Thursday, 3 May 2012

Ale-ympics Countdown

Well done to all the WHW Flingers last week.  But for those expecting reports here of mega-mileage weeks and tales of running derring-do, please CLICK AWAY NOW… In fact, I’ve done so little running this year that I’ve scarcely needed a shoe repair, and I’ve had to lay-off the 40 sweat-shop midgets in my cellar, whose dainty needlework once made the Billys ©®™ brand the dominant force in West Lothian running shoe manufacture.  Life has been busy nonetheless, what with commuting to work, thinking about cutting-edge designs to launch my future bike-building empire whilst at work, and then all remaining time spent trying to get Sara to bed before us.

I have done some running spectating though, and the weekend before last I managed to combine a cycling trip to rummage for parts at the Bike Station with the short onward hop over to Holyrood Park to watch the big race of the weekend – no, not the London Marathon - rather, the best race in the World (second only to the Black Rock) , the famous  (Video thanks to Porty's Peter Buchanan).  The race is advertised as 240m of climb but actually more like double that.  I felt a bit guilty that I wasn’t taking part but the Bogtrot is a savage wee beast and though my bike commuting-enhanced thighs would have coped OK with the uphills, my correspondingly shrunken hamstrings would have been crucified on the descents without any acclimitisation.  I therefore settled for taking pleasure in watching others’ pain.  And suffer they did - bloody marvellous!

    A decent fridge: Must-have kit for HBT drinking challenges
What I am better prepared for is HBT drinking challenges, the next mammoth one of which is the 2012 Ale-ympics.  This kicks off on May 5th after the Edinburgh to North Berwick (the third-best race in the World) and in the remaining 2012 hours before the Olympics, the club will attempt to imbibe 2012 different  British real ales.  That’s all fine and easy in the early days, when the shelves of Morrisons and Tesco produce point-scoring bounty a-plenty but after a couple of weeks, it becomes a major barrel-scraping trawl of obscure micro-breweries from Somerset to the Outer Hebrides to ensure that no promising ale goes un-quaffed.  The last similar such challenge a few years back required the consumption of 1331 different beers in the 1331 hours between the 50th birthdays of founding club comrades  Big Dick(less) Wall (see rear-of-field humping in above video) and Robin YP “Triple Ton” Thomas (see pre-race safety briefing in above video).  The challenge culminated at the Paisley Beer Festival,  when the Brown Hordes descended upon the peaceful hamlet, sweeping aside bemused local crusties to mop the few dozen beer types required for victory. Other than achieving our target with less than an hour to spare, this epic evening was notable for two things:

  1. It was YP’s 50th birthday and his parents thoughtfully brought down a lovely birthday cake, into which we miraculously managed to secretly shoe-horn a real pig’s trotter (let’s just say it was past its sell-by date) without breaking the icing.  The cake-cutting ceremony was superb!
  2. We were chucked out of the festival for me and Dick mooning at the live webcam.  As we were forcefully ejected from the beer hall, the screams of an angry bouncer were ringing in our ears - “that camera is linked to the Police!”  Unfortunately, the offending image was captured by a club member watching at home on his computer, so there’s a photo of my arse still floating around somewhere in cyberspace.

Ah, happy days!  And with the inevitably massive post Ale-ympics hangover encroaching on the sporting event itself, what better time to have it than during the first few days when they inflict the joys of synchronised swimming, modern pentathlon and show-jumping upon us?


Debs M-C said...

What's the first and second best race in the world?

Billy said...

Best - Black Rock 5,
Second - Hunters Bog Trot
(in my unbiased humble opinion!)

pb said...

Movie for 3rd best race now on vimeo site near HBT race. Click on my name / icon (in vimeo) and it is posted as "heroes".

As I was running in Black Rock 5 I was unable to film although I did carry camera and took some stills. Water was disappointingly low. (Report, excuses and photos on prc website.)

Hope to see you back racing soon. I am somewhere between injury and a hard place.