Report from Richard Hamer.
“Was everything okay?”
“No, it was horrible.”
Wearing my journalist’s trilby, you never start a report with a quote; but we’re living in exceptional times and a certain unnamed someone was evidently not happy with their evening meal on the opening night of this year’s training weekend to Pooley Bridge, in the northern Lake District. For those in the dining room of the village’s Sun Inn, it provided a little light relief from the coronavirus that had forced several people to stay at home.
For those that made it, along with 12 of our friends from Wetherby Runners, the weekend was a squelchy one – mud, mud and more mud which started with the traditional Friday lunchtime run; this year from Tirril and through parts of the Lowther estate – eight and three-quarter miles thanks to a short cut that had to be cut short because of a gamekeeper, and you don’t argue with “Mellors”, especially if you’re trespassing. Oops.
Among the runs on the Saturday, groups tackled Riggindale Crag and High Street from Mardale Head, Martindale Common and Dalemain house. The tops were claggy, snowy and windy but everyone survived before leisurely trips to Keswick for shopping and Penrith for drinking rehydrating.
Saturday evening was the traditional quiz but unfortunately the bar at Park Foot Holiday Park, where most of us were staying, was under siege from members of the Hymer motorhome owners’ club so quizmaster Dominic was forced to raise his voice above the noise. A few hours before that though, rumours had started circulating that it was Rogan’s 50th birthday, so after a speedy visit to a local shop a cake and card were secured and happy birthday was sung as part of one of the questions.
On the Sunday morning most people took the bus for either a low-level run back to Pooley from Patterdale, or to see the waterfalls at Aira Force before heading up the 481 metre high Gowbarrow followed by an undulating route back home.
Most people returned home on Sunday evening so there was only a handful who took part in the Monday walk which was a circuit around Barbon, a few miles north of Kirkby Lonsdale.
Another great weekend despite the threat of coronavirus, although one or two did seem to end up suffering from wine flu.