Bump in the Night Handicap!

3rd March 1999

Wet, cold, cold, cold, wet. Yes it was the Lennox castle sponsored ‘in the very dark’ looney run once again! Times were dished out with the wild abandon and we were off. (At this point it is perhaps worth mentioning that it was the modest Captain Manny himself who dished out the dodgey handicaps – a steward’s enquiry is now in progress. Ed.) The exciting path through the woods was epic. Fences, rocks, two fallen trees, mud, bramble bushes! Charlie had almost caught up with me before I got out of the woods! Anyway, the hard climb up to the car park has now been turned into a wimpy path – or so I thought. Just as you think it’s all over, the ground turns to churned slop. The top part of the path is obliterated by some Jurassic tracked vehicles. Big Al came trundling down the hill to meet us shouting ‘abuse abuse’ after an ‘in the dark’ training run up Cort ma Law. Maybe it was him that churned up the path. Conditions up to the brick hut did not improve much with uphill Torvil and Dean impressions by everyone and plenty bum slides in mud on the descent. Charlie took the ‘best slip slide ooya! burst ankle’ prize on this section and hobbled back to the start. I however, was unaware of this and thought the bugger was still on my tail! Ever so glad to get onto that dangerous potholed, unlit, death-trap called the Crow Road. There’s nothing quite like that great adrenaline rush you get when haring it down that road, headlong into the main beam of an oncoming speeding car! Oh God.

I went past Pat trying to convince her it wasn’t my fault she got a crap start time or that she could have tried harder not to fall in the mire while wearing my nice yellow cag! Drew came back to me next and he was quite glad because being a ‘in the dark’ debutee he was able to follow me through the housing scheme short-cut that he didn’t know. That’s another pint you owe me! Jim and Elsie came into my sights on that horrible ‘wee’ climb out of the town which knocks the gag out of the guts. It was just after this that I got a great view of Elsie winning the ‘best embedding of a head into a 30mph roadside’ award, and got ten points for artistic impression on her crumpled heap technique! This is where I blame Elsie for me missing first place by a second. In my humanitarian Captain’s spirit, I stopped to check if she was okay (or if she was dead, would her watch come off?). Jim Hall, on the other hand, sniffing victory accelerated into the darkness! Helen was now holding a rapidly shortening lead from Jim and I was closing on both fast(ish)! A brave effort by Helen failed to prevent Jim passing with only 100m to go! And I must have cheered her right up by passing with only 50m to go! My late ‘sprint’ was to no avail – Jim had heard me coming and put in a counter burst to beat me by a second. I’m sure he paid Elsie to stick the head into that sign!

The Bonnyman and Elsie finished together with Elsie trying to dip her head lump over the line but Brian in a stroke of brilliance just managed to win by one of his large ears! Everyone else made it home within four minutes – except Archie. Archie claims he was not lost at all and that he was merely taking it easy (around Falkirk probably!). Thanks to Muffy for time keeping, Alisdair for shouting ‘abuse abuse’, and Gillian for smiling at me! Good run, well done Westies – keep eating those carrots for next year.

Start Finish Position Actual Time

Helen 0.00 36.32 3 36.32

Pat 0.00 40.35 7 40.35

Drew 1.00 39.53 6 38.53

Elsie 2.00 38.35 5 36.35

Jim 4.00 36.23 1 32.23

Manny* 6.00 36.24 2 30.24

Charlie 7.00 sore ankle mummy

Archie 8.00 46.39 8 38.39

Brian 8.45 38.35 4 29.50

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