It was with pleasure that I accepted an invitation to attend the end of year event for the ‘Run The Moors’ fell race series. It was a great night, with a fine and photogenic bunch of people.
The getting there wasn’t so amusing though. I drove up from London on the day and dawdled across country via Huddersfield, then found there was a massive jam on the M62 for the last bit to Rochdale. A quick decision and I took the A640 option to avoid the motorway completely. Little did I know that it went over Saddleworth Moor AND that it was going to throw an immense snowstorm at me when I got away up the road, and I nearly came a cropper big time. The snowstorm turned into an almighty whiteout. After it being fun for a while it suddenly wasn’t. I lost control of the car momentarily and did a slide, skid, wiggle, panic, over-steer, rightening move, slow by gear not brakes effort and ground to a halt at the edge of road. Shaken badly by the experience, I had to get a grip and drive on as I was slap in the middle of a remote moorland, with a real chance of being stranded if I stopped. Gently easing along, and eventually down to a lower level, I got there for a reviving pint of Robinsons in the Grapes, where I had agreed to meet Andy Ford.
I set up for my talk, getting all the usual ingredients in place: a book advert t-shirt on, a pint on the go, some books out, and an eye-catching slide to gain attention. The talk was on ‘the history of fell running’, but in truth was a random ramble through that history, stopping off now and again to tell a few stories that I think illustrate the ethos of this great sport.
After some questions from the audience, on topics as diverse as a comment in my acknowledgements in the latest book, further explanation of the diets of fell legends then and now, and my own fell running heroes, we moved to the pie and peas supper. Then a bit of banter with some of the runners and a relaxed pint.
I also helped with the prize giving, and the raffle, and did a bit of book signing and selling, of all three of my books (now only available in paperback format). As noted, a fantastic evening with some wonderful people.
Finally, a special thanks to Andy and Sophie for putting me up for the night.
That is it for book talks for this year, but am already setting some up for 2018, with the Buxton Adventure Festival and Wilfs café ones already in place [more coming on the events page soon].