Once upon a time there were two fifty-something, experienced runners who have been racing for many a year. They were au fait with race rules, they were familiar with the route they were about to embark on and they knew themselves…or so they thought. They also knew that one shouldn’t run with a chest infection and that one shouldn’t run in the midday sun without a sun hat when one is susceptible to heat exhaustion, (especially in tropical conditions such as on the day in question).

They journeyed to the beautiful town of Todmorden in enough spare time to contemplate a little jaunt around the thriving Sunday market. Luckily they decided against that indulgence and drove past it towards the registration point a little further along the road.  This was the starting point of leg 3 of the Calderdale way relay.

The pair smugly emptied their kit bags for inspection by an illuminated race volunteer for proof of hat, gloves, whistle and compass, oh, and waterproofs. To the horror of one of the (not now so smug) couple she realised with dismay that she had no waterproofs.“We’ll just pop back to the car and get them, I must have left them in there” said one in a quivering tone. Back at the vehicle: no waterproofs! The quick-thinking one of the pair remembered they had a friend who resides in Mytholmroyd. A panicked phone call was made and after a couple of attempts to get through to the household the demand of waterproofs was almost shouted down the phone line to their Mytholmroyd mate.The pair made a few expletives while waiting for the arrival of said friend and waterproofs. Time was running out. Registration was due to close at 10:30 and it was by now 10:10. They waited and waited by the roadside and suddenly in the horizon the welcome site of the red car arrived upon them bearing the gift of the nylon equipment. This was hastily stuffed into the kitbag of the stupid one and the girls ran back up the hill towards registration. By this time the stupid one needed desperately to relieve herself from excess fluid with “desperate” being the operative word. There was no other way than to relieve herself in between two parked cars while the onlooker of the pair stood guard. They carried on up the hill when from out of nowhere the stupid one urgently needed the relief of ventilin.

When all was made good and registration passed without incident the duo set off with a mass start. The ascent of the first hill was a sight to behold, and the hill, well, was one continuous one for two and a half miles. “I can’t move my legs, my head has gone fuzzy” panicked the red-faced one.

“Wear my hat” ordered the stupid, infected one. “Have some water and take your time.”

Both members of the dying duo knew the course so knew it wasn’t a long leg, it would all be over in a jiffy. As they neared the last bend they happened upon a gnarly looking duo with words of encouragement who were on their way back to Todmorden.” Well done girls, you’re at the last bit before the last bit!”

The deathly duo chortled at the comment because they couldn’t manage anything telse. As they arrived at the foot of the final hill the red-faced, jelly-legged, fuzzy-headed one was almost kissing the ground but managed a heat-exhausted wobble to the finish line. Shade was sought and water downed. The pair needed to prepare for the jog/walk back to Todmorden when suddenly their Mytholmroyd mate approached them, like a mirage.

“You’re not driving to Todmorden perchance??”

“Hop in” said he, and without hesitation they accepted his generosity and of course they were obliged to offer him refreshment in the public house.

The red-faced, jelly-legged, fuzzy-headed one soon recovered after a brown elixir was poured thirstily  down her gullet.

Happy, the deathly duo proceeded to the shopping paradise of Hebden Bridge where cake was hungrily consumed and they deservedly purchased hippy clothing and joss sticks … and a book on mindfulness.


Team 51 NLFR women (our men didn’t field a team)

Leg 1: Lisa & Cat
Leg 2: Liz & Rose (no photo)
Leg 3: Clare & Ann
Leg 4: Sheelagh & Hilary
Leg 5: Emma & Jenny
Leg 6: Lorena & Sarah