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Date : 25th June, 2018
Time : 58’ 55”
Number of runners : 83 (50 at the Run4It Run Club ; 33 at Cargilfield School)
Total distance run to date : 1480 km
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2806471634
Every Monday at 6pm the Edinburgh (Lothian) Run4It Run Club meets at, appropriately, the Run 4 It shop on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. The run is free, professionally organised, and the format varies week by week to include both standard runs and interval training. Judging from the feedback I heard on Monday, people love it.
Emma, the store manager, had been good enough to invite me to join the run. And Debs, who organises the runs, had been good enough to plot a 10km route (not their usual distance) to accommodate my certifiable plan to run 2 500 000 metres by completing a 10km run in every country in the world – plus a further 45 in the UK. (For readers not familiar with Run the World, I’m raising funds for Cancer Research and the rationale for running 2 500 000 metres is that it’s a metre for every one of the UK’s 2.5 million cancer sufferers.)
There were about 50 of us at the start, too many to take a group photo outside the shop so we set off for the local canal for the group shot at the top of the blog.
Those of you who know Edinburgh, will know that it’s a beautiful city. And a hilly one. Except, of course, by the canal. Where it is flat.
Which made it an ideal route as far as I was concerned, as every bit of my body, including, bizarrely, my hands, was still suffering from the 80 minutes of hell that was the ‘social’ triathlon I’d done 2 days before,
It wasn’t just the flatness that made it a great run. There was also the company, the beautiful sunlit evening and the ‘different groups running at different speeds meaning that everyone had someone to run with’. The route even took us past that temple to Scottish rugby that is Murrayfield. Very exciting for a sports nut like me.
But all good things come to an end and it was time to say goodbye and thank you to my fellow runners. And meet up with Mike, one of my oldest friends and a recent Edinburgh convert.
We were planning to do a bit of evening sightseeing but the World Cup, and the need to refuel, demanded that we started with a quick visit to the pub.
Much is made of the rivalry between England and Scotland at football. However, I couldn’t help noticing that the locals spontaneously cheered when Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty. Just as they would have done in any pub in England.
After that we strolled along Princes St, overlooking the Princes Street Gardens and under looking Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. Taking in the local sights which included, to my somewhat clichéd touristic delight, some Scottish dancing and some drum and bagpipe.
Mike’s not the only old friend to have succumbed to Edinburgh’s charms. David moved there with his family a few years back and he’d arranged for me to talk at his daughter’s school, Cargilfield.
This was an interesting one for me. Many of the schools I’ve talked at abroad have had British teachers – and plenty of them had warned me about British students. Apparently we’re an unruly bunch.
As a result I wasn’t sure what to expect from Cargilfield – my first school in the UK.
I needn’t have worried. These were bright, engaged, well informed* students and I thoroughly enjoyed the talk.
Afterwards I went for a 1 kilometre run with Y 4. I couldn’t tell you whether they all enjoyed it as much as I did but they were a confident, enthusiastic group and it was great meeting, and chatting with, them.
I could go on for a long time about Run 4 It, about Edinburgh and about Cargilfield. But this has already been a lengthy blog and it’s time to say my thank yous. To Emma, Debs and Run 4 It. To Mike. To David, Lisa, Headmaster Rob Taylor, Mr Pike and all the staff and pupils at Cargilfield.
It was a fantastic trip to Edinburgh and, if you could all just guarantee that the weather would always be that sunny, I think I might move there!
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*Better informed than me when it came to the height of Ben Nevis! (For the record, the correct height is 1345 m.)