Simonside Country Fair Fell Race – A poem by Rose Singleton

Simonside Country Fair Fell Race


The day after the wedding at Simonside Show,

I was admiring the sheep with a hungover glow,


When over the tannoy, the call it came out,

Why not enter the fell race? To run it costs nowt.


I signed up with Brian, wrote my name on his sheet,

I’ve extended the route lass, but you’ll be alreet.


Out of the show field you follow the burn,

Until you get to a gate, then you take a right turn,


Cross over the watter and don’t slip on the stones,

The straight up the hill ‘til you get to the road.


When you get to the kiln, go left up and round,

Then follow the fence over tussocky ground.


I’d marked it all out so you go the right way,

But the sheep had a munch on me flags and me tape.


It’s only four mile, you’ll be totally fine,

But he didn’t know about yesterday’s wine.


It started off well, I was running quite fast,

But as I ducked under the gate, a woman ran past.


I tried to keep up by my legs wouldn’t go,

So I just ploughed up the hill ‘til I got to the road.


I should have been sprinting, but I was just getting slower,

As I got to the kiln, went left up and over,


Then I followed the fence and was in second place,

But another lass ran past at a much faster pace.


As the distance between us got further apart,

I was cursing the nettles and thistles and clart.


I was hungry and thirsty and feeling quite faint,

And wondering what possessed me to run in this state.


Just as I thought I was gonna give oot,

I heard the loud bangs of the clay pigeon shoot.


Thank goodness I thought, it’s aal nearly ower,

Back over the burn, through the field, find some power,


For a sprint finish through to the end of the race.

Through the tape, to the end, and the ladies’ third place.


So what have I learnt about hungover fell races?

That the race should come first, and the beer should come later!

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