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Thread: Race you to the summit

  1. #1

    Race you to the summit

    Race You To The Summit fell race.

    I like the concept behind ‘The Summit’ race. Fell running folklore leads us to believe that the origins of the race emerged from bar-room banter.

    Over half a century ago the landlord of The Gale Inn public house in Littleborough wagered a bet with the locals. He laid down the gauntlet that it wasn’t possible to run from the Gale Inn to the Whitehouse public house at Blackstone Edge and back in less than 30 minutes. Fifty plus years later and the start venue may have changed (the Gale Inn is no more and now the race begins from the Summit Inn) but the challenge is still alive.....unlike my car.

    Before I waffle on about the race I need closure from the sad demise of my loyal motor. My wife says I’ve a weird emotional attachment to inanimate objects. I disagree and stress that my car wasn’t inanimate as it could actually move. Alison stresses that it might move but it can’t move itself, as like all vehicles it’s lifeless. I say “what about self-driving cars, these vehicles move themselves, they are animated....I find Alison’s response of fingers in ears, head swaying from side-to-side whilst going “la la la la la la” to be more weird than my ‘alleged’ emotional attachment to inanimate objects if I’m honest.

    When she’d calmed down I’m reminded of my reluctance to throw away the remote from our old television. We’d taken the TV to the local tip but I wanted to keep the remote as a keepsake. Alison said I was being ridiculous and snatched the remote out of my hand a threw it into the nearest skip. To this day I’ve still not forgiven her and if it wasn’t for the stringent Health and Safety Regulations at the refuse centre I’d have retrieved it....thinking about it, yeah that’s weird.

    So....after more than 13 years of loyal service my Nissan X-Trail has gone kaput. The old workhorse that has been ever dependable whilst covering a distance of 198000 miles had finally called it a day.

    I’ve never been one to give my car a name or assigned it a gender, nor have I ever spoken about it in human-like phrases....until now. I can’t believe how much I’m missing my old ‘buddy’. I knew eventually I’d experience a day of reckoning, where my car was concerned, but I’d envisaged it happening a good few more years from now....my car had other ideas.

    On the morning of the British Fell Relays my (almost) ever reliable motor threw a spanner into the works, or to be more precise, it threw a rod out of the engine block. This grand-finale was witnessed by a car full of my Chorley teammates just as we’d joined the M61. A loud bang was proceeded with a sequence of events that sounded like metal on metal... I love heavy metal when it’s blaring out of my car stereo, I’m not feeling the vibe when it’s radiating from under the bonnet.

    Thankfully we made it onto the hard shoulder unhindered and step outside to survey the damage. It’s a catastrophe, my fell buddy that’s ran me to literally hundreds of fell races up and down the country has ran it’s last race. We’ve been everywhere together....even Yorkshire.

    After much head scratching transport was arranged for my teammates to make it to the Relays on time. I didn’t accompany them, I couldn’t leave my ‘bud’ stranded alone on the motorway. A few phone calls later and Mike the recovery driver is on the scene. He’s a talkative fella who’d love to try fellrunning but he’s got dodgy knees and a troublesome back. He regularly visits a chiropractor who works miracles, but it comes at a price, the chiropractor has extremely cold hands. Apparently cold hands run in the chiropractors family and it’s not a cause for concern...so Mike informs me.

    We arrive at my local garage where the mechanics lay in wait. Just before Mike leaves I ask him for his verdict on my car....”it’s f**ked mate”...I find Mike’s response colder than his chiropractors hands, I’ve gone off Mike.

    I’ve been going to the same garage for years. The mechanics Dave, Daz and Paul are good guys, surprising given they’re all Wiganers. I trust their judgment and await their verdict. After what seems an age they eventually pop out from beneath the ramp and announce in unison, “it’s f**ked mate”. I’m numb, finding it hard to take in. I ask if it’s worth searching online for a re-con engine? Dave tells me “ to be a brave little soldier and let it go”. Daz mocks me by gesticulating wildly whilst dropping to his knees and pulling on Dave’s dirty overalls, all the while shouting “please save my car, pleeeeeaaaase”...Dave says nothing, he’s choking with laughter....bloody Wiganers.

    A few days later I’m back at the garage awaiting the arrival of the Scrap car removal guy. He’s bang on time and whilst he reversed down the road I feel the urge to give my departing motor a hug. No one is watching so I embrace my motor and say “thank you”. The scrap guy asks me how long I’ve had my car. I tell him I’ve had it from new, over 13 years...he laughs and says “that explains the hugging I suppose”...l laugh, out of embarrassment.

    As my car was carried away on the back of the scrap truck I waved goodbye. The driver waves back...my wave wasn’t for him.

    Right....Race You To The Summit.

    Yeah it’s a great little race, many thanks to all involved. I ran shit, I’m still in mourning...have I mentioned my car?
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Classic report

  3. #3
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Well done DanGilbert of the forum on winning...

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