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Thread: Tindersticks BG write-up

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Tindersticks BG write-up

    Copied over from FB with Darren's blessing

    Iíve always been in awe of Bob.

    I had a grandad called Bob who I idolised as a child. He always made me feel grown up, so much so he insisted I called him Bob as grandad sounded soft. Thereís no way Bob was going to have a mardy-arsed grandson. Heíd sit me down to eat tripe with vinegar then weíd go and build stuff in his shed. I thought Bob was the best joiner in the world as Iíd watch him making garden furnishings etc. A few years later when Iíd served my time as a Carpenter I soon realised Bobís garden furniture was crap....I kept my feelings to myself, I couldnít upset Bob, I worshipped him.
    Bob was a coal miner and so were most of his mates. Iíd often join them sitting on the garden wall whilst theyíd be putting the world to rights. They didnít much like Margaret Thatcher, nor Mr Gilbert across the road...the flash bugger owned a car, worked in Banking. I was a kid amongst grownups but felt part of the old pit menís gang. Spending so much time with the old lancastrians would often get me into bother. At school I was told to talk properly and not so broad, apparently Mrs Smith my teacher was from Charnock Richard and thought she was posh...thatís what Bob told me. Ironically years later Bob was invited into the local school to give a talk to the kids about his experiences of working Ďdownít pití. Bobís influences on me would also get me into trouble at home. If I was prompted to pull Bobís finger heíd fart and Iíd be in hysterics...we still did this up to him dying when I was in my 30ís. Iíd try this at home as a child, ďmum pull my fingerĒ...Iíd let one rip and mum would get straight on the phone, ďDad stop teaching Darren bad habitsĒ....I miss Bob, I really do.

    ďAlison pull my fingerĒ....old habits die hard.

    No Bob could ever replace grandad Bob...not even Robert ĎBobí Calvert came close when I was going through my obsessive Hawkwind phase. The charismatic lead singer was constantly on my turntable to my parents dismay....Ēturn that rubbish downĒ....I get some same treatment now living with Alison but itís usually, ďturn that shit offĒ
    Poacher turned game-keeper

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    When Iíd discovered fell running another Bob entered my life...Bob Graham.

    Iíve been meaning to have a go at the BG for a few years but my addiction towards fell races has always got the better of me. I donít use the word addiction lightly as I generally feel Iím addicted to racing.

    Addicted: physically and mentally dependent...enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.

    When Iím not actively fell racing, Iím thinking about fell racing...I absolutely love it. Every year I say to myself Iím not racing as much this year, itís getting ridiculous. And before the years out Iíve done over 100 races again. I needed to focus on something other than racing and the Bob Graham was to be my goal.

    Billy Bland says that whoever attempts a Bob Graham becomes king for the day. The great man is undoubtedly right and for that reason Iíd always thought that if ever I get around to attempting a BG it would be a solo affair as I donít like a fuss...Iíll remain a pleb, a commoner. Iíd told Alison about my intentions of doing a solo round and my reasoning behind going solo. And in typical Alison fashion she called me ďa miserable sodĒ.

    I pointed out to Alison all the organisation thatís involved on a supported round would be a nightmare for a Luddite like myself. Getting a BG team together sounds too much like hard work involving emails, schedules and other such malarkey...she disagreed. Right...Iíll show my beloved whoís a miserable sod, Iím going for it the regal way and start to drop hints that Iím thinking of doing a BG. Iím overwhelmed with the response from fellow runners and quickly realised that getting the supporters wasnít going to be a problem.

    At the start of 2018 Iím in Bob Graham mode...mentally but not physically. Straight away Iím slipping into old habits and Iíve raced every weekend in January. The BG training isnít going to plan but Iíd managed a recce of Leg 1 in early February. Thereís snow on the ground and Halls Fell ridge was treacherous. I pretty much shuffled down it on my arse but did find the recce worthwhile...onwards and upwards.

    No more BG trips in February, instead Iíd raced 8 times....not really sticking to the plan of this being my Bob Graham year. Then the penny dropped...Edale Skyline was like a kick in the balls. It made me realise I had to start taking this BG thingy seriously...and thatís what I did.

    My plan was to have 14 weeks of hard training followed by 2 weeks of tapering then Iíd be all set for July 21st. I chose this date for its convenience around my shift pattern at work. My race addiction became a good part of my training with Howgills, Eskdale Elevation, Teenager, Pendle Cloughs, Old County Tops, Helvellyn and the Dodds, Duddon Long, Ennerdale Horseshoe, Great Lakes and Daz H Buttermere Horseshoe all being done and usually followed with a BG recce. All told I went around every leg at least twice with the longest day being Legs 3&4 when I supported Ken Taylor on his incredible record breaking round. To see my friend achieve this at 71 years old is one of the most memorable days Iíve ever had on the fells...totally inspirational

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    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Supporting Ken three weeks ago was my last long day out and apart from a couple of short races Iíd not done much but count down the days until my attempt. The waiting is painful, I was constantly looking at the long range weather forecast and keeping well clear of anybody with a cold. Iíd called off at my parents and turned back when Iíd heard my dad sneeze before Iíd entered their house. My mum was on the phone minutes later asking why Iíve just driven away from their home. I explained my predicament around people with a cold at the moment.....apparently my dads sneeze was the actions of too much curry powder in one his homemade concoctions.

    When the day arrives Alison informs me itís ĎFrantic Fridayí and travel chaos is expected on all major roads throughout the country. Not wanting to chance it we leave for the Lake District in plenty time and typically donít hit one single traffic jam...Iíve got four hours to kill. The time is slowly ticking down and I start to get ready in the van at about 10pm...Iím going at midnight. In Alisonís words, ďIím doing plenty of faffing aboutĒ...sheís not wrong. Between us we get everything ready and go over last minute details regarding food etc. Alison is a brilliant help but draws the line when I ask her if sheíll apply Vaseline to my arse, ďVaseline your own arse....and donít forget to wash your handsĒ.

    Top Tip: If you apply the Vaseline you donít need to worry about toilet paper if a Ďnumber twoí comes a knocking. Be careful applying the Vaseline, itís easy to slip a digit up...youíve been warned.

    Leg 1

    Brilliant support from Nick Ray, Ste Angus and Scamp the dog. These guys know their stuff and even though itís obviously dark and the cloud is down they guide me around with ease. Off Blencathra we headed down the scree then cut across to Halls Fell ridge. It was a pleasure to be in their company...Scamp seemed to enjoy himself also.
    Finished leg in 3hrs 25mins.
    Alison does me proud providing porridge with banana and honey....4 minutes after arriving Iím off again.

    Leg 2

    Blimey I had this leg covered. Craig Smith has supported more people on this leg than anyone I know. Iím almost certain he said I was the 42nd person heíd helped. My other supporter was Leigh Warburton...need I say more. This leg flew by and once weíd left the Dodds our head torches were packed away. Craig is fantastic company and even some of his jokes are good, notice I didnít say all of his jokes. And with Leigh being one of my best mates from the fells I was really enjoying my BG experience. Craig told me I was the most relaxed person heíd ever taken around the leg...thatís all down to him and Leigh.
    Finished leg in 3hrs 48mins
    Beans and cheese are quickly dispatched

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Leg 3

    The longest and roughest leg and Iím privileged to have the Helm Hill lads Adam Perry, Craig Burrows and Paul Aitken (rope on Broad Stand). Once again the support is amazing and Iím not finding this hard work Iím simply enjoying the day out with mates. Itís a pleasure to see a runner of Adamís quality making everything look so effortless. Craig is great company and keeps the food and drinks coming at regular intervals. The weather has not been bad, thereís hardly any wind but Iíve been in cloud all day and now on the rough stuff the rocks are treacherous due to the damp atmosphere. I slip coming off Bowfell and Craigís face says it all as I land with a right Ďthudí...he looks worried. My knee starts to throd but Iím able to carry on running, albeit gingerly but Iím running...phew. More slips and bangs and finally we arrive at Broad Stand to be greeted by Paul.

    Broad Stand will forever be part of my nightmares. Iíd been up a few weeks earlier on Kenís BG and it had been fine...the rocks were bone dry and it was a doddle. On my BG itís wet and slippery and anything but a doddle. I put the rope around my waist and manoeuvre the easier first section, Iím finding it hard on the wet rock. After watching me struggling on the Ďeasyí bit Adam asked Craig if he fancied turning back and going up Lords Rake instead. Adam didnít get an answer as Craig was already on retreat...actions speak louder than words...Craig didnít fancy Broad Stand. The next move requires me to jump up to get the handhold. Paulís got me roped up but I need to get the hold and position my feet to push myself up...my shoes will not grip the wet rock. I find myself dangling like a Ďlimp-dickí whilst looking into the abyss over to my left. All the while Paul is cool personified whilst giving me instructions from above. Iíve so much confidence in Paulís ability with the rope that whilst Iím dangling there looking up at Paul Iím surprised with my initial thoughts...Ēhasnít Paul got lovely eyesĒ.

    Yeah I was scared and well out of my climbing comfort zone...but I was in safe hands. I get my shit together and finally get over the exposed rock face. For the next few minutes we watch my quads go into spasms of cramp brought on by built up tension and tiredness. We meet up with Adam and Craig on Scafell and I tell them they made the right choice in turning back...I donít mention Paulís lovely eyes.

    Finished leg in 5hrs 59mins
    The wet rocks and my fall on Bowfell cost me time on this leg. No worries, still well up on my 22hr schedule.
    Tomato soup and a slice of bread...6 minutes later Iím off again.

    Leg 4

    I fly up Yewbarrow in 41 minutes and start feeling like itís in the bag. For company Iíve got my new hero Paul Aitken, Mark Irving and James Harris. Iím feeling strong on this leg and even with a tricky descent off Kirk fell where we had a slight wander we still make up loads of time. Itís great to be back on the fells with Mark, I did legs 4&5 on Markís successful round last year and it means a lot to me having Mark on mine. James is great to have onboard, heís such a character, he actually brought a pair of ear defenders in case I needed a break from his Ďenthusiasmí...fantastic company.
    Finished leg in 4hrs 32mins
    Mega quick changeover of 3 minutes....really pleased to see my mate Mark Ellithorn offering encouragement

  5. #5
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    Leg 5

    The dreaded Dale Head climb is anything but dreadful...I feel better than Iíve ever felt whilst doing this climb near the end of Borrowdale fell race. Mark and James have carried on from leg 4 and weíre joined by my Chorley teammate Bill Beckett, Iím so pleased Bill could be part of my day.
    On reaching Robinson, the final peak, itís fitting that the sun finally comes out. Iíve been in the clouds pretty much all day...itís not been a round for the views.
    Finished leg in 2hrs 44mins.

    Bob Graham, done and dusted in 20hrs 49mins

    Whilst standing around at the end did I really see a bloke in a gimp mask being led around by a dog chain...or is this the sleep deprivation kicking in?

    Massive thanks to my amazing wife Alison, she did road support from start to finish.
    Many thanks to Pauline Warburton who helped Alison for most of the day.
    Thanks to my mate Mark Birbeck who followed my progress throughout my round from behind the lense of his camera.
    Thanks again to all my supporters who gave up their time to help out a fellow runner...itís massively appreciated.

    So there you have it...I was reluctant to be Ďking for a dayí but Iím so glad my wifeís Ďmiserable sodí comment hit a nerve and got my arse in gear. It was pleasing to hear many of my supporters say theyíd enjoyed their day out and liked my relaxed approach to doing the Bob Graham...and Iíve still managed to squeeze in 58 races so far this year...beltin.

    Fellrunning- embrace the sport, respect the people.

  6. #6
    Senior Member William Clough's Avatar
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    Excellent! Thanks for sharing DT and another great write up from Daz/Tinder sticks.

  7. #7
    Master BritNick's Avatar
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    That was a great read. Thanks Daz and DT for posting.

  8. #8
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    Excellent Darren - thanks for copying it across Andrew.
    I was a bit of an oddball until I was abducted by aliens; but I'm perfectly OK now!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Took longer than 24 hrs to type that lot 😉

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Derby Tup View Post
    Took longer than 24 hrs to type that lot 
    Thanks for posting Andrew, way beyond my clerical skills.

    Imagine my disappointment when I’d originally tried to post on forum and it wasn’t accepted due to over use of characters. The limit is 10 000 and my report was 12 000.

    My initial thoughts were, “well that was a waste of a morning”. Then Facebook came to the rescue with it’s multi characters....63 000 apparently, now that would be one hell of a write up.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

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