pointing out that only the fast runners were taking the alternative!