Monday, 27 October 2008

Autumn to Winter

And there was I, looking out of the window and admiring the leaves in the Square turning an autumnal gold when we get news of an imminent cold snap, which will undoubtedly catapult us into feeling all wintry.

But at least at the moment it is cold and sunny, which is among my favourite weather: it's dry, so you can enjoy a brisk walk in the sunshine without getting all hot and sweaty in the process. And about time after after our drearily damp summer. Wonderful.

Which is more than can be said for the experience of those poor souls who went on the Original Mountain Marathon in the Lake District over the weekend. If you've not seen the news, this was a major mountain race with 2,500 competitors, which had to be called off for the first time in its 41-year history, because of appalling weather: over two inches of rain (nearly three in some parts) fell over the first day, along with fierce winds. Many streams became impassable, and hundreds spent the night in farms and other hastily improvised shelters, while others toughed it out, camping on the mountains.

Now, of course, there's lots of fuss about why it was allowed to go ahead with such a grim weather forecast looming. And yet, I'm not quite sure what all the noise is about. The competitors were all experienced and well equipped, and there are bound to be some casualties in an event on this scale in any case.

And besides, what do people expect in the Lake District in late October? Snow, sleet, hail, rain and wind strike me as par for the course, a comment echoed by some of the competitors. Just don't expect me to be entering any time soon...

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