Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cafe, cycle and a cruise.

What a great weekend after winnning my category I was on a high and hardly managed to get any sleep.  It seemed like I had only been in my bed for minutes when the alarm went off and I went to get the bikes ready for a trip by rail to Dundee and then a cycle around Dundees Greenway.

Carol and I biked down to the station and just made the train.  A quick pleasent trip north and we arrd in Dundee.  First stop was the uni to visit Carols son and see how he was settling in.  Everything seemed fine and after a cuppa and some banter we headed off to look for some food before we started out on the Greenway  We had food and drink at the McManus museum cafe and headed down to the shores of the silvery Tay to start our bike ride.

Looking south from near Doscovery Point

Looking south from near Discovery Point

The Greenway is in good condition and is generally well signed.  It is a circular route with the acknowledged start being at Camperdown Park.  We started at sea level and headed up towards Camperdown and Templeton Woods, at 600 ft the highest point on the route.  From Templeton the Greenway winds its way through some of Dundees parks and picturesskew areas!!

Carol on her Peugeot Camargue

Carol on her Peugeot Camargue

Inside Camperdown and heading for Templeton the Greenway tarmac dissapears and is replaced with dirt tracks possibly not suitable for an out and out road bike but ok for tourers.  After the climb to Templeton the descent back to sea level begins!  Unfortunately due to time constraints we had to cut things short and head back to the train station so missed out Broughty Ferry with its castle and cafes!  We whizzed back and were soon on the train heading for home.  21.27 miles 850 ft of climbing in 2:33:54.

Saturday evening was spent on the setee with some Bondage (Dr N0) and a bottle of beer.

Sunday dawned nice and bright and we headed west and south this time to Hawes Peir in South Queensferry for a cruise on the Forth with a stop on Inchcolm Island.

The cruise had been a birthday gift in January and this was the first chance we had to use it we climbed on board the Forth Belle with the Forth as still as a mill pond.

Approaching Hawes Pier

Approaching Hawes Pier

Onboard the Belle I paid £5.50 each so we could go onto Inchcolm Island.  The Island has an old abbey on it and is dotted with buildings from both world wars.

Some of the defences

Some of the defences

Inchcolm Abbey

The Abbey

Its well worth a visit and on a day like today with the sun shining and clearing skies the views were pretty amazing.  You could see the 3!! well 2 and a half bridges.

The bridges

The route of the cruise takes you under the rail and road bridges an amazing view from a totally different angle.  The noise from the road bridge as vehicles cross it was startling!

It was back to Hawes Pier into Carols Saab and home!

A great weekend made all the better by the company.




D for Dundee 2014

It had to happen Greece, Germany and France.  Now a “home” marathon Dundee.

I had ran the half marathon last year and vowed then that I would never do the full.  The course begins in Camperdown park, winds its way through woods to Templeton at about 600ft  then is basically all down hill from there to BroughtyFerry.   The half ends there the full carries on along the banks of the Tay for approx 9 miles before it turns north and heads back up to the start/finish.

It was a hot day with very little wind even along the shore.  I passed two runners collapsed by the side of the path before the half finish and another about 2 miles from the finish of the marathon.  I can only assume they were sufffering from the heat.

My time was 4:19:56 at one time I thought I might be on for a sub 4!  62/134


Friday the 26th Sept was the running of the inaugural Knockhill duathlon.  Knockhill is a motor racing course just outside Dunfermline.

I had been looking forward to this race for quite some time and it did not dissapoint.

The first leg was a 2 lap run 1 lap on the track and one off road around the outside of the circ 2.72 miles 20:20.  The track is undulating to say the least and a joy to run on.  The second lap was a bit rougher underfoot and completed just as it started to get dark.

T1 1:23 and onto the bike for 5 laps of the race track on a road bike.  Racing a bike on the course was awesome you must remember this is made for high speed racing!!  The start had been timed so that lights had to be used and it created quite an effect in the dark.  Five laps 6.23 miles 26:01.

T2 1:16 and onto the final run 1 lap on the outside of the course 1.42 miles 11:14.

Total time for the race 1:00:15 and Supervet category winner!!!!!!

Knockhill trophy

Knockhill trophy

Decking, garden plan, St Andrews.

A busy week.  Decking now down in the garden and looking good!  The decking was pu down by neighbours and I started on the rest of the garden once they were finished.  Lifted the remaining turf and started trying to level what ground was visible.  Have decided to put a border of shrubs and heather around the decking and shrubs and bushes in the remaining patch of ground.

Carol and I spent Wednesday in St Andrews some shopping and had some food.  Carol is also getting her garden done but a lot more work is involved than in mine.

Training wise the week went as planned.  I had weds as a rest day as I was racing on Friday, a new race at Knockhill race circuit.  2 yoga sessions, 2 gym sessions, 3 runs  and 1 bike before duathlon.

Caen 2014

The Caen marathon or the Marathon du Libertie as it is called was the weekend after the celebrations for the 70th anniv of the D-Day landings. I took the opportunity of combining the marathon with a cycle touring holiday of Jersey and Normandy, more of which you can read about elsewhere. I covered half the course on my cycle to Caen from the beaches so had some idea of the course which, up till the half way point followed the coast towards Caen from the start. After the halfway point the route goes inland and uphill and on country roads winding its way to the finish at museum. The day had dawned cold and windy but got hotter as the day and the miles passed. A good course passing historic landmarks. A marathon I would do again.20140615-205814-75494513.jpg

Kirkcaldy Film Festival

The KFF was on at the AdamSmith theatre from 19th-21st September.  This was the second year of the festival but the first time that we had attended.

Alan Morrison the artistic director chose an excellent selection of films. There seemed to be two themes the First WW and Fife.

Friday-The first film Carol and I went to see was a showing of The Winter Guest directed by Alan Rickman and filmed in the East Nuek of Fife.  It starred mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson, playing a mother and daughter!  The movie follows four sets of characters and the interaction between them over a 24 hour period. Touching and funny well worth seeing I cant believe I have not seen it before. Home and changed for the second movie of the day a showing of Woody Allens 2014 0ffering Magic in the Moonlight starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone.  Set in the 1920’s on the French Riviera its a witty movie with lovely locations and costumes.

Saturday-I went to the first movie alone a showing of Fife’s Paul Wrights debut big screen movie For those in peril.  This is a hard hitting film without any special effects other than the location and camera work.  The evening film was a gala screening of Goldfinger on it’s 50th anniversary.  Carols daughter Zoe was with us and the ladies were all togged up unfortunately I could not hire a tux and let the side down!

Sunday-A first for the KFF with a preview of What we did on our holiday which would get it’s London premier the FOLLOWING evening! I wont spoil the movie for you suffice to say its an amazing film and we will have to see it again we missed so many one liners cos we were laughing at the last one.

An excellent 3 days and an event that will be penciled in on my cal for next year although how they will equal never mind surpass this years programme is beyong me!

Berlin 2013

Although I did Athens in 2011 I was unable to get an entry to 2012 Berlin and as I was determined to do it had to wait till 2013 to do so.

As Berlin was billed as flat and fast I did put in a fair amount of training and was hoping for a 3:35.  This was to be my last marathon while I was still at work and one of the motivational tricks I used was posting that time in the works gym where I could see it every time I worked out a powerful tool!

I arrd in Berlin at 10pm on the Friday before the marathon and literally collapsed in bed and fell asleep.  A fitful sleep saw me up and ready for the expo and number collection.  I had done my homework before I left Scotland as I knew time was going to be tight so knew where the expo was and the best way to get there.  The expo was amazing packed with sponsors and distributors and RUNNERS never before had I seen so many runners!  I collected my number and spent about 3 hours wandering round the expo looking at displays trying stuff on and gathering what freebies I could.



After some food I headed back to the hotel but had a walk first to familiarise myself with the start/finish area and the route to the train station……preparation does not end with training for the race!  I managed to take a look at the Pergamon museum which was amazing!!

Pergamon museum entrance

Pergamon museum entrance

Museum exhibit

Museum exhibit

What can I say about the race 40,000 entrants with 36,474 finishers!  It was busy from start to finish.  The weather was ideal for running.  The course takes you round a lot of the main tourist attractions and is dotted with bands and DJ’s.  Well organised and well supported but so busy.  Even at the last water point you were still being jostled and looking for a “line” to get through the crowd.  I didnt make my target time I was 13,272nd in 3:48:38.

After the race it was straight to the Bahnhof and the airport.  Due to a lack of holidays I had no time to spend in the city which was a shame I spent less than 48 hours there.

Posing at the expo

Posing at the expo