Queen’s Drive Christmas Race will no longer be on the fixtures

EAC has after a decade of falling number of  participants and the increasing lure of the popular and free Park Runs about town  decided to call it a day for our annual Christmas race. With local Park Runs attracting 600 or so participants including many club runners  and with  Queens Drive Race last year recording less than fifty, mainly vets, from  EAC and Ferranti , it was obvious decision.  Previously organised by Edinburgh Eastern Harriers and by Canon Athletic Club, since 1961 it was organised by EAC

The course configuration has changed over the years with mass starts, handicap starts,  road all the way ,start and finish varying to include the grass” track” , there are various claims to course record ! The course record was held by a well known Edinburgh  University runner, perhaps Callum Henderson? Jim Alder held the road record .Ah the folk memories !If you look at the old photos say on Grumpy Old Runners or by Tom Mooney or Graeme McIndoe there are some talented participants. As one Grumpy pointed out his best got him top twenty in the old days , now it would win it !

Memories from a V65 : In the 80’s and 90’s it always had a nice buzz about it. Especially the post

race refreshments in the Southsider, with large number of athletes from

the various clubs. In its day it attracted a lot of the top runners in

Scotland, I seemed however to know fewer and fewer at the race, as time

went on and the switch to Sunday finished it off for me

 

Another vet adds with a nod to Risk Assessment. I recall  wondering whether to wear spikes on this road race as sheets of ice covered the top road Or was it a case of careful descending? Recently we cancelled it as too much wind rutted snow on top road Would we hardy souls have ran it?

 

As Bill Walker reminded me , you brought a prize to win  a prize And John Lees remembers when prizes were “chunky chicks” Changed days !Brooks and Run and Become have provided prizes in last decade or so There was a prize for the winner who was always off a large handicap which could be up to 3min 30sec. with a prize for the best overall time. It was a yacht handicap and always on road, all the way. The “fastest time” never got near the first over the line.

The race was very popular. In later years of course it finished on the grass and was much shorter as a result. It also became a mass start . Lately we moved  back to road start and on a Sunday to take advantage of quieter and closed roads

Changing was in Arthur Street church in the Pleasance for many years. Recently we have used Pollok, RCP  and  Meadowbank . Wherever over the years.  thanks to all those on Registration, recorders, organisers and stewards . Our thanks to Historic Scotland for use of the Park.

 

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