Monday, October 27, 2008

Luke Akehurst: Mountain Marathoner Surprise

Who would have guessed it? Labour blogger Luke Akehurst used to compete in Karrimor International Mountain Marathons (now Original Mountain Marathon) of the 40-year series that attracted a good deal of coverage this weekend as it got so very emphatically stormed off. Another report from Grough.

Well. It's a case of "me too" as I've started five of these myself. With success tending to be confined to one day, or to two days with day two in a scratch team with another runner whose partner had also crocked out.

For my first time in the Rhinogs we didn't finish day one of the B Class, but getting permission to take part on day two we defeated the eventual winners by five or ten minutes.

We reached the finish there at around the same time as the legendary Lakeland shepherd Joss Naylor. He gave organisers short shrift - two words - when they asked to search his kit to check it was correct. He then took a cold bath in a stream, and very likely ran home, having I think won the Elite Class yet again.

The next time, with a different partner but still in the B, it was a case of 30th on Day One and second on Day Two. 11th overall as I recall. The following year, in Strathyre I think, another different partner could not continue and I ganged up with Richard Townsend, romping home in the first three or so of the A Class.

Then back to losing ways. Lying 3rd or 4th overnight in the A on Dartmoor but something not unadjacent to a broken leg stopping brave partner - now a University Dean - completing the event.

In the Peak, back with RTT it was me that couldn't hack it, having more or less given up running. We did some fairly dangerous scramble-down-cliffs route choices and then dropped out.

But we then had a fine weekend back in Manchester, spent mostly in the Clynes Wine Bar, now strangely themed as an Irish Pub (it was a real one before, potcheen and all) and renamed the Cavendish.

There on the Saturday evening, instead of shivering happily on the top of a moor, I had to make do with putting together a 20-game winning streak at pool.

1984 / Peak District / Pennines / DNF in A
1983 / Strathyre / Scotland / Top 5 A second day
1982 / Dartmoor / Devon / Top 5 A first day
1981 / Langdale / Cumbria / 11th overall in B
1979 / Rhinogs / North Wales / DNF Day 1, Won Day 2 (B)

Simon's "We England" blog reports that Joss Naylor MBE who is now 72 joined Sir Chris Bonnington in taking an Olympic Flag to the top of Scafell Pike as part of their making their case for a London 2012 Fell Race. Grough report. Presumably further North than Parliament Hill Fields.

PICTURE: Show the state of readiness of the 2008 Mountain Marathon competitors if we were to believe the media maelstrom ... actually an August 2008 picture from Simon Roberts' We England project.


Anonymous said... covers the mountain marathon this week and was there was Joss and Bonny took the flag up.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks, I've added the links.

Anonymous said...

that photo of all those bare arses could finish poor Cyril off.

Chris Paul said...

He'd be smacking his lips certainly ...

Anonymous said...

I don't think Cyril would be smacking his lips.

Anonymous said...

why does Cyril have a table tennis paddle but no table?

It won't help him up shit creek.

Chris Paul said...

Now now now, the Roch and the Irk are much cleaner now.

Anonymous said...

up Emma Street without a paddle.
very murky.