Gluttons for Punishment, Pain and Lots of Laughs
Followers of the A Hume blog may be aware that Archie made a rash entry into last year’s Mighty Deerstalker night run with his old mucker (latterly more of a mucky mucker) James Millar.
It was an adventure in endurance and friendship. Bonds strengthened by intimate acquaintance with mud, snow, the perils of tweed chaffing and the Edinburgh Uni Netball team.
At the end of the supposed 10k – in truth a good half marathon – the entire Borders landscape appeared to have spilt down Archie’s front. There was more mud than man.
Our closing words on the matter were:
“Apparently Karen wanted to tip the bin bag of dirty kit into the bin but Archie won’t hear of it. Could this signal his intentions to run the Mighty D again next year?”
So it wasn’t entirely surprising when he did decide to run again this year. What was unexpected was that he and James had managed to recruit a further three innocents to join them. And….and, Archie simply plucked his manky kit of the bin bag where it had been lying in the greenhouse, in fungul turpitude, festering for the entire year, and then – put it on!
We understand Karen was apoplectic with disgust but there was no dettering Archie from his logic that it didn’t matter because “he was only going to get dirty anyway.”
And to think he is regarded as a stylish man?
Anyway moving on more swiftly than a man plum deep in a cold river. So it was that Archie and James found themselves out at Traquair House last Saturday in the gathering dusk with Gus Armstrong, Rob Cutting and Anna Lamotte –Anna, definitely the gazelle amidst a herd of old stags.
We have mixed emotions looking at the picture of them all pre-race. Knowing the story behind the smiles makes it a vaguely uncomfortable experience. Gus, Rob and Anna grinning with the eager anticipation of uninitiated rookies. James and Archie grinning because they know what lies ahead and they’ve kept it all secret: the sump, the cargo net and the scree slope – all on a need to know basis.
As they scrambled up the ankle busting scree ,on the 2nd hill ascent of the evening, the woman struggling next to Archie panted mournfully, “I’m so glad my torch isn’t working. I really don’t want to see where I am.”
But quote of the evening has to go to Anna, “At least my knickers aren’t wet!”
Not a claim she could sustain for long. Certainly not after wading through the sump, a shoulder wide, head high drainage tunnel, filled with waist deep, fast flowing freezing brown water.
So what is the attraction? Why are these mad tweed clad lemmings flinging themselves off the endurance event cliff?
Archie claims it’s a good laugh. But does he not know there are laughs aplenty to be had watching a box set of your favourite TV sitcom, maybe the IT Crowd? Or Peep Show? Or The Green Wing? Or, I don’t know –just about any TV comedy has to be funnier.
Archie also maintains it’s about friendship and camaraderie:
“I don’t see nearly enough of Gus and I hadn’t seen Rob for ages. We turned up at the start together – we were the smartest there by a mile – we began the race together, we did all the obstacles together and we finished together.”
We’re still unconvinced – yes, it’s all very life affirming and undoubtedly a remarkable achievement but if you haven’t seen your friends for a while, a dinner invitation is also nice.
For the record the times were as follows: Gus Armstrong, 3.52.06; Rob Cutting, 3.51.49, Archie Hume, 3.52.10, Anna Lamotte, 3.51.41 and James Millar, 3.52.17.
And Archie’s pearl of endurance wisdom – he returned from the Carribean two days before the race – “Mount Gay rum is the best thing for long distance running.”
Final word: Archie tells us he’s hanging up his deerstalker for the foreseeable future but that he is open to future challenges, perhaps cake eating, or wine drinking. Or alternatively, he is open to suggestion from our Swedish contingent?
If any of our Swedish customers can think of an Archie shaped challenge in your beautiful country then please get in touch. We’ve been looking for an excuse to send Archie to Sweden for some time.
And lastly, in case it wasn’t abundantly clear we are enormously proud of Archie, James, Gus, Anna and Rob. Well done for having the fitness, strength of character and sense of fun and adventure that it takes to do such foolish things.
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