Round Edinburgh the hard way

BUPA Run.jpgAnother of those pleasant, restful weekends with lots of time in the garden?  I wish!  Instead we spent Saturday morning cheering our youngest round the Meadows on the Junior Great Edinburgh Run and I spent Sunday morning pounding (or should that be plodding?) the streets of Edinburgh on the grown up version.  My run was the result of one of those good ideas that are so easy to have, so difficult to wriggle out of.  Youngest son’s run was because, for the last couple of years, he has wanted to enter the Great North Run and Edinburgh seemed more immediately accessible.  Having entered him, it seemed only fair that I should do my bit too.  So he managed his 2.4km in what seemed a very speedy 9m 51s; my more elderly legs took rather longer over 10km – 1hr 2min 30sec to be precise.  As I’ve never run 10km before, I was quite happy just to finish.   One success was a friend’s son, Hamish from Longniddry Primary, winning the Mini Run (8yrs & under) on Saturday; he came away with a trophy nearly as big as himself and a grin to match.

The 10km run was a great tour around the city of Edinburgh, taking in most of the sights.  From the Meadows to Tollcross, along Princes Street, up the Mound then down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace.  From there, there was a long, windy, but very scenic slog up through the park to the Commonwealth Pool, then down the Pleasance to Cow Gate, with a headwind through the tunnel, and the Grassmarket, fretting about all the hard-earned height we were losing.  Sure enough, the hill up past the Art School is very steep, but by then there wasn’t too far to go and I could begin to think that I would make it round in some sort of more or less respectable time.  And if only I hadn’t walked for odd bits up the steepest hills – not the Mound, I managed that – I might have got in in under an hour.  It was a great experience, running in a river of people through a wonderful city.