Midsummer Dream 17/06/2006

Woke up after 3 hours sleep and set off for waterloo. Got some breakfast and got on the 8.20 and met Graeme at Clapham junction . I had a bit of a kip on the way down. We got to axminster at 11.04 and caught the 885 minibus Seaton for 11.45am. Graeme got the beers in at the Hook and Parrot whilst I searched for a pair of running shorts to no avail, as I had forgotten to pack mine. I ran in my volleyball shorts instead and they were fine. Put on a lot of suntan cream then listened to the addresses by Dave from the balcony. They picked me out from the crowd as the only past record holder running, and Tom "the Loony " Scrivener was on the balcony telling how he drank eleven pints and dislocated his shoulder.

We all set off in the usual confusion as 100 people set off clockwise and we and another hundred set off anticlockwise. We had given ourselves the harder task of finishing with the stairway to heaven this year. The first pub the Harbour inn is only half a mile or so away this way round so we were joined by many runners as we sipped our pre poured beer. On the following some chaps in yellow and a hash house harrier from Guildford to the Gerrard arms were they had some nice cask ale in the courtyard.

Our next stop was for a full cream tea at the village hall. We were rather glad of this and then in a rather sweaty manner but proceeded to find the beer in the hedge stash, though in fact it was cider as the beer had been drunk by the clockwise runners that we were now starting to pass. Then much to our surprise we found the uncarved block which is what the race is all about, so we stopped briefly to take a picture. We stopped longer at the fountainhead to sample their bigger and improved beer festival, though unfortunately no band was playing in the marquee whilst we supped two beers.

It was a long hard slog up the stairway to heaven to get to Beer and the Anchor Inn for our penultimate beer. We then dragged ourselves once more out of the shade to do the final climb and downhill to Seaton, for the final well deserved beer at the hook and parrot and an ice cream and some chips. Did take a while to get home though as we had just missed the only train for two hours and the later trains take an extra 40 minutes to get home.