Couch to 5K
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Not quite the 10k

Nice sunny morning, was up at 5 as other half had to catch a plane, managed even to get the work "to deal with " emails below 100 for next week so by 8:30 was raring to go.

I thought I'd try running the Race for Life 10k route which I'm doing in 2 weeks time, including sussing out parking etc. This is the Edinburgh RfL which uses the road round Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat. I've done the 5k a few times but this year signed up for 10k. It starts down by Holyrood Palace with a 100m climb over the first km up to Dunsappie Loch. I had to slow down to a walk on the steepest bit. Once up by the loch it's reasonably flat with nice views and by about 4k you come to a point where you have the castle in one direction and the Pentlands in the other.

This was the bit where I wasn't sure of the route but at some point you loop round to pick up the road to Duddingston which runs about 70m below the park road so I just headed across the grass. By this time the day was warming up and the smell of coconut from the gorse bushes reminded me of cheap sun screen. Round past the loch, through Duddingston village and on to a bit of main road I didn't know but it was reasonably quiet at this time on a Sunday morning.

Next turning point was on to the Innocent Railway track ( It's quite enclosed with not much of a view but I enjoyed hearing the church bells from Duddingstion Kirk drifting across the loch on the other side of the wall. It's also a bit of a long steady climb - I think that may be the inclined plane in railway terminology - but i just kept plodding on. At the end it goes in to a tunnel but I wasn't sure if that was part of the route so took the path. Another steep bit and another walk I'm afraid.

From there it's downhill back to the start which after 8k is almost as hard on the legs as going up hill! Set myself a finish target of the barrier by the car park and just kept going.

By the time I got back to my car I'd done 10.6k in 1h 13m. I must have cut a few corners on the RfL route as it should be a full 10k. I'm not sure how seriuos the RfL 10k will be and whether people walk it. Plenty do on the 5k but I'm assuming there will be more real runners on this one. So with 2 weeks to go it's a case of just keeping up with the training.

4 Replies

Hi Wilma. I really enjoyed your post.

The loop around Arthurs Seat was the route for the Great Winter Run(?) in early January and I remember that long drag up the hill. Not pleasant but it's good to have the sense of satisfaction when you get to the top. I'm glad to hear that you had to slow down at the steepest bit too ... it makes me feel better.

I haven't done any of the rest of the route you did this morning but it sounds pretty good. The bit about the Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway interested me - I followed the link to Wikipedia and found some good stuff there. I worked for British Rail for a few years before I was married - I did projects across Scotland and spent a few weeks at Millerhill near Niddrie. So the piece brought back some nice memories.

10.6k in 1h 13 sounds good to me, especially given the number of 'inclined planes' you had to cover! Well done.

Are you planning on doing the Great Edinburgh Run this summer? I did the 5k version last year but have entered the 10k this time round. What a difference a year makes ...


Thanks Malcy. There were times when I was having to push off the Malcy chimp. I even wondered if tactically I should walk the first bit but as I managed almost all the rest running I feel that would be cheating.

Here's the photos I took from just above Pollock Halls. I regard stopping to take a shot as a legitimate stop unlike running out of puff and having to walk!

I did the GWR in January too and actually today didn't feel any harder really.


Just looked at Endomondo again for this run. Apparently I now have a first PB for 10k of 1:04:56. Maybe under 1 hour might be doable!


Great going Wilma, sounds like a fantastic place to run.... and great PB too!! :) You may very well smash the sub 60 mins on race day!!



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