Beating the Bounds dates back before the Norman Conquest when the parish priest would lead the villagers around the parish boundary and pray for protection and bless the lands.
Last year ex Wilmslow Running Club member Ned Spencer revised the old custom to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice. I think it was Rob Downs who suggested to Ned he could improve the uptake if he included a running option – individual and teams. Vicars in teams not being mandatory!
Jan put together a dream team. Well for me anyway – six ladies and one man. There was a bit of urban orienteering thrown in so Jan took responsibility for that. Catriona ensured no one lacked for jells, jelly babies, chocolate or fluids by shouldering a rucksack with endless treats – more of a sea level Sherpa really. Sue Strang turned out to be a former Queens Guide so took the navigation mantle armed with her coloured up Ordinance Survey map. Soraya was tasked with making sure I didn’t fall over and to go ahead at any dodgy ground. That left Catherine and Nic to complete Simon’s Saucy Senoritas ( I had nothing to do with that).
Also running were Rob and Jim, Janine and Paul N, Patrick, Doctor Matt plus teams from Styal and Macclesfield Clubs.
At no point were SSS going to get competitive so let Styal get away in Styal Woods then Macclesfield came past when Sue stopped to chat to some people she knew. The fire station followed with drinks at four miles where Macclesfield seem to graze a bit. Jan decided to push on to drop them at which point Soraya fully justified selection by preventing me toasting my privates on an electric fence. We could have been six ladies and a eunuch.
I was supposed to come into my own navigating the only bit Sue wasn’t sure of – from Hough Lane towards Mill Lane at Mottram. By this time we had become a little blasé, got lost, and ended up adding beating Mottram’s bounds as well as Wilmslows. With me fired, Sue got us back on track eventually and we turned off Mill Lane to head home down the Bollin Valley slightly aggrieved that Macclesfield would be into Fran’s pasta back at the Rugby Club by now until we spotted them a couple of fields ahead. As SSS were not being competitive I felt bad chastising Sue for chatting to them as we overtook them at the A34 underpass, but it had to be done. As we entered the Carrs Jan spotted Rob taking the Nobby home – the pair of them tired of waiting for us. This was repeated by my wife and grandchildren (50 minutes) and Mike and their dogs (35 minutes). So something like 3 hours and 35 minutes after we departed and an extra half mile we were back.
Rob asked if we had problems with the horses but this must have been while we were circumnavigating Mottram so getting lost wasn’t all bad. He and Jim were first Male Team as Damo’s Quality Builders except the aforementioned Damo got stuck in a meeting and didn’t make it. Janine was first lady. Styal Running Club won the Ladies Team prize but hey – we weren’t bitter as we weren’t being competitive.
An absolutely tremendous event.