Saturday, November 09, 2013

A "royal" 10k, a royal castle...and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Magical Glamis Castle.
In Canada, we are very proud of our Coast Guard and its volunteer component. With a coastline on three oceans, we understand the importance of all-weather search and rescue capability. As sea kayakers, we also know that the sea is to be deeply respected, it is an unforgiving environment. Here in the UK, the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution have saved over 140,000 lives at sea since 1824! It's astonishing. As they say, RNLI is "the charity that saves lives at sea."

A few weeks ago, here in Arbroath, on the edge of the North Sea, we witnessed a rescue from the Lifeboat Station. A fishing vessel had lost engine power. The RNLB Inchcape was launched. The fishing vessel was quickly towed to the calm and safety of the harbour. Over the years, the crews of the Arbroath Station have been awarded with seven awards for gallantry. It's very humbling what they do, in conditions that can be beyond dangerous.

The Royal National Lifeboat Insititution - 189 years young!
Today was an opportunity for the community to have some fun, but most importantly support the work of the RNLI. The "Reindeer Run" is a charity event and offered a 10k, 5k, and 1k event to raise needed funds for the work of this volunteer agency. The venue...the grounds of magnificent Glamis Castle, in the lovely and fertile Strathmore Valley, near Forfar. The castle, the childhood home of HRM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, is the current home of the 18th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. It's very, very beautiful and its 14,000 acres of forest and field make for a simply magical place to run.

We opted for the 10k event. The day was perfect for running... a real "blue sky Scotland" with crisp, November temperatures, just barely poking above the freezing mark.

"Truly a "blue sky Scotland" day...and November frosty underfoot.
Ice drops on a leaf.'s some of the fun pics from the "Reindeer Run 2013", in support of the RNLI...

Seconds from the start of the 10km run!
The pack, thinning out, through the grounds of Glamis Castle.
Nice antlers Joan!
The castle, as if out of a fairy tale.
"Medal ceremony" - after posting a reasonable time too!
These antlers actually look pretty good. ;)
It was a very special event - and an excellent opportunity for a guy, who is just one week short of sixty-four, to prove to the world that he can still run...AND wear antlers at the same time! :))

But here's some other pics we took of what really matters: Hats off to the men and women of the RNLI! (There's lots of good information at the "Lifeboats" website. Do check it out.)

Arbroath's all-weather lifeboat, RNLB Inchape, fishing vessel in tow. 

Well equipped, well trained, and ready 24/7/365 to save lives - that's volunteerism!

I believe that volunteerism, in causes that help and support others, is an act of love and also courage. Albert Schweitzer once said, "the interior joy we feel when we have done a good deed is the nourishment the soul requires."

The men and women of the RNLI should feel well nourished.

We salute you.


  1. Blooming well done you two - a very worthy cause and for an organisation which holds a special place in the hearts of seafarers both professional and recreational.

    OK, so Joan is clearly either Dancer or Cupid - and was going like a Comet.

    We can't imagine you as a "Donner und Blitzen" Minister of the John Knox style?! So that leaves you as Vixen (unlikely) or Dasher or Prancer - unless the freezing weather this morning had a certain effect on your nose?!

    Warm wishes to you both

    Ian & Linda

  2. Hi Ian and Linda. Haha! Well Joan didn't feel she was going like a Comet". I, on the other hand, did have to run like a Dasher! Besides having to run and wear antlers, there were also photographs to be taken en route - and therefore, there was the issue of always having to catch up! The RNLI did issue every runner a red "blinking nose" which we elected NOT to wear. Just seemed, well, too flashy! A great event and a GREAT organization. Thanks so much. Talk to you soon. Duncan.

  3. You guys looked great! So glad that you were able to take part and run for a great cause.
    I won't comment on the reindeer names ...although so very tempting ;)

  4. Hi Duncan and Joan

    What a great achievement to do the 10k run in such "fetching attire" and for such a great cause. The weather and photos were great.
    Goes to show that the sexagenarians of this family are still truly athletes.
    Well done to you both.

  5. Hi L, I can't possibly imagine what you'd comment on with regards to the reindeer names...but I'm a little afraid to ask! Haha! (I have a feeling you're going to tell us at some point.) As always, thanks...and bless you. ;) D.

    Hey Mike, Well it wasn't nearly as "fetching" as your outfit was on the bike ride! We can strategize about the next family "endurance event" tomorrow. Let's see if we can get everyone in! :) Duncan.