That’s Just British…

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond with Russ

I feel reader, I let you down. I mean technically I promised and offered nothing but still. I wanted to give you a cheese roll experience and I failed. That is not the standard that’s just British sets.

So sadly Cheese rolling was still a no, so if you’ve come here expecting me to have somehow done the cheese rolling, you’ll be disappointed again. Sorry… this blog isn’t going to plan. However here is a video of the Master of Ceremonies (side bar how cool would it be to be a Cheese Master) rolling the cheese to ensure the tradition continues unbroken.

hopefully next year, muggins here will be running after the cheese.

So what can I offer? Well I have mentioned there other bank holiday traditions in my quirky country. And back in the day I did one of them. Almost 10 years to the day I’m going to recount, the time I almost became a world champion….

10 Years ago I was a very different person. Now I’m a below average cyclist, and a way below average runner. Back then I was 5 stone heavier and a crap rugby player. But me and friends were always up for a challenge and decided we would do the Tetbury Wool sack Race. So what in the hell is that Russ? Well Reader is held every year on Whitsun bank holiday, and you run down a stupidly steep hell with a 60 pound sack of wool and run back up it with said sack. Fastest wins. You have different categories. It at the time was known as the world championship of wool sack racing (other options are now available)

We had settled on the Mixed relay race. So two lads and two girls (one would go on to become a gold medal winner at the Winter Olympics… there’s always one who leaves the band for better things) I somehow was the lead out, which meant down the hill hand sack over. It was supposed to be easy and mean the more capable member could make up any deficit I build (they had a lot of faith in me) I approached this event with the usual commitment I had to training back then… I committed to doing little. And so I was not ready. But by 10:30 we were in the pub (rugby play) as we discovered we were the only mixed team! So we had to cross the line to win that was it.. World champion baby!

Except… the organizers felt we should have some competition… we weren’t bothered but they insisted. So a bunch of people from the British Army volunteered…. This went down like a lead balloon with us. Anyway we posed for a photo…

Then it was the start line. And the hill suddenly looked steep. I looked to see who I was racing. The man must have been 4 ft tall, but a Gurkha, a nepalis soldier, renowned for there endurance. Against me and well see in the pics what little I brought to the table.

The gun went off and I was winning, for literally a second. The fact I went early is irrelevant, but the guy was gone, while I looked like bambi on ice trying to balance the sack on my back, and stay upright… drinking was not a good idea. Somehow I made it to the bottom, my dignity and self-respect lagging behind. Handing over to the first of the girls who did a great job but the girl was fast and left our team mate for dead. Then the last downhill leg and the second girl of our team, the downhill skier just went for it, I literally saw a sack and  a pair of legs but she was flying with no fucks for her safety, there were audible cries from the crowd, as we walked back up to discover our final team mate had dropped the sack and we were disqualified, people were telling her that was the best run they’d seen.

And so I became a silver medalist (no medals were given) in a World Championship (it counts) If I do cheese rolling all I will get is some Double Gloucester!

Sadly no video evidence exists of our effort but you can see a video of what the event is like here: