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,