Monday, 30 May 2011

Victory at Wildboarclough

It's a great feeling when you've trained for weeks for something and then it all comes together on the day and you take first place. That's what it must have felt like for my brother-in-law, who was victorious with his very first throw in the welly wanging competition at Wildboarclough fete. Here he is proudly holding his prize - the whisky, not the welly.

Mrs Noel and I were also competing in the Shutlingsloe fell race, hoping to retain our first local and first lady trophies. In the past I've been third in this race, but this year I was scanning the people at the fete before the race, and there were about 6 or 7 people who I knew would definitely beat me. Once the race started, it became apparent that there were also some people I hadn't spotted who would also beat me.

I've been fell running for about 8 years now, and I think this is the first time I've ever used navigational ability or local knowledge to my advantage. Near the summit I broke slightly right to overtake about 2 or 3 runners, and managed to stay clear of them to the finish. I finished 7th and retained the Frank Hooley Memorial Trophy for first local. Mrs Noel also retained her larger and more impressive first lady trophy, in fine style despite not having trained much due to her creaky knee.

I also picked up a coconut (from the shy) and a jar of orange curd from the excellent cake and conserve stall. Once I had a pint in my hand and the sun came out, I couldn't think of anywhere I'd rather be.