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Thread: Joe’s Cup Hill Race

  1. #1

    Joe’s Cup Hill Race

    Joe’s Cup Hill Race

    An insight - Joe Whitter was a fellrunner from Lancashire who sadly died in 1991 at the age of 52. The moors of Anglezarke are where Joe did the majority of his training runs. Heading in a westerly direction from Great Hill summit the path goes via the ruins of Drinkwaters farm. Just off the path passed the ruins a natural spring trickles from the hillside. Joe would regularly make full use of this fresh water supply and quench his thirst during long Sunday morning runs. Typically, Joe requested for his ashes to be scattered on the moors that he so dearly loved. There’s a memorial in Joe’s honour beside the ruins of Drinkwaters farm: hidden within a retaining wall there is a cup - Joe’s Cup.

    Back in 2016 it would’ve been the 48th running of one of Lancashire’s longest established races - Great Hill Fell Race. However, unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances the race was cancelled and consequently has ceased to exist in recent years. This brief hiatus looks to be over thanks to the inaugural Joe’s Cup Hill Race being a more than worthy replacement for its predecessor Great Hill.

    It’s been a busy bank holiday weekend, Joe’s Cup was my 3rd race in 3 days. My wife rarely complains about my irresistible urge to race, especially since she’s found an equally obsessive hobby: Alison’s become a compulsive internet shopper. I’ve recently found myself on first name terms with the Amazon delivery drivers. My favourite is an Asian guy called Taz, he’s started calling me ‘bro’ during our doorstep encounters. In a show of comradery I’m tempted to instigate a fist bump (the touching of fists as a form of greeting) but feel it may be inappropriate behaviour for someone of my age. Furthermore, if Taz was to respond with an elaborate handshake I’d look foolish as I don’t know the protocol. I’d be all fingers and thumbs, basically I’d make a right prat of myself. For now I’m going to stick with the conventional “o reet pal” and a thumbs up. However, if Alison’s shopping craze continues I’m confident I’ll feel aquatinted enough with Taz to greet him with a heartfelt ‘bro’...minus the fist bump of course - one step at a time, I’m not reckless.

    There was even a delivery on a bank holiday monday. Unfortunately it wasn’t delivered by Taz, otherwise I’d have asked if he was on double time - I know that’s presumptuous but I’m his ‘bro’. The bank holiday delivery was a large package containing an assortment of Lime, Basil and Mandarin scented luxury items from Aldi which are inspired by the expensive Jo Malone fragrance...Alison’s words not mine. I’m sensing I’m supposed to be impressed by my wife’s purchase but I’ve never heard of Jo Malone, she could work in our local Spar for all I know. Apparently Aldi’s luxury fragranced candles, reed diffusers and hand wash are simply too good to ignore, so I’m told. With that in mind I’ll look forward to the refreshing scent of juicy lime and a twist of mandarin with the warmth of basil. Personally, after sampling the fragrances I’m oddly reminded of the aroma you’d expect to smell in a greenhouse on a warm day after the neighbours cat has pissed in it during the night. Admittedly a slogan along the lines of - “An odour characteristic of stale old cat piss” wouldn’t sell many products. Suffice to say, I’ll not be offering my services to the Aldi’s marketing department.

    I asked Alison could she justify her recent purchases? She asked me if I could justify racing again? Well, that was a short discussion...enough said, off I went to Joe’s Cup.

    The old Great Hill course was a straight there and back with too much tarmac for comfort from a fellrunners perspective. The new Joe’s Cup course offers a much better fell oriented approach on the outward run. After running along The Goit we’re treated to the cracking runnable climb up the track from White Coppice all the way to summit of Great Hill, not before passing Joe’s memorial at Drinkwaters. The return along Wet Meadows and the leg trashing steep road descent of Well Lane stays true to the original race.

    At the summit each runner received a packet of Love Hearts sweets. I’m partial to sugar rich confectionery but managed to resist opening my packet whilst on the move. I’ve since noticed the messages embossed upon each individual sweet have been updated to coincide with modern technology - examples being “Text Me”, “Email Me” and some even contain emojis. A few years ago a competition was held by Swizzels for ten new messages. My entries unfortunately haven’t seen the light of day, they were - “Fingering”, “Rimming”, “Hand shandy”, “Bell-end”, “Ring piece”, “Helmet cheese", “Fanny batter", “Pearl necklace”, “Reverse cowgirl” and finally the piece de resistance - the iconic crudely drawn “jizzing cock”. In truth I thought “fingering” may have slipped into the top ten.

    Many thanks to Pita and all helpers for ‘sort of’ reviving an old classic. Thanks also to Jane for the cakes, more confectionery to satisfy my sweet tooth. As for the race itself: personally I prefer this new route and renaming the race in honour of a local fellrunner is a lovely gesture. Well done race winners John Horrocks and Nichola Jackson. All proceeds will be going to Mountain Rescue...beltin!

    The day after the race Taz makes a delivery. I’m unsure what’s in the parcel but undoubtedly it’s an essential item we can’t do without. I await Alisons arrival from Zumba with baited breath. In anticipation I gently shake the packaging in a vain attempt for a clue of what lies within. I practice caution as I can’t risk spillage, especially if more fragrances have been purchased. The acidic aroma of cat piss has such a persistent presence. For the record Taz greeted me with his customary ‘bro’ but I’m left feeling crestfallen when I hear him address the postman in the same manner. I guess everyone is Taz’s ‘bro’...and here’s me thinking I was singled out and considered as being cool. Oh well, every least I never attempted the fist bump!

    Joe’s Cup Hill Race...cheers!
    Last edited by Tindersticks; 08-05-2019 at 05:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Master noel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Mountains of Cheshire
    Good write-up as always TS. Our delivery drivers know (and like) our dog more than me.
    No longer "resting"

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The Worth
    The bar has been raised

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