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Thread: Really Wild Boar - Night

  1. #1

    Really Wild Boar - Night

    Really Wild Boar - Night Race

    If I had a pound for every time my dog made me smile....I’d be a very wealthy man!

    Nellie our Border Terrier, like always, has the best seat in the house. She’s crashed out on the couch, on her back, with all four legs in the air, she looks content...I smile. She starts twitching, which means she’s dreaming...I smile. Her head is hanging over the edge of the couch which forces her tongue to stick out, I’m sure she’s mocking me...I smile. I can smell her feet, I love the smell of her feet, they smell like digestive biscuits...once again she makes me smile...I feel enriched.

    Weather presenter Becky Mantin is doing her thing, a swish of her hand points to a band of heavy wind and rain that’ll be arriving in the evening. She says unless it’s absolutely necessary it’s not a night to be venturing outdoors. Her advice is to stay indoors and make yourself comfy. I give Nellie a nudge which prompts her to open one eye, opening two would be too much like hard work. She’s not for moving, I don’t want to disturb her, after all she’s only taking Becky’s advice...I head off to the lakes.

    On the drive up I’m enthralled by a caller on Simon Mayo’s radio show. The young caller regales Simon and his listeners with a tale of how she contracted salmonella after kissing a frog. I like Simon’s lighthearted approach towards his young caller. He listens without ridicule and after some worldly guidance she promises not to kiss any more frogs...”no matter how cute the frog”... her exact words.

    I started to wonder what Simon’s advice would be to someone like myself?

    I’d left the comfort of a warm house to drive a round trip of 130 miles to partake in a fell race covering a distance of merely 5 miles. There’ll be no views, it’ll be pitch black and Becky the weather girl says it’s going to be an horrendous night. Where’s the logic? I’d expect even a guy with Mr Mayo’s pleasant demeanour to show a hint of derision. I don’t call his show....I’m driving and I’ve not sussed out the hands free device, I don’t do technology.

    The Fat Lamb pub is being used for race registration. The weather forecast is as predicted, it’s blowing a gale and lashing down. The pub has a large open fire in full blaze and it’s toasty warm...lovely. I nip to the toilet and as I’m washing my hands a guy steps out of the cubicle. I instantly start to cough, the guy starts laughing and asks...”what’s up fella can you smell that?”...I reply, with my eyes streaming ...”smell it, I can bloody taste it, it’s gone right to the back of my throat”. He laughs once more, he’s obviously proud of himself, I’m half expecting him to go for a ‘high-five’. He enquires what I’m doing in his local on such a horrible night. When I tell him I’m here for a fell race he looks puzzled and starts digging for details. He tell me I’m a braver man than him and wishes me all the best. Before he goes I ask if he’ll get me some toilet roll from the cubicle so I can blow my nose as “I’m not brave enough to go in there myself”. He laughs once again...I advised him to change his diet.

    We’re instructed during the pre-race briefing that the course is well marked with flags and glow sticks. There’s also plenty of marshals scattered about and nobody should get lost.

    Current English Fellrunning champion Carl Bell turns up to hand in the trophy from last year. He also gives Gary and Debbie some envelopes containing vouchers for the prize giving. They pull his leg that the envelopes contained signed photographs...Carl is the most humble fella you could wish to meet and burst out laughing before quickly refuting any such claim. The leg pulling of this years Fell champion is not yet over as Jon Richardson ask Carl when he’s back touring with the boys. Jon likes to remind Carl that he shares a likeness with Howard from Take That...Jon has a point.

    For me Fellrunning is not just about the race, views, challenge etc...it’s equally about the people. Good, honest, down to earth people who don’t take themselves too seriously...for the record Carl says he’s touring with the lads next year...Take That and party!

    From the off we’re straight into the wind and rain. With altitude the wind increases and by the time we cut off the track and head up towards the summit plateau it’s getting difficult to stay upright as running is reduced to a head down slog. In the distance glow sticks illuminate our path to where eventually the chimes of a cowbell can be faintly heard praying for attention over the howling wind. Race organiser Gary is struggling to stand upright but continues ringing the bell to safely guide us towards the race turnaround point. On reaching Gary we ‘fist pump’ his padded mitten and make a hasty return...it’s a straight there and back course this year.

    Running back down the track with the wind on your back, the rain and low cloud obscuring what is already poor visibility is certainly an experience...especially with a crap head torch. I’ve no excuse, I’ve got a decent torch which I’d forgotten to charge up. I’m getting by using a free gift I once got with Trail magazine...it’s a relief when somebody runs along the side of me and lights the way. It felt good to reach the finish line unscathed.

    Back in the pub and everyone looks weary and bedraggled...once again The Really Wild Boar lives up to its name and more besides with the darkness. It’s not long though before soup, sandwiches and chips warm up the 34 runners who undoubtedly had a night they’ll not forget in a hurry.

    Many thanks to The Devines and all their amazing helpers.

    When I’d got home and after I’d showered I joined Alison and Nellie on the couch. Nellie is wedged in between us, legs in the air...our noses twitch, we both smile...I go and get the digestives.
    Last edited by Tindersticks; 12-11-2018 at 06:30 PM.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Brilliant. Thanks Daz. Please keep posting these reports

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Is it true that you have been booked to do a reading from your selected works at the Ilkley Literature Festival 2019?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Great shout Ben. Get someone from Ilkley to sign the lad up asap

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by benshep View Post
    Is it true that you have been booked to do a reading from your selected works at the Ilkley Literature Festival 2019?
    Haha...NO

  6. #6
    Master BritNick's Avatar
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    That's so entertaining to read. Thanks Tindersticks. All that way for that, though. You are committed, or should be. ;-)

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