Day 2 Update
Day One was a success!
Day One proved to be pretty predictable, almost all teams starting with typical enthusiasm and completing their allotted 50 miles. Some even exceeding it by as much as 9 miles but of course that does not count in the rules and so suggests poor team management. Time of course will tell if this proves right.
The QuaRun Team fell a few miles short but represented the contribution of only 6 members. It may be that they have adopted a strategy of resting team members at intervals but it is understood the real problem is that they have full time jobs and are chained to desks and screens. Julian H however completed an impressive 10 miles, keeping his team within reach of the leading pack. Team leader Tocky F-D also put in a helpful 7 miler in between baking the most delicious sourdough loaves I have ever tasted.
The Chipembere Team, or the “Alcoholic” Golfers as we are tempted to nickname them, posted late and therefore feature poorly on the tracking map. It is uncertain how many walkers were used to achieve their target as publicity in other media appear to suggest there are 14 members of this team. Pictures posted by them show a variety of team members ‘participating’ or more like ambling in the sunshine and a video of two members of the team seemingly running for their lives somewhere in Zimbabwe but nothing of the chasing rhino, whose cause they are championing. The Lockdown Challenge Stewards will be looking closely at their returns.
Chipembere appeared to be taking it easy…
Other notable performances for the day include 10.5 miles from Michael G for the Escargotoire, supported by a very late and courageous entrant to their team, Richard L, substituting for a last minute withdrawal. Pictures submitted by them suggest they are taking a coastal route as they are always on the beach. Michael (aka Dan)’s map reading was never that strong, so maybe it is better he keeps going north keeping the sea on his left. He should eventually reach John O’Groats.
The Husselby Harriers – who have asked their name be changed to the Walky Talkies – continue to keep a low but very steady profile. Jude O, Tom Bagge. John W (Charity: the Samaritans) and Issy F all put in some heavy mileage, contributing to a team total of nearly 60 miles. Impressive, but perhaps peaking a little too early.
All teams are back on the road again today, Saturday 16th May. Some reporting that they are in Devon. Michael G is still on the beach! Dogs abound and Ben of the Two Legged Tortoises continues on his troubled way. Mental health issues are a concern here.
Alec Armitage leading the Two Cranks and a Chain biking team continues to ‘sledge’ from the side lines. Wait till he gets started!
This completes the daily round up as the reporter still has several miles to do!
A View from the Stewards’ Box
By Christopher Lloyd Owen
It is a signal honour to be asked to officiate as a Steward for the “Lockdown” – one of the great races of the season, organised here by a Norfolk character, to whom I shall just refer as the Bookie’s Bag (BB).
In a spirit of true British eccentricity various teams are racing from Land’s End to John O’Groats, under rules laid down by the BB. Except they’re not. They’re only pretending. The teams are also allowed various means of propulsion – pseudo walking, virtual running, and fake biking. Nobody except the Bookie’s Bag understands the weighting system, so we Stewards have assumed that the fake bikers have started several hundred miles west of the Scillies in the Atlantic.
Teams submit their own mileage tallies. Many of the teams are commanded by ex-officers of the same British Cavalry regiment, governed of course by esprit de corps. C words like “coterie”, “cabal”, “clique” do not of course spring to mind. There is also a Police Team, who may declare they are on duty so that they can exercise lockdown law and turn any teams back they come across. Good luck to the other rag-taggle teams. It is clear, now they’re out in the country, that these teams are fiercely competitive.
The Bookie’s Bag collates submitted mileages, believes them without question, and sticks pins in a dodgy online map according to his fancy. He also acted as starter, and is himself participating in the Race, so no favours there. We think one team might have sneaked half a dozen extra professional African runners in with the Old Age Pensioners, so they can submit best daily scores. We are not sure if the all teams are doing the race in the correct direction. We know of one team member who is going round in circles.
The idea is (apparently) that there is no winner, and everybody crosses the finishing line at the same moment, which follows the idea of racing very neatly. We also understand the webcam at JO’G is broken which makes a photo finish difficult. The main idea though is to raise money to support Carers in the community rather than participating in a bonkers race.
If there are challenges or Stewards’ Enquiries, then a spirit of anarchy, quirkiness and good humour will doubtless prevail. The Bookies Bag is also the Chief Steward. Remember the point –