|Bike photos courtesy of Mick Kenyon|
Heading out after lunch was a chilly proposition but immediately we were hike-a-biking up a steep hill to get warm again, almost like it was planned that way? We then went up and over several more hills, taking in a few random bodies of water and some chilly hilltops before dropping down into Hawkshead. I must admit with very frozen feet, I was thinking of a shortcut home and an afternoon nap at that point! But there was some of Grizedale's best singletrack left on our route, and another section of hill-hiking warmed my feet back up, even if it made me wish to be done even more! Once past some swooping singletrack it was a long fast descent to the event center where we all made a beeline for hot showers and afternoon tea and cake.
Soon it was time to get dressed for the evening's entertainment. Wearing borrowed clothing (but no dress, thankfully), it was strange to see everyone dressed up rather than mud-splashed faces. First it was a curry supper, then out to the barn for a short awards ceremony and dance.
The awards were somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but celebrated some outrageous acheivements on the year by fellow adventure racers. The EpicTri video was a crowd pleaser, as well as female Fi Spotswood winning the "Go Balls Deep" award...no irony there at all. I was amazed to hear my own name called for the "Best Newcomer" award...I'm sure I said something inane when handed the microphone, so perhaps it's best I can't remember! It was a relief to melt back into the crowd, and soon the music started, a ceilidh band called the Striding Edge. For those of you who have never heard of a ceilidh (pronounced kaylee), it's a Gaelic social evening, with dancing playing a large part. This was my first experience at a ceilidh, and although I have a big aversion to dancing, with the lively music I found my feet tapping to the music. Indeed, almost everyone's was, with the majority of the crowd out on the dance floor with almost every song. There was barely room for the wildly twirling dancers, but with a little encouragement even I joined in for a few dances, grinning like mad and trying not to step on any toes! The band called it a night at midnight, but the music and partying carried into the wee hours.
A full list of the awards can be found here on Sleepmonsters.
|Hiking photos courtesy of Gill Watson and Heather Jackson|
Thanks to Sally & Ant for a superbly organized weekend!