Monday, 31 October 2011

OMM 2011

"Dreich" is probably the best description for the weather at The OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) at the weekend. The event was held in Scotland near Loch Tay (Perthshire). YC completed the medium score event with Paul Hainsworth. The score event is akin to an orienteering event with competitors visiting as many checkpoints as possible in an alloted time. The weather did fair up a bit on Sunday, though the tops were still in the cloud. Despite a couple of navigational wobbles, we made our way round OK and finished 19th out of circa 200 - not bad for a couple of non-orienteerers.

left - Paul at the start
right - at the finish with Francis Shillitoe and Paul Gaines

"what the well-dressed man wears at The OMM (possibly)"
Who needs hi-tech clothing when you can just roll up your ronhills?

After 2 days running, YC deemed it prudent for some rest and rehydration. Readers can probably guess what form that took. In case they are struggling, here is another keen Birtley News reader also rehydrating in The White Swan, Ampleforth. He claims his daughter Miss Telfer (pictured left) dragged him there against his will. A likely tale...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

planes and ties

Matthew has been practising knotting his tie and constructing this plane model. Over dinner tonight at Il Forno's, the conversation turned to how many second world war planes we could name (naturally). So far we have for the Allies - Spitfires, Hurricanes, Flying Fortresses, Lancasters and Wellingtons. And for the Germans - Messchersmitts, Fokkers, and Heinkels. All other contributions, gratefully received...

Meanwhile, Rev T was enjoying the peroni, the valpolicella, the atmosphere, and generally getting guessed it...eulogise mode.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Matthew's back

Here we are in The Grand Hotel after a bar meal (photo courtesy of Russ). Matthew had enjoyed the scampi, Emma had polished off the fish cakes, and Grandpa had had his tea...

Afterwards in Percy Gardens, the card game of choice was "Presidents and Losers". Readers can probably guess who was the president (hint - he is 8 years old) and who was the loser (hint - he is 71 years old).

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

what you might have missed

Birtley News gets updated on a regular basis. But for those who are infrequent visitors, here's a selection of news items that the national media for some inexplicable reason failed to cover.

YC is still fellrunning. Whether it's the Ian Hodgson Relay, LAMM, or an irreverent view at work, there's usually some fellrunning news.

The fine craft Stella Genesta is going strong on the Norfolk Broads. In July she ventured on to the northern waters for her annual cruise. Earlier in the year she sailed in company with Mimosa for a few days.

There's always a smattering of family news. Whether it's the Walkers in town, the Millers in South Africa, or monopoly and model railways with Matthew, you will be up to date with family goings-on.

Earlier in the year, YC was in New Zealand for some tramping and running.

And when all else fails, there's training on beer.

on the buses

Despite evidence to the contrary, local fellrunner denies catching bus to finish race...

YC came into work today to find that this caption and cartoon had been circulated on the staff bulletin. He is deeply grateful to his friend Paul Nelson for preparing it.

For those not in on the joke, the Kielder Marathon recently hit the headlines when a runner caught the bus to the finish.

For those keen to read about some genuine fellrunning, visit the NFR website for YC's report about the national fellrunning relays on Saturday.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Walkers in town

left - Margaret, Diane, Pat, Timothy, Brian
right - Andrew, Frances, Gill, Alistair

The Walker relatives have been in Tynemouth over the weekend. Alistair & Margaret are over from Canada, and Gill & Brian were visiting from Teddington. There was a gathering for a splendid lunch at Andrew & Diane's on Sunday. Diane is a fine cook, whilst Andrew is equally adept at opening a bottle of beer. So naturally YC enjoyed the lunch immensely. YC's cousin Frances Walker was also there. Frances is putting YC to shame on the fellrunning front, having completed numerous races this year including the 14 mile Langdale Horseshoe the day before.

The only Walker sibling not present was Tim. He was travelling back to the UK from New Zealand where he had been following the rugby world cup. He wisely restricted himself to the England pool games, so missed seeing the loss to France in Auckland. Here are Tim & Gill (second and third from the right) at a game - astute readers might be able to guess which team they were supporting.

Now that Wales are the only home nation left in the World Cup, YC encourages readers to learn the Welsh National Anthem. He has been teaching it to colleagues at work (much to their delight). For those who have not had the pleasure, here are the words for the phonetic version. Readers can sing along to it by clicking here.

My hain gwlad vern hadai
un an-oil ee me,

Gwlad baerth a chantorion en wog-yon or vrie,

Eye gurol ruv-el-wir gwlad garwyr trah mard,

Dross ru-thid coch rasant aye gwide.


Gwlad gwlad,

Plie [2 notes] de-ol oiv [2 notes] eem gwlad

Trah more un veer eer beer hore-ff vie,

Oh buthed eer hen-yithe barr-high.

water water everywhere

left - Paul and YC; right - John & Paul

It was a tad on the damp side at the Manor Water Hill Race. This 10 miler is near Peebles in the Scottish Borders. On a good day you can see for miles (possibly even Blackpool Tower) but on a misty day you can barely see the runner in front. It was most definitely the latter option on Saturday. Still the tea tent was welcoming after the race (see above). And as John Telfer is fond of saying, when I've had my tea...there might be the possibility of something stronger afterwards.

YC managed this race in just under 90 mins. Paul Hainsworth was not far behind. John T came in next - no doubt saving himself for the 16 miler Pentland Skyline which he ran on Sunday. After which he had most definitely had his tea.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ian Hodgson Relay 2011

left - Dave and YC
right - George and Andrew finish leg 1 at Hartsop for NFR

The Ian Hodgson Relay is a 4 stage mountain marathon in the Lake District. Each leg is run in pairs. YC ran leg 3 for NFR with Dave Johnson. This leg starts at the Kirkstone Pass with a near vertical ascent of Red Screes. We took a direct line up which involved some interesting gully scrambling. The weather was dreich, with low cloud and rain. So with navigation at a premium, we settled on a steady run following the fence most of the way to Dove Crag. From there a steep grassy descent took us to the leg 3 finish in Dovedale.

Although there were 68 teams, we ran most of the way in splendid isolation. The best part was running off Red Screes and popping out of the clouds to feel we had the Lakes to ourselves. The worst part was the final slog up Dove Crag in zero visibility, during which Dave debated giving his race number to a sheep which he reckoned was running faster than him (readers will be relieved to hear it wasn't, and he didn't).

NFR finished 31st out 68 starters. We were helped by a storming last leg from Will & Tom who made up 12 places, and brought us home ahead of local rivals Tynedale to great delight all round (at least in the NFR camp).

more photos

further report on the NFR website