John Gibson: Franck’s up for it again next year

Exercise: Franck Arnold
Exercise: Franck Arnold
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KEEP on running. Franck Arnold, the Balmoral’s general manager, ran in the Edinburgh Marathon this year and, I’ve discovered through Freedom of Information, clocked three hours and forty minutes.

Very respectable and probably the fastest Edinburgh hotel manager on two legs. Back-slapping and congrats from his colleagues and I have news for his staff.

Says Franck (we were talking a year exactly since he assumed command at No 1 Princes Street): “I competed in the Rob Roy Challenge, an annual charity event over 25 kilometres around Loch Tay, with Alzheimers Scotland among the beneficiaries. You walk, run or cycle, and each team’s entry fee is £400.

“I’m told I did that in five hours and 28 minutes. Nothing to be ashamed of and, in fact, I’m planning to take a team up there next year from the Balmoral. The staff don’t know yet but I reckon I can round up enough of them to form a team. They’d better get used to the idea of exercising and dieting in preparation.”

Mr Arnold is getting used to the idea of a hotel under construction across the street. Has to be an improvement on what hardly enhanced the Capital’s east end.

Shouting out

I feel it incumbent upon me to inform you that Lulu’s out and about again, pictured in her sun hat and splashing by the water’s edge.

Not at Porty. Not at Portyofino. She’s been shouting from the Maldives last I heard: “I love letting out the little child inside me.’’

Like she’s saying, she’s just a wee bairn at heart.