Monday, 28 June 2010

St Peter's College Gaudy

YC returned to his old university haunts at the weekend. The occasion was a Gaudy reunion at St Peter's College. Can it really be over 20 years since YC left Oxford? He knows he doesn't look it (possibly) - readers are too kind.

The current heatwave made for a very warm weekend. So it was just the opportunity to slake the raging reunion thirst with some Brakespear Bitter and champagne (not in the same glass). The College has undergone a bit of a face-lift with the lodge and chapel stone-work having been cleaned. But underneath it was the same old SPC - the JCR bar obliging stayed open late to make everyone feel at home.

left - James Anderson, Kevin Blogg, Kempton Rees, Caroline Bloomfield
right - Paul Thomasson, Sue Haywood

Friday, 25 June 2010

A northern waters cruise on the Norfolk Broads

YC has just returned from a 10 day northern waters cruise on the fine craft Stella Genesta. Old haunts revisted included Coltishall Lock (a first for several years), West Somerton, and Hunters Yard for Rev T (naturally). The weather ranged from distinctly chilly at the beginning to hot by the end. The ales included old favourites such as Adnams Bitter, Greene King IPA, and Wherry. YC felt obliged to sample the odd half when the weather was particularly hot (greater love hath no man...)

left - sailing over Hickling pursued by Henrietta
right - at Hunters Yard

left - approaching Coltishall Lock
right - sailing over Breydon Water

more photos here

Sunday, 13 June 2010

LAMM 2010

more photos here

The Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon (LAMM) is a two day event in Scotland. It was held this year at Loch Fyne and YC completed it with Paul Hainsworth. We opted for the A course - a notch down from the Elite, but still a testing 35 mile route with 11,000 feet of climbing. Competitors have to carry all their own kit including tents, and are only given the designated route on the day.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, and turned out to be a superb hill route around the Arrochar Alps (including the killer climb up Ben Vorlich for those who know the Arrochar Alps hill race). Sunday was damp and misty, and a bit of a nagivational challenge searching for elusive re-entrants and stream junctions. We had a few navigational wobbles including the very last checkpoint which was in a tricky location on a steep hillside wreathed in mist. But by and large we managed a reasonable route, finishing 16th overall out of 34 starters in 17 hours 19 minutes (two long, long days). Aengus McCullough and Francis Blunt went well in the Elite finishing 3rd. Joe Faulkner and Louise Wilkinson had a good run to finish first mixed pair in the Score. Also spotted there from NFR were Lewis Grundy and Charles Scott.
All of this calls, of course, for some rest and rehydration. YC is off to Norfolk for 10 days sailing. They say the beer is very good in Norfolk. YC might have to try the odd half (strictly for medicinal purposes of course).
left - heading for The Cobbler
middle - traversing under the Cobbler
right - plotting the route off Ben Vorlich
what the well dressed man wears at the midcamp whilst keeping the midges at bay

Monday, 7 June 2010

Yetholm Hill Race

"You can see the route of the race - cloud, cloud, and cloud", commented Les Turnbull as he gave a few handy hints to the 55 runners assembled for the Yetholm Hill Race. YC was back for a second crack at the race, and the weather was much the same as the last time he was there in 2008. Fortunately with the benefit of his recce from a couple of weeks ago he didn't get lost, though everyone feels different in the mist and the mind plays tricks on you.

He had a steady run until he found himself descending with a Carnegie runner at the finish. The sprint for the line went swimmingly, until a marshall shouted "turn left here" at short notice. YC's attempted hand-brake turn failed miserably and he landed in a crumpled heap 20 yards from the finish. He now possesses an impressive graze on his left knee, but apart from that there was no harm done. Once he had dusted himself down, it emerged that he had finished 15th and had covered the 8 miles and 2,500 ft of climbing in 83 minutes.

In the evening, he retreated to Copperfields to lick his wounds and sought comfort in a pint of Deuchars - it seemed to do the trick.