Monday 19th June, Pentland Skyline Run
Report collated by Mark Rowe
Numerous contributors supplied a paragraph or two in this report from the event:
Once upon a time on a set of hills not too far away 25 loyal and valiant members of ESOC set forth on a treacherous and challenging quest: to complete the five peaks of the Pentlands in time to save their pub dinners from the ignominy of a descending coldness!
Social secretary Mark was very keen that this perennial favourite of the club social calendar be re-instated after a gap of four years due to Covid. Hopefully, we might even be able to convene in The Flotterstone Inn in future years so we can simply tumble in after the run, but currently the business is up for sale, anyone with £¾m going spare get in there now!
In conditions of extremely good visibility and perfect temperatures, after they overcame the hardships of the overcrowded and tardy 102 bus, some members shared the burden of carrying the belongings of the overprepared. Others arrived by car and bike and shared lifts from the Flotterstone car park, onwards down the A702 to either Nine mile burn for the full run - up and over the Kips, Scald Law, Carnethy and Turnhouse Hill, finishing at Flotterstone, or 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. Generally we had a tail-wind to help, and many a conversation was had between friends old and new as we reminisced over previous runs and who we’d run with. Particularly poignant was the story from Roger Garnett who had only previously once done the full route from Nine Mile Burn a number of years back, and fondly remembered it running alongside Alastair Lessells, who is sadly no longer with us, but was very much in our thoughts as we traversed the peaks.
The walkers started along the Old Kirk Road to join the main route between Scald Law and Carnethy. Meanwhile, their chauffeur returned to Flotterstone and then set off to meet them, via the 'biscuit tin'; overlooking Glencorse Reservoir, at the foot of the climb up Turnhouse. In this way, we were able to feel part of the social as people passed us as we returned along the skyline.
The advance guard of four very hot and sweaty runners sprinted into the Flotterstone car park in record time and were sitting down to their hot dinners at The Steading while most of the rest were still toiling down Turnhouse Hill. A wee little app, also known as ‘Turf’!, helped to inform the early diners that there were potential rich pickings off the plates of those still to arrive! Thanks to the staff at The Steading who held the pre-ordered warm dinners back as long as they could even as the kitchen was closing. Alison felt her meal was most at risk (seeing as it was laid out close to a hungry club President - see photo below)! There was a suggestion there might have been fewer chips than she paid for by the time she arrived, however ‘what goes on in The Steading stays in The Steading’ - as the saying goes!?! Certainly though, it was a very very large portion of chips to start with! Katherine reported on WhatsApp that though the chips were getting a lot of attention, she wanted to put in a good word for the new potatoes which were exceptionally delicious.
Some members were already weary from their weekend efforts racing the Seven Hills of Edinburgh (Katherine, Terry) and Jamie Stevenson Trophy (Calum, Maja, Tom). However
the lure of neutral Turf zones drew them onwards, so we congratulate these gluttons for punishment! It was with mixed feelings that some left the lofty Skyline for the lower slopes and woods.
After her very speedy descent, thanks go to Helena (along with Janet) who helped transport us to The Steading and the dinners and drinks that many thought they would never see!
Thanks to all that attended and to the weather Gods who smiled down kindly on us for a
super evening after that four year gap.
Photos: A small selection, taken by various people, to give a flavour of the evening.
Click the image for a larger version.