After a night of torrential rain it was a pleasant surprise that the weather for the 166th annual Grasmere Sports and Show was dry and fine.
Proceedings were given a rousing start by the Adamson Brass Band, always a crowd pleaser.
Young runners first and there were plenty of entrants for the sprint and fell races.
Meanwhile the crowds were being entertained by Andy Jester who was keeping everyone amazed by a bit of nifty fire balancing and eating.
Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling is always an important part of Grasmere Sports and this year the 11 stone World championships were held in Grasmere. I spotted competitors from Scotland who call their style “backhold”. There were also competitors from Brittany France recognisable by the word Gouren on their tops.
Icelandic wrestlers also took part. Their style is called Glima. Glima was the most widespread sport in the Viking age, and was practiced by both men and women. Glima was so important to Viking society that their god Thor was also the Viking god of wrestling.
Time for a cup of tea or coffee, thirsty work this Sports watching!
A new addition this year was Thelma the Tiny Tearoom, while old friends were also doing good business at the Coffee Bug. Too much choice.
Elsewhere on the field our very own Taffy Thomas the Storyteller was keeping everyone entertained.
Further along the field the hounds were going through their paces.
Hound trailing is a very popular event. More information can be found here. http://www.houndtrailing.org.uk
Animals of another type were also attracting attention. Herdwick and other breeds of sheep were shown and discussed.
It’s always good to see children taking part in the good old classic egg and spoon, Sack race and three legged race.
and parents like to get involved too. Balancing a bean bag was very popular with parent and child teams.
Of course the main feature at Grasmere are the Guides Races. An amazing feat as runners head up and down the fell side. This year there was a bonus £500 to run for, for both men or ladies beating the current records. No records broken this year so the money rolls over again to next year.
I really don’t think there is a finer sight than all the runners streaming up the fell side.
It was an exciting race to the finish!
Well done Sam Tosh, Simon Bailey and Rob Hope.
The ladies weren’t far behind.
Sharon Taylor, Steph Curtis and Ruby Sykes ran a brilliant race.
I noticed one of our oldest residents Mary watching the race. Wonder what she thought of the two tigers next to her? Mind you there have been reports of a large black cat like animal at Penny Rock so watch out!
While the race was on I had been keeping an eye on a special bunch of runners. I had met them earlier as they prepared to race for the Rosemere Cancer charity http://www.rosemere.org.uk
Fresh and raring to go, they still had a smile on their faces right at the end!
A friend of mine Alison comes up from York especially to help at Grasmere Sports. She took this great photo of the Guides race flag the night before.
So it will be the 167th Grasmere Sports Next year to look forward to. We do however have another sporting event passing through the village this Monday. The Tour of Britain is cycling through Grasmere this Monday. Can’t wait as several Olympians will be taking part. Just got to decide where to watch it.
The Olympics may have been held in London this year, but here in Grasmere we have our own “Olympics” every year.
The 162nd World Famous Grasmere Lakeland Sports and Show was held this Bank Holiday weekend. As usual competitors arrived from many countries not just locally.
I have written previously about the history of the sports in this blog so let’s just have a look at events this year.
One of the most popular events is the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling. Different Countries have different styles. Switzerland has Schwingen, Iceland has Glima, Brittany has Gouren, and Britain has Cornish style and of course the famous Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling. As you can see above, they start them young!
Once the referee says “Wrestle” they start and the crowd really gets behind it. It’s quite a quick sport and you can easily pick up the finer points.
Generally the usual way to win is to get your opponent down on the ground so that he touches the ground with any part of the body except the soles of his feet before you do. You can also win if a wrestler breaks his hold.
Of course like every sport there are correct terms for different techniques. Dog-falls, hanks, hipes and chips are some of the terminology you will hear as they battle it out.
“Best of Three” is the winner. In case you think it’s only the men who wrestle, I can assure you the women take part too.
So many shows have been cancelled because of the rain we have had this summer. In fact I was at a show earlier in the week where they were hauling the cars on to the sports field by tractor. Now i’ve seen cars being hauled off many a time but never on!. So the first part of the morning had gone well at Grasmere, then the heavens opened.
It was only a downpour of about 20 minutes but it certainly had folk scurrying for cover. I don’t think the craft tents knew what had hit them. Luckily it was over quickly and the rest of the day was fantastic with warm sunshine. However it made the fells a bit slippy for the fell running.
The Guides Races are the highlight of Grasmere Sports and the band appeared to send off the runners in the Senior Guides Race.
Last year there was a field of over 140 competitors, the most ever. This year that record was broken and 191 people took part.
And off they went, streaming across the main road on the way up to the summit of Butter Crags.
And it wasn’t long till the leaders were breaking away and they had reached the first wall.
Fred Reeves set the record for the Senior Guides Race in 1978 so there is always a bit of excitement that this will be the year that it’s broken.
Great times, but no record breaking this year, so Pete Bland Sports can keep the £500 additional prize money they put up again this year.
First was Rob Hope, Second, Rob Jebb and Third, Mike Addison. Note to parents. Perhaps if you want to raise a future fell runner it might be an idea to call them Rob!
And the winners kept coming.
It’s all in the taking part. And while many may not have broken any records they can be proud of the effort they put in. Even our local MP took part again.
Now earlier I mentioned that sudden downpour we had and that it had made the fell side slippy. Well not everyone came out unscathed. One competitor fell near the top and had a damaged ankle. Additional entertainment was provided by Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue having to attend. They were heading up the hill as the last runners were still coming down. Mind you they were on the field already.
So that’s my round up of Grasmere Sports for this year, and here comes Bellman Mr Tommy Sedgwick to ring the bell and finish this year’s events. Today he used the bell that was used to open the sports in 1885.
Hope to see you at Grasmere Sports next year,