HALT THE PRESS, THE RACE IS ON!

 

One of our staff on the hill has accepted a Top gear style challenge from the alleged desk jockey Mike Blanchard:

 

After a hard days work and on a decent evening soon, Norman will run from the powerhouse location at the Allt da Ghob hydro site back to our digs at Culdees Bunkhouse in Fearnan over the smooth public road, a distance of 8.5 km. Mike is to set off from the intake over the hill, a distance of 2.5 km as the crow flies, but really more like 4 km, with an ascent of 210m over rough ground and descent of 340m through nasty tangled forestry.

 

Norman has done a trial run in 39 minutes to the road end, but sadly had to walk the last 400 yds of driveway. Mike has done a recce over the hill taking 41 minutes, but will avoid the diversion around the loch the next time. It will be tight, but Mike fully expects to be half way through his beer by the time the oppo arrives!

 

Training and finger-pointing has begun! 

THE RACE IS ON TONIGHT, 11.07.13!!

 

AFTER MUCH PREVARICATING, NORMAN HAS FINALLY AGREED TO RUN THE RACE, PROBABLY IN THE FULL AND CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE THAT THE HILL CONDITIONS WILL BE EXTREMELY HOT, WHEREAS THE GLEN LYON ROAD IS IN LEAFY SHADE.

 

LIKELIHOOD OF MIKE GETTING HEATSTROKE UP THE HILL IS HIGH. LIKELIHOOD OF NORMAN GETTING A SNEAKY LIFT IN AN AIRCONDITIONED PICK UP WITH ICED UP FACE FLANNELS AND A COOL DRINK IS ALSO VERY HIGH. 

 

THE ODDS ARE STACKED AGAINST THE HILL WALKER AND THE BETS ARE ALL ON THE RUNNING MAN TO WIN. ALL HWW STAFF HAVE TOLD THE LOCAL RESTAURANT EXACTLY HOW THEY WANT THEIR STEAKS DONE. 

 

HOWEVER, BLANCHY DID ANOTHER RECCE YESTERDAY, BASED ON SOME ACQUIRED LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. IT TURNS OUT THAT THE ACQUIRER HAD ALSO BOOKED HIS STEAK DINNER, AS THE ROUTE WAS A COMPLETE RED HERRING.

 

HOWEVER AGAIN, BLANCHY THEN SCOUTED ABOUT THE HILL AND FOUND A MUCH BETTER ROUTE, WHICH COULD TRIM THE REQUIRED COUPLE OF MINUTES OFF HIS TIME. 

 

ITS ALL ABOUT THE WEATHER AND THE POSSIBLE, NAY PROBABLE COMPLICITY. BLANCHY IS GOING TO GET SCORCHIOED ON THE WAY UP, BUT WILL ENJOY A COOL BREEZE AND THE WOODS ON THE WAY DOWN. NORMAN'S LAST TWO MILES WILL BE IN THE BAKING HEAT ON THE FLAT PLAIN TO FEARNAN. BUT ONLY IF THEY TURN THE TEMPERATURE UP IN THE ISUZU!

 

ITS GOING TO BE CLOSE!!

TOO MUCH AT STEAK!

WE WERE BOTH STARTED AT DIFFERENT TIMES FROM OUR RESPECTIVE LOCATIONS, THE INTAKE AND POWERHOUSE, AS THE REF, THE FINAL ARBITER OF THE TIME, COULDN'T MANAGE TO ORGANISE A SIMULTANEOUS EVENT - THIS WAS TO HAVE MASSIVE IMPLICATIONS LATER!

 

NORMAN SET OFF AT A GOOD PACE DOWN THE COOL LEAFY GLEN FROM THE POWERHOUSE, WHILST BLANCHY WAS DRIVEN UP TO THE INTAKE TO BE RELEASED LIKE A RIVER IN SPATE UP THE HOT OPEN HILLSIDE!

 

WITH THE TEMPERATURE REGISTERING 26 DEG IN THE REF'S ISUZU, BLANCHY SOON DISAPPEARED FROM VIEW, HEADING TOWARDS THE COL BY CREAG MADAIDH'S LOCHAN, ACCOMPANIED BY A HALO OF BUZZING BLACK FLIES. THIS WAS ALL THE INCENTIVE HE NEEDED TO TAKE A CRUCIAL MINUTE OFF HIS PREVIOUS ASCENT TIME.

 

MEANWHILE, NORMAN WAS BEING PACED 'A LA TOUR DE FRANCE' BY THE REF, GETTING A GOOD TOW THROUGH THE CLEAR AIR FROM THE ISUZU, AND STEAMING THROUGH THE GLEN.

 

HAVING CRACKED THE TOP, BLANCHY LAUNCHED INTO DOWNHILL RUNNING MODE AND GOT TO THE TOP FENCE IN GOOD TIME. THE NEXT PHASE WAS CRUCIAL. THE DEER TRACK DOWN THOUGH THE WOODS WAS STEEP AND TRICKY, BUT SOME BLESSED RELIEF FROM THE FLIES WAS GAINED EVERY TIME HE DUCKED UNDER AN OUTSTRETCHED BRANCH. ONLY FOR THE CLOUD TO GATHER AROUND THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TREE!

 

WITH THE FARM JUST IN SIGHT, BLANCHY THOUGHT HE HAD IT IN THE BAG, ONLY TO BE CONFRONTED BY 200 YARDS OF THICK, EYEBALL-HIGH BRACKEN - THIS WASN'T THERE THE LAST TIME. SO WHAT WAS STILL A STEEP DESCENT WAS NOW A LOTTERY FOR THE LANDING OF FAST FEET. NO WAY BUT DOWN, BURSTING THROUGH A BAND OF GORSE IN THE BRACKEN, STUNG BY A CLUMP OF TRIFFID-LIKE NETTLES, AND HE WAS ON THE SHORT PATH TO THE FARM. 

 

TO THE SOUND OF LAUGHTER AT THE FINISH LINE IN THE KITCHEN, BLANCHY ARRIVED BLOODIED, DRIPPING AND PANTING. NORMAN, WITH HIS EARLIER START WAS ALREADY ENJOYING A COLD BEER.

 

THE REF DECLARED THE RESULT: THEY HAD BOTH MADE IT IN 39 MINUTES, BUT BLANCHY HAD SADLY LOST BY 30 SECONDS. STRANGELY, THE REF DID NOT HAVE A SECOND HAND ON HIS PHONE!!!

 

AFTER MUCH HEATED DISCUSSIONS ABOUT COMPLICITY, DUPLICITY AND DOWNRIGHT DISHONICITY, BLANCHY ACCEPTED THE INEVITABLE AND BOOKED 8 STEAK DINNERS AT THE LOCAL HOSTELRY, AT WHICH TIME FINGER POINTING WILL NO DOUBT RESUME!

 

Contact us

Highland Water Works Ltd
Wood Farm

Penton
Carlisle

Cumbria

CA6 5RT

 

Please call us on

Mobile: 0781 0483763

 

Email on:

mike@highlandwaterworks.co.uk

 

 

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