Pentland Skyline 2013

The Pentland Skyline is a great race, a real achievement to run 16 hills, 16 miles (although my Strava said 17.5m) and climb 6200ft all in one race and of course in the beautiful Pentlands! Carnethy HRC do a great job organising it and have lots of crazy people willing to be out on the hills taking numbers and making sure you go the right way. The record was broken this year by Murray Strain, he took an amazing 6 mins off the previous record in what Carnethy described as ‘quite harsh conditions’ so that’s amazing!

Well as far as my race went I’ll start with the positives : I made a new friend, I completed the Skyline for the second time in my life, em, em, actually that’s it for positives!
Don’t want to be too negative so I won’t be but I did find it really tough this time. The harsh weather seemed to ‘do me in’ over the first half of the route also I’d stupidly tightened my lace on my left shoe too much and meant to loosen it but forgot and when I lost feeling in my toes I thought it was due to the cold and wet and didn’t remember about the lace so unfortunately was pretty uncomfortable by Sth Black Hill:-( Was just deciding whether or not to give up at the half way point when I met another runner (James) who got me chatting and seemed to be happy to hang out with me for the rest of the race – I know, I couldn’t believe it either and he did most of the talking!
Managed to run all the flats and downhills and enjoyed the fact that we were steered clear of the bog at the Green Cleugh although I did think the cold of the bog might stir the blood back to my toes, that makes no sense at all but I wasn’t really thinking straight.
Had a few pauses for thought/help from above/help from anywhere on the steep climbs back over to Hillend with James really encouraging me even though he’d turned his ankle and obviously in pain 🙁

Finished in not the best of times but finished all the same.

29th Duncan 3.02.53
53rd Mark 3.16.47
171st Rob 3.39.21
156th Sadie 4.07.14
176th Susie 4.30.34

Mark managed to complete the Man or Mouse challenge in an incredible time of 4.38.22 and came 5th out of 11.
Carl ran Manor Water and started the Skyline but due to a sore knee had to pull out. He drove round to Flott and managed to make it to the Maidens Cleugh to take photos of us though – what a guy!

Huge thanks to Chris Downie who supported us on Carnethy and Black Hill, a real treat to see him in the mist – dread to think how his photos will look though 🙁

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    6 comments on Pentland Skyline 2013

    1. Dave C says:

      Well done to you all. I never did the Skyline but been over the course a few times (maybe not all in the one go though), great Super human efforts all round!

      PS Murray Strange went on to do his leg for HTB in the District Relays at Livingston in the afternoon, where were you all?

    2. Susan says:

      Bit late posting but well done everyone. As you were running Vicky and I were doing our secretary’s handover, both grateful that we weren’t running in the rain. Massive well done in your first Skylines Sadie and Mark! Susie don’t be disheartened, everyone has good races and not so good races! Duncan, you’re super human! Rob, what will be your nemesis now? Carl, hope your injury heals soon!

    3. Mark Snodgrass says:

      Well done guys. What a tough old race and route that was but also completely satisfying as I tumbled down the final slope to the finish. I guess the weather never got quite as bad as first forecast but nevertheless it was a long day out. It was just great to see a few Harriers along the way to add to the cheer and make me realise that it could be done.
      I must confess that the actual run on race day was slightly easier than the run through I had with Hilary and Sarah the week before. I put that down to not enough warm clothing and nutrition…I thought I had mild hypothermia when I finished the practice run!!
      I guess a race like this and time spent on the hill requires the right amount of training to see you through. A great race and one i would like to do again next year. Cheers, Mark
      PS. I hope the injury is getting better Carl.

    4. Rob Wilson says:

      I am not sure I can say that the Skyline is my nemesis now. It looks like I can now make it even if not 100%. This was effectively an endurance experiment this time around as I have been struggling to get my mileage in over the last 2 months since the Two Inns. The only time I had run for close to 3 hrs was 3 weeks ago when my right Achilles decided to triple in size and I was not able to walk the next day. Even on Saturday, I was not even sure I would run the race, but then decided that I could take it slow and “escape” either at Flotterstone or the Drove Road if things were going badly. Despite feeling tired at the Drove Road, I unfortunately had no excuse to stop and just dug in and kept going.
      Conditions were far from ideal and as Duncan said, the return half was surprisingly much less windy than the forecast. The worst conditions were on South Black Hill – they were atrocious and those poor Marshalls should have left the hill in my opinion. The most annoying part of the route was a slight route change off Hare Hill where the new route took us through knee deep heather over uneven ground which is the last thing you want after running for 2+ hrs. However, the consolation was that the new route did not take us through the deep bog. Swings and roundabout I guess. The only section where I put any real effort in was pushing to pass Snoddy coming off the steep descent off Castlelaw. However, once getting to the track below, he soon left me in his dust.
      Anyway – some great results. Duncan can definitely go sub 3 hrs next year and Sadie really stormed for her first time.
      Bad news y’all, Skyline is part of the Hill Grand Prix for next year so get your training in.
      Rob

    5. sooz says:

      After the trauma of the Two Breweries the Skyline was a breeze – well not quite, but
      not a single twinge of cramp and strong running start to finish. I was slightly concerned
      about the poor marshals at the top of South Black Hill who appeared briefly out of the
      mist and looked on the verge of hypothermia. It was good to see Chris half way up
      Carnethy (or was it Scald Law?) and Ngemi on his mountain bike along the drove road.

      I was not looking forward to turning into the wind and drizzle at the drove road, but
      although it was chilly for a bit, the hills seemed to give us a bit of shelter and it wasn’t
      as soggy underfoot as last year. I was sort of enjoying it and even managed a blether
      with some guy from Switzerland whilst grinding up Harbour Hill. He seemed
      impressed with the Pentlands despite living in the Alps!

      Well done you guys and especially Mark – definitely the Man and not the mouse. The
      very thought of doing both races makes my knees rattle.

      Duncan.

    6. sadie kemp says:

      I agree with Susie. I also found the race very tough, but I guess thats why I wanted to give it a go. I was pretty nervous before it, thinking I might not manage the whole distance. So finishing felt great. It gave me a real lift to see so many friendly faces en route, namely Chris, Tim, Ngeme and Carl many thanks! Also thanks to Rob for giving us a lift and waiting around in the cold for us to finish 🙂

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