The packed verges outside the Crown and Garter at 10am on 4th
January signalled the assembling of the area’s finest athletes for
the infamous Gibbet Hangover – a 4.2, 5 or 10 (and a bit) mile
unmarshalled course taking in any hill that comes in its way.
Simon Hanna, the ever-efficient founder, handed out the OS maps to
guide the way, lined up the participants against the wall, shot a
photo before a Grand National style start released the lively
Lycra-clad crowd off down the track to West Woodhay. The course
provides many epic views in return for climbs on road, grass and
deep mud, including the near legendary Sheepless Hill which
appears to be closely related to an Alp. If there was ever a place
to install a swear box it would be at the bottom of the hill.
The descent from the Gibbet is welcomed by all but knees as the end nears. An excellent atmosphere in the car park greeted the finishers as stories of toil and adventure are shared, times written down and the continuation of Dry January put to bed after four long days of cold turkey.
Well done to the 90 odd finishers across all distances. A special well done to the children who ran the 4.2 mile course with the youngest, George, weighing it at a mere 5 years old. He has a long career ahead.
Thank you to the Crown and Garter for hosting and refuelling and to Simon for organising this fine event. A perfect way to work off the festivities and show off12 our welcoming village. Keep an eye out for the Gibbet Challenge on 5th July 2020. Often warmer, possibly wetter, definitely shorter (unless you choose to ignore the marshals) but equally rewarding. http://gibbetchallenge.net/