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Thread: Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay

  1. #1

    Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay

    Here’s my ‘race report’ that features in the latest Fellrunner magazine.

    The Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay

    The official race website is extremely informative and well worth a browse. The history of the event is of particular interest: originally named The Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay in memory of Ian, a very talented young athlete. In 2015 the race was renamed The Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay following the sad passing of Ian’s elder brother Michael. Each year the event is oversubscribed by teams of fell runners eager to compete in what truly is a classic Lake District day on the fells.

    At Chorley we relish the challenge. We don’t consider ourselves ‘top dogs’ but we’re ballsy - unlike George the whippet!

    The day before the Relay I paid a visit to a former work colleague I hadn’t seen in awhile. My car must’ve aroused his dog’s suspicions, as I’m greeted at the door by a boisterous whippet. Given my mates choice of dog breed, I’m happy to dispel stereotypes - he’s not from Yorkshire...thank goodness. George the whippet (named after George Best) was wearing a protective cone shaped collar, it’s clumsy in appearance. Surprisingly George’s new headgear does nothing to curb his enthusiasm, he’s still as daft as a brush: typical, as he is from Yorkshire - a rescue centre near Pontefract apparently. The post surgery attire is for his own good; a preventative measure against his urge to lick his incision. He’s in recovery mode after recently being castrated, but his tenaciously spirited attempts in pinning me against the hallway radiator suggests he’s recovering quite well. I pointed out to my mate that George’s scrotum looked swollen and doesn’t look the ‘best’ mate groaned at my wordplay. Seemingly George is displaying signs of having a ‘scrotal hematoma’ - the veterinary nurse had given prior warning that it’s fairly common after the removal of the testicles, as fluid and blood clots fill the empty sac. However, there’s nothing to be alarmed about so long as the condition is closely monitored. I couldn’t help thinking “I bet George will be pretty alarmed once the cone is removed and he notices he’s missing his knackers”. I kept my thoughts to myself as I’m sensing the swollen scrotum is a touchy subject within the household.

    My mate’s wife made an appearance and offered us homemade jam scones with clotted cream, we politely declined. Our post-op discussion had proven to be an appetite suppressant, we’d had enough clotting for one day. I noticed that my mate looked forlorn, I asked if he was thinking about George’s hematoma? He did confess to feeling guilty about the dog’s missing bits - he hadn’t wanted George to undergo the surgery. Peer pressure had forced his hand after the randy whippet would persistently attempt to grind his genitalia against anything that moved, I’m told he’d also hump stationary items as he wasn’t particular. The decision was finally made for George to go under the knife once he’d started ‘rodgering’ their grandchild’s Peppa Pig cuddly toy...on a regular basis. Personally I feel the seed was sown when my mate named his dog after football’s first notorious playboy - although to be fair, he was probably honouring George Best the footballer and not George Best the serial shagger, but I could be mistaken. I’ve made a mental note to ask him the next time I visit, as I’m intrigued. Regarding the neutering; I think my mates reluctance was due to his catholic beliefs clouding his judgement. After much perseverance George eventually clambered between us upon the settee, from where he then received an abundance of fussing and crumbled up fragments of discarded scones...waste not, want not. Given his recent ordeal at the vets, it was the least he deserved.

    I told my mate that recently I’d been experiencing difficulties sleeping. Stating the irregular shift patterns at work as being my main problem. Meanwhile George is sprawled out with his legs akimbo, twitching uncontrollably. He’s oblivious to the irony of how easy he falls asleep in my presence. My mate said “he’s dreaming of chasing rabbits”. I said “maybe he’s dreaming of being chased by the vet”. My mates sideways glance indicates he’s not amused by my riposte - his dog’s predicament is still raw, in more ways than one. Regarding my recent bouts of insomnia, he advises me to eat a banana a couple of hours before bedtime, as they’re supposed to help you sleep. Taking his advice, I had a banana that night - the night before The Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay.

    On the morning of the Relay I’d experienced a series of thoughts, images and emotions - a vivid dream whereby Chorley had finished first at the upcoming days event. Our win wasn’t even by the narrowest of margins, we’d absolutely “pissed it” according to all and sundry. My subconscious jubilation was abruptly halted by our dog Nellie after she’d jumped upon the bed and nudged my face with her cold wet nose. The primary reason dog’s noses are wet is because they secrete a mucus that aids their sense of smell. Being awoken by Nellie’s nasal discharge was a rude awakening - an unpleasant situation. I turned the other cheek and sarcastically thanked Nellie for ruining Chorley’s unprecedented victory celebrations... I was no longer living the dream! She then switched her allegiance to my wife and gently nuzzled her forehead, I laughed at Alison’s startled expression once Nellie had made her cold wet presence felt. Alison swears that our dog can tell the time as we’re ‘alarmed’ at roughly 6 o’clock every morning. “Maybe Nellie is more intelligent than the dog that said sausages on That’s Life?”...was my reply. Alison rolled her eyes and called me “weird”. She’d think so if I mentioned my dream about Chorley’s piss easy win at the Relay...I said nowt, she’s not really a morning person. I think it’s fair to say that bananas do promote sleep as they contain natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. Personally I’d limit late night banana intake to that of the smaller variety as weight gain may be experienced. Furthermore, the likelihood of excessive muscle-relaxation after consuming a large banana could ultimately encourage the recipient to shit the bed - what a nightmare that would be, certainly not productive towards a good nights sleep. Obviously I can only surmise, as I’ve never personally soiled the sheets, although I have been close to touching-cloth on numerous occasions!

    So...The Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay - is it any good? Borrowdale certainly think so, they won it an incredible 19 times in a row up until recent years. It’s arguably one of the most revered events within the fell running calendar. It’s the event that most clubs can only dream of winning. Simply put - it’s the dogs bollocks! Many thanks to the Hodgson family - what an amazing event and memorial, total respect. Thanks also to Jon and Scoffer and all the many helpers. Well done to this years overall race winners Keswick Open men. 1st Ladies - Helm Hill. 1st Vets - Borrowdale. 1st Mixed - Ribble Valley.

    When I arrived home Alison was watching Strictly Come Dancing. She momentarily broke away from her viewing to ask me how Chorley had performed at the Relay? I told her we were in the mix, finishing just over 2hrs behind the winners Keswick. She chuckled at my self-mockery and said “I’m really pleased for Carl Bell, he’s my favourite runner (slight pause) after you of course”...she hastened to add! Alison then explained to me how the Keswick lads make running look effortless - “they keep their chest forward and shoulders back, upright posture with eyes focused straight ahead”. I interrupted her appraisal and accused her of mimicking what the dance judges had just been saying on the television. Alison laughed and admitted she’d been rumbled, but did proclaim the Keswick lads have the grace and agility of dancers - “they’ve got the flow, they’d be great at disco”. wife’s comparable dance comment had got me thinking.

    Featuring the lads from Keswick and loosely sticking with the lyrics of D.I.S.C.O by Ottawan, here’s my tribute to this year’s Relay winners.

    D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O
    Keswick are disco
    Harry Bolton is D delightful
    Sam Stead is I incredible
    James Appleton is S sensational
    John Battrick is C sweetest candy
    O oh oh oh
    D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O
    Keswick are disco
    Calum Tinnion is D desirable
    Brennan Townshend is I irresistible
    Carl Bell is S super sexy
    Mark Lamb is C such a cutie
    O oh oh oh
    D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O. D.I.S.C.O
    Keswick are disco

    After I’d performed for Alison my song and dance, I asked if I’m disco by perchance?

    She said... “try as you might and come what may, you’ll never be disco in any way, your affection for heavy metal just gets in the way - but don’t get downhearted and feel uptight, for you’re a fair to middling fellrunner you do alright, running for your home town of Chorley in black and for your singing - it’s utter shite and as for your dancing, what can I say? I’ve seen better moves from Theresa May”

    The Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay: worth making a song and dance about, it’s the stuff of dreams - night, night sleep tight.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

  2. #2
    Master BritNick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Great stuff, Daz. That gave me a good titter.

  3. #3
    Master Travs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    NE Lakes/Coventry
    I see from the facebook photos that Stolly was out on Leg1 today. Didn't see you myself... but i was up there in the murk!

  4. #4
    Moderator noel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Western Peak District
    Good to hear some forumites were enjoying this along with me. Quite testing conditions with the rain at times, but I think the organisers got it quite by going with the full route.

    I was on leg 2 for the Pennine vets, and we were pretty pleased with our time. I was impressed to see Sam Tosh and his partner beat us by about 16 minutes - in those conditions too!

    Once again, thanks to the organisers and marshals for putting on such a fantastic event. It's the highlight of the fell running year for me and Mrs Noel.

  5. #5
    Member mykind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    [ Keswick Open men. 1st Ladies - Helm Hill. 1st Vets - Borrowdale. 1st Mixed - Ribble Valley.

    Oops! Dark Peak were 1st Vets. Martin M Baron has a way to go before he reaches vet status
    Mike Hind
    Borrowdale Fell runners

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