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Thread: Rydal Round

  1. #1

    Rydal Round

    Rydal Round + Ambleside Sports

    Both races are part of a traditional Lakeland Sports day meeting: Rydal Round Fell Race - 9 miles 3000ft is basically the classic circular ridge route known as Fairfield Horseshoe. Whereas later in the afternoon Ambleside Sports Guides Race - 1.7 miles 800ft is a typical BOFRA there and back. This year the races were memorable due to the extreme weather - the met office has now confirmed that Thursday 25th July 2019 was officially the hottest day ever to be recorded in the uk.

    Having an ice cream isn’t usually part of my pre-race warm up, but I felt the need to lower my core body temperature and what better way than indulging in an ice cream? I opted for one scoop topped with decorative confectionery in the form of hundreds and thousands. My wife was working otherwise Alison would’ve had the raspberry sauce topping. Not wanting her to feel left out I sent a picture of my sweet frozen snack with the caption - “also available with raspberry”. Alison replied with a frustrated looking emoji. I texted back - “have you got trapped wind?”. Alison’s “knobhead” riposte had me surmising she was having a stressful day.

    When I was queuing for my ice cream the guy in front seemed agitated. I asked him if he was ok. He started ranting about how his iPhone was too big for his skinny jeans - even going so far as to call his phone a ‘pocket-botherer’. He then showed me how his phone had become misshaped. I explained to him he needs to ditch the skinny jeans as the combined force administered by the tightly fitted denim fabric was pressing his phone against the curvature of his thigh. The pressure was evidently too much for the inferior build quality of his lightweight mobile. He nodded his head in agreement and thanked me for my insightful advice. He told me he’d been thinking of ditching the jeans since he’d read they can cause decreased sperm count and in extreme cases twisted testicles. We both agreed that’s a high price to pay for being fashionable. I told him a workmate often complains about the difficulty he encounters tying shoe laces whilst wearing skinny jeans and how it’s almost impossible to gracefully get undressed. Personally I’m not faced with these problems as I think men’s skinny jeans are shit - but I keep my thoughts to myself. However, I did suggest he tried vintage woven cargo shorts with multiple pockets from Fatface. He thanked me for the recommendation and proceeded in purchasing an ice cream. I noticed skinny jeans guy had hundreds and thousands, two flakes and two scoops. I’m pleased to say he wasn’t racing as two scoops and all the added confectionery would’ve been considered as irresponsible pre-race behaviour - likely to induce vomiting during the event.

    The first proper climb encountered during Rydal Round goes up a zig-zag path on the southern flank of Nab Scar. I’m stopped in my tracks by a bloke who’s mumbling about the heat. He’s not in the race, he’s a walker - a reluctant one at that given all the whinging he’s doing. He informs me “it’s hotter than hell” to which I replied “She looked good, she looked hotter than hell”. He looked at me like I was ‘not a full shilling’. He evidently wasn’t familiar with the workings of American rockers Kiss. With altitude the heat remained stifling: partly due to Nab Scar being densely covered in a blanket of heat absorbing ferns that are feeding off the sun light - it’s called photosynthesis. We’re partaking in a tough fell race on the hottest day on record - that’s called psychosis. The zig-zag path is supposed to ease progress up the fell - this calls my bluff.

    A drystone wall casts a shadow over a couple of walkers. They looked puzzled watching us ‘puff and pant’ on our upwards struggle. Their labradoodle’s not daft, he’s lying in a small pool looking extremely content - so much so his ‘lipstick’ is popping out. I started laughing to myself thinking about the time my parents neighbour had to apply a cold water compress to reduce the swelling that was being displayed by his over excitable canine. He then had to repositioning the dogs ‘lipstick’ back inside the sheath - his wife couldn’t watch, she found it disturbing. Me and my dad thought it was hilarious ...the dog looked amused. The dog in question was an Alsatian and I kid you not he was called Flash. My mum was convinced that Flash would ‘pop-out’ on command whenever you called his name...I wasn’t convinced but they do say Alsatians are extremely intelligent.

    During the climb up towards Fairfield I’m starting to feel really uncomfortable with the heat. After nearly 1000 races this is the warmest race I’ve ever ran, even warmer than Wasdale 2013. One of the side effects I’m experiencing is a feeling of unpleasant tightness around my ring. I tried clenching in a vain attempt to release some pressure but it only makes matters worse - my wedding ring has never felt so tight. The skin around the ring had started to bulge as a result of my swollen hands - akin to the feet of big lass wearing ill fitted strappy shoes. Just like it’s a relief to remove intolerable footwear - it’s a relief to eventually finish Rydal Round.

    Many thanks to all involved and well done race winners Ricky Lightfoot and Kelli Roberts.

    Post-race I’m feeling in a daze but thankfully my hands are soon back to normal. However, I’m adamant it’s my only race of the day. I then enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of sharing a scotch egg with my mate Steve Angus - that’s not a euphemism. Steve had kindly offered me half of his hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs - it was picnic food perfection. In truth though he does make a shit brew...the milk was off. Undeterred I drank my brew, I didn’t want to seem ungrateful as I like Steve - he’s a good egg.

    I don’t know how but I found myself on the start line for race number two - Ambleside Sports. I think I arrived there in a sun induced haze. Unsurprisingly, not for want of trying - it was a struggle, I felt drained. If Alison had been here she’d have reminded me “that sometimes you don’t have the brains you were born with”...she says it often. In hindsight a Labradoodle showed more common sense today but that’s not the only thing he showed...at least I have my dignity?

    Many thanks to all involved and well done race winners Simon Bailey and Sharon Taylor.

    Footnote - During both races Ambleside fellrunner Jane Reedy wasn’t far from my thoughts. On what was the hottest day on record, Jane was just over half way through a 13 day challenge she’d set herself. Please take a little time to read Jane’s blog - pedaltothepeaks.org.
    I’m convinced you’ll be in awe of this amazing lady...cheers.
    Last edited by Tindersticks; 02-08-2019 at 12:51 PM.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Double bubble - top man ‘sticks

  3. #3
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    Darren, it really beats me; if you have the opportunity to partake of really good ice cream, why spoil it by adding "confectionery"? I keep trying to get this through to my grandsons ...... alas, in vain!
    When at Wallings in Cockerham I don't even bother with a cornet; just ice cream in a tub.

    Have you heard about the old couple who were both suffering with the onset of dementia?

    One morning he says to her, "I'm just off down into town love; is there anything that you want?"

    The old girl replies, "Oooh, yes please, a big cornet of sloppy, Mr Whippy ice cream. Now write it down so you don't Forget."

    "Ee I won't forget that for you, my love." He retorts.

    "Yes but I want a Mr Whippy cornet with one of those chocolate flakes in it." She adds, "Now write it down so you don't forget."

    "A Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake, can't possibly forget that for you my dear." says the old boy.

    "Ah," says the wife, "I want a Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake and some of that squirty strawberry syrup. Now write it down so you don't forget."

    "Don't need to write it down," says the hubby, "A Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake and some strawberry syrup. I'll remember that for you my dear."

    "Yes," says the old girl, "but I want a Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake, some strawberry syrup and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Now write it down so that you don't forget!"

    "I can't possibly forget that for you my sweet," says the husband, "A Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake, some strawberry syrup and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Absolutely no need to write that down!"

    Off he toddles to the town and returns one hour later.

    The husband passes to his wife a brown paper bag.

    When she opens it there's a warm meat & potatoe pie inside.

    "Hey," she squeals, "You've forgotten my chips!"

    P.S. I ran in the inaugural Rydal Round in 1984 - I set off with an American tourist who was holidaying in the Lakes and thought that he'd give it a go in his Nike "waffle" sole road shoes. He was with a group who went astray in mist on Fairfield and "mugged" a fell walker for his map. Thankfully I beat them by quite a margin. That inaugural race was sponsored by "Metlex" a manufacturer of taps, showers and other bathroom fittings, from down in Brum.
    Last edited by wheezing donkey; 02-08-2019 at 09:12 PM.
    I was a bit of an oddball until I was abducted by aliens; but I'm perfectly OK now!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wheezing donkey View Post
    Darren, it really beats me; if you have the opportunity to partake of really good ice cream, why spoil it by adding "confectionery"? I keep trying to get this through to my grandsons ...... alas, in vain!
    When at Wallings in Cockerham I don't even bother with a cornet; just ice cream in a tub.

    Have you heard about the old couple who were both suffering with the onset of dementia?

    One morning he says to her, "I'm just off down into town love; is there anything that you want?"

    The old girl replies, "Oooh, yes please, a big cornet of sloppy, Mr Whippy ice cream. Now write it down so you don't Forget."

    "Ee I won't forget that for you, my love." He retorts.

    "Yes but I want a Mr Whippy cornet with one of those chocolate flakes in it." She adds, "Now write it down so you don't forget."

    "A Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake, can't possibly forget that for you my dear." says the old boy.

    "Ah," says the wife, "I want a Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake and some of that squirty strawberry syrup. Now write it down so you don't forget."

    "Don't need to write it down," says the hubby, "A Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake and some strawberry syrup. I'll remember that for you my dear."

    "Yes," says the old girl, "but I want a Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake, some strawberry syrup and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Now write it down so that you don't forget!"

    "I can't possibly forget that for you my sweet," says the husband, "A Mr Whippy cornet with a chocolate flake, some strawberry syrup and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Absolutely no need to write that down!"

    Off he toddles to the town and returns one hour later.

    The husband passes to his wife a brown paper bag.

    When she opens it there's a warm meat & potatoe pie inside.

    "Hey," she squeals, "You've forgotten my chips!"

    P.S. I ran in the inaugural Rydal Round in 1984 - I set off with an American tourist who was holidaying in the Lakes and thought that he'd give it a go in his Nike "waffle" sole road shoes. He was with a group who went astray in mist on Fairfield and "mugged" a fell walker for his map. Thankfully I beat them by quite a margin. That inaugural race was sponsored by "Metlex" a manufacturer of taps, showers and other bathroom fittings, from down in Brum.
    Fantastic!

  5. #5
    Master Stagger's Avatar
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    Great report Sticks and good follow up WD.
    Having completed similar in a moment of madness, it's one of the only times the Mrs Sticks (Alison) is correct.

    Only Chopsticks would wait until the hottest day ever to attempt the double.

    🌞😂🤣😂

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    It was my first ever fell race, picked a good day for it. On the ridge before Great Rigg I met a fast looking bloke in a Keswick vest who was stumbling around looking dizzy and considering walking back to the start. I almost offered to accompany him but pressed on - contouring around the other side there was a bit of very welcome wind and mizzle. Walked/staggered up Fairfield chatting to a a Keswick runner (Cathy?) who'd raced Fellside the night before, and kept me going before dropping me once the gradient levelled out. I really struggled in the last few km, even that stumbling bloke passed me, the legs didn't want to play and I got lost in the final run into the park, ending up in the wrong bit.
    Sheepishly walked back round to finish in 2h30ish, even after medicinal Coca-Cola and a bubblegum slushie there was no bloody way I was going to do the guide's race.
    Great day on the fells, despite a crap run. Didn't put me off though, did Kentmere and the Turner (and went back to Ambleside to run the Fairfield route again) before flying back to Spain. Job jobbed.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Well done bob_

  8. #8
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Great stuff and what a way to start your tally of races...!

  9. #9
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    Cheers, literally a baptism of fire. Haven't lived up there for 25 years but fell in love with it all over again, already looking at maybe squeezing in another visit before the season ends...

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