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Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

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June social 2019 - Pentland Skyline Run

Monday 3 June

Sun, rain, hail, wind – it's Scotland in summer after all!

At least there were no midges and it was sunny at Flotterstone when we met for the reinstated Skyline run. It was good to see some new faces from the club and some old friends from other clubs for this ever-popular social.

With admirable co-operation, cars were filled and people despatched to the 2 main starting points in high spirits. 16 runners went to Nine Mile Burn for the full run - up and over the Kips, Scald Law, Carnethy and Turnhouse Hill, finishing at Flotterstone. A further 7 went to the start of the old Kirk Road to do the shorter route, which joins the ridge at the col between Scald Law and Carnethy. That left 4 of us at Flotterstone, 2 of whom went geocaching.

Conditions deteriorated and two squalls meant that everyone got wet, with hail for those on the tops. Each squall took some time to pass and some people regretted not taking jackets with them. A salutory reminder that weather in the hills can change very quickly; always be prepared. But spirits were not dampened, though the ground was in places - coming down Turnhouse was slippery in places. But the run ended as it had begun - in sunshine. We counted everyone back. First came the shorter route runners in three separate groups. Not far behind, the long runners were more strung out.

The full run is approx 11km and 500m of climb, though there were differences depending on whose fitness tracker was consulted. There are also some minor variations on the route - to do South Black Hill or not, and whether to summit Turnhouse or just go down the side. Sometimes the decision depended on the weather conditions at the time! Whilst this is not a race, some people were comparing their times against previous runs.

With a repeat of the earlier co-operation, drivers were shuttled back to Nine Mile Burn to retrieve their cars, so that only a few people waited a short time in their cold, wet gear for their car keys or dry clothes.

The Steading at Hillend was a new venue for the post-run meal, just five minutes' drive from Flotterstone, and everyone arrived in good time for the serving deadline of 8.45pm. The  food helped to warm everyone up, though not all stayed to eat. But one non-runner joined us at the Steading to make the total of 22 people attending the social.

I'll leave the final verdict to one of the runners, “Elemental - achieving despite the weather conditions - all part of the experience”.

Fran Humphrey