Four week's work in HOlland. Get back and feel run down all weekend. Take two days off work. Finally get out for a run on Thursday. Don't feel much like the lithe athlete I'm probably not.
Saturday. Clear blue skies. Footpaths mainly open. Wifey takes the kids into town first thing so isn't there to say "Don't be so chuffin' stupid" when I feel that a fifteen-miler from home to Beer Head is in order. An excellent run. Meet a few others in the car park for the four miles to the Fountainhead via The Best Run in East Devon for mirth and merriment prior to AVR's annual barbecue.
Four pints from the selection of 33 guest beers. Vicar's Ruin, Hellbender, Black Mass (very dark, very good) and Stairway to Heaven (great name, naff beer). Nice bowl of chips. Onlookers didn't realise that runners partook of such things (especially those of my stature). Meet some Hamworthy Harriers (Poole), one of whom attempted brain surgery with a bramble on the way over. Another's an ultra man so deep conversation ensues. Things like running across Ireland (twice) and "The race starts after eighteen hours of running." Aforementioned onlookers wonder what we're on.
5pm. Dance (defined loosely) to a most excellent band. Remember having said "See you at three o'clock" to wifey. Bit worried about my ability to cover the four miles back on my own. (I drink like I run. About a pint a week most of the time with occasional bouts of a month's worth in one go!) Stiff climb up from the Fountainhead. Huge belch clears the air. (Well, clears my innards; probably pollutes the air.) Get back five minutes quicker than on the outward leg. Proof that Beer is Good For Running.
Arrive at the barbecue to discover that scurrilous rumours of my behaviour have preceded me. It is all very nice but lacks a certain something compared with the beer festival.
We left the beer festival around midnight and ambled back to our camp site at 2:30 am, one of our party rolled into a ditch full of nettles en route much to our hilarity.