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Tour of Pendle 2019

November 17, 2019

There it goes again. And I nearly fall flat on my face for no apparent reason. If anyone knows how to remedy what seems to be a trapped nerve atop the foot caused by the lacing on my shoe, your advice will be much appreciated. I’ve had it for years now and can’t seem to find a solution. Different lacing methods haven’t worked, nor has the Salomon lacing system. Elastic laces as Nick H suggests maybe? Anyway, let me know. 

Btw, don’t try and leave comments on here because you can’t; not till I work out how to switch the moderator status over to myself. And that’s easier said than done.

On Thursday evening a bunch of us, organised by Sam, head up to the Kendal Mountain Festival in the middle of Kendal. It’s a sell out and not much meat on the bones of those attending. We are treated to films and live interviews of mountain runners doing great things and star billing is given to our own, because you are Dazbo – kind of, Darren Fishwick. Anyway, he owns the stage and the audience with his performance but he would have done even if he just stood there and ate a sandwich. He’s just one of us foot soldiers with a quirky sense of humour and a dab hand at Northern prose; top job Darren. Sandie wins the £100 raffle, lucky chap.

But the funniest moment was yours truly at the bar trying to order a cup of KMF Rusable for £1. ‘A cup of your finest KMF for one pound’ says I. ‘Wot’? says the comely barmaid. ‘Your finest KMF’ I repeat and point to the sign below the beer taps. The chap beside me sniggers and I turn to see him and the comely barmaid exchange glances. ‘That’s a Kendal Mountain Festival Reuseable Cup for one pound’, she says. Honestly, my eyesight nowadays. I settle for a pint of Guinness.

Race day itself does not start auspiciously. The McBourne bows out with trochanteric bursitis, don’t ask me, but it’s serious if Matt has to miss his favourite end to the season. And then Rowena sends an SOS as she’s run into some debris on the motorway and its slashed one of her tyres – that’s her and Sophie F not going to make it either. 

The day is grey and mizzly but no wind and then the mizzle lifts. For doing this 17 miler the conditions are perfect and there are still a goodly amount of GandOs on the start line. Even though the temperature doesn’t get into double figures I regret not starting in a singlet only. The secret, as anyone who’s familiar with this course will tell you, is to get to Geronimo like you’ve done nothing; for this race does not start till the ascent out of Ashendean. If you’ve over-egged it before this point then you are going to suffer, end of. A case in point is going up the Big End where I encounter a young lad literally staggering backwards – bonked good and proper. Eyes glazed over he is in a world of pain. I give him a Jaffa cake and tell him to keep working through it. The Jaffa cake is provided by Dave ‘the legend’ Tait who’s marshalling the checkpoint at the bottom – he’s set out three plates on a blanket all with various goodies on them; champion Dave.

Yes, the course is a bit soft, actually knee deep in mud in places and a large stone loosed by the runner in front tumbles down onto my shin as we come out of Mearley Clough. As it continues down I holler ‘rolling stone’ which prompts a refrain of ’Satisfaction’ from the runner behind. Humour at that point of proceedings is laudable.

As usual, the Race Organiser, Kieran Carr, and all the CLeM assistants and marshals do a superb job especially with the added difficulty of restricted parking at Barley. It all goes ticketyboo and I know he’ll have fretted himself no end to make it happen so. We love you loads Kieran. I think I also spot the FRA Chairman there. Has anyone noticed that her name, Charmian, is an anagram of her position? A fine example of Nominative Determinism. I, myself, am waiting to turn into a Candle.

I spoke to Charmian at the KMF and what a good egg she is; we’re very lucky to have her.

So for all of our ten quid we get free attendant parking, a t-shirt, a bottle of beer and a run round one of the great landmarks in the north. And if you’re Leigh Warby you also get a winner’s extra swag to walk away with albeit he is run close by the next v60; only four seconds in it. A head to head like that after three hours of racing must have hurt, I bet. Well done everyone.

Some more notable points about this race; John G forgot to bring his usual pork pie mid-race nutrition and is slightly mithered by it.

Dom H is pale and nauseous and eventually sick at the finish and blames the gel he downs on the road run-in. Nothing at all to do with the scrambled eggs and bacon and avocado you had for breakfast then Dom?

Arnside race today for some of the club, good luck to you all.

Also, great result for Sam H at the Kendal Trail race on Friday. This boy is smokin’ right now.

If you are worried for the bonking youth staggering up the Big End, he managed to hold it together and get to the finish eventually. I saw him in the village hall and he seemed okay.

Dom, seated, and long distance Bowland stalwart Martin Hurst all the way from Shropshire


Myself, washing off muck in the cold stream at Barley



Rowena’s SOS



John ‘where’s my pie’ Graham in village hall after the race


John’s forgotten mid-race pick me up

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