Monday, 17 January 2011

Conquering the 7 Hills

Had a totally well earned rest day on Saturday, nice lazy day which was much needed. The howling wind and torrential rain wasn't exactly luring me out anyway!

Very nearly decided to stay in dressing gown and give ceilidh a miss but really glad we didn't. Lots of dancing which clearly counts as cross training , especially in heels i was wearing! Took camera but forgot to take pics, probably due to dancing so much. Really good to catch up, i hardly make it club so nice to see everyone.

Mindful of our run next day we headed off home around 11.Plan for morning was 7 hills of Edinburgh out by no later than 10am.I did moan a bit about how windy it was sounding and asked if i could just stay in bed, I was told in no uncertain terms that wouldn't be an option.

So after grumping a bit we set off. We started off at Craiglockheart tennis club, so that's where we also finished. >

First hill, Craiglockheart, obviously.

Although it was superwindy at top of the hills it was actually quite weirdly warm. Wish I'd stuck to my original plan of shorts n vest as i was a bit warm tbh. Last time we were up there it was snow covered, what a difference a week makes.

Next in line was Braid Hill, we had to run across golf course and dodge some golf balls at one stage lol. Behind me in this pic you can see Arthur's seat but we had another one to get to before that.

Next up, Blackford hill. I ended up almost slipping down a muddy gully and hanging onto trees whilst Ian took higher/drier/more sensible route. I was following his instructions though!

I'd actually never been on Blackford hill ever! It was really good run off there, really loved it. Arthur's Seat looking bit closer now as you can see.
Fair bit of road to get to there and this is where i start to feel bit jaded, after running through lovely forest trails and up and down hills tarmac is a bit wearing on legs.

The climb up Arthur's seat seemed to go on forever, and got windier and windier the higher we got. I was clinging onto rocks at certain points fearing I'd get blown off side. Ian was struggling to hold camera to take pic at top so we got off there pretty quickly before we got blown off.
Still surprisingly a fair few tourists up there too!

Next up, Calton Hill. Only half a hill as coach called it. Oh he made me run up it too, made me run up several of them actually. Surely as an Ultra runner i get to walk the uphills?

It is only half a hill i suppose, i still took the huff 3/4 way up and walked a bit though ;) It wasn't so windy up there and i was being pushed on and told off for wasting time taking pics so off we went in pursuit of Castle Hill.

This part is bit tricky, not because of hills, terrain etc, but because of the damn tourists. It is quite a long drag to castle though and once again i was feeling it.

More tourist dodging as we left castle with our last hill in our sights, Corstorphine. Couple times i tried to stop and walk i was told to keep going til i got to steep hill (it was long drag of hill, but a hill regardless!) tough taskmaster he is.

Finally we reached the tower! wooop. We'd done it. 7 Hills done & dusted. wooop etc.
Only it wasn't so much was it, we had to get back to where we started so we could complete it totally, and get home of course.
So off we went heading back to craiglockheart, good run off Corstorphine hill , it was great fun.
Back to the streets though and by time i was at slateford i was wishing i could click my red ruby shoes together and wake up at home! Got pushed on though and more hills to slog up before the glorious sight of tennis club appeared.
We descent down to it and bingo, we'd done it. Another 3/4 mile back to house though and we had a bit of sprint finish along street to finish last section at a ridiculous pace of sub7 mm ffs.
All in all we did just short of 19miles in 3hrs 33. Cracking run, cracking route.
As we were running past the Dean Gallery we discussed just how great that route would be for any visitors to the city, you really do get to see every sight of significance and with the most amazing views to boot.
I do love this city.


  1. Yeah, brilliant run although legs a bit sore today! Edinburgh at its best :)

  2. Nice looking run - 19 miles and 6.5 hills ;) in 3:33 sounds bloody impressive as well. Well done!

  3. I would like to do that run with you some day

  4. lol Ian, your legs were sore from the dancing not the running!
    Thanks MrS, be good to see you next month. Les, you're more than welcome anytime!

  5. You did well, and great pictures :).

  6. Great read I felt the cruel wind tearing at me from my fleece and sleeping bag wrapped PC encampment;-)



This could be a long blog, but 100 miles is a long way. I've always had a pull to this race for various reasons. I've heard many g...