Archive for the ‘races’ Tag

October Recap: Pubs, Daily Tipples, Chippies, and the G-Had   81 comments


New pubs to the blog count, all on two day trip to IoW

New pubs to the blog count, all on two day trip to IoW


At first glance, October seemed a month of two halves — the first healthy and spry, the last stinking of death and decay.  Yet, closer examination reminds me that I’ve been ill more or less constantly since the 10th of the month despite making the Isle of Wight Marathon trip, another cancer surgery (and spillage from the same), and having a busier than usual month at work.  The weather has been spectacular, I’m told.

I added 11 pubs to the count entirely on the two-day trip to the Isle of Wight Marathon.  Two new ones appeared in Oxford (old ones but with major refurbishments and name changes) but they will have to wait until November.  The best of the new additions has to be the Red Lion in Southampton, but you could do a lot worse than The Crab and Lobster Tap (Ventnor), The Traveller’s Joy (Northwood), or most-up-my-alley The Painter’s Arms (Cowes).

The Daily Tipple list accurately represents the beer consumption for the month with a little more than half favouring darker varieties like stout, porter, and mild.  Choosing one per day was really the hard part as almost every new pub mentioned above supplied local brews that I have never tried before and the Swindon Beer Fest introduced 7 beers and 3 ciders new to me (and scores more I didn’t get around to):


DT #





274 01-Oct Thwaites Wainwright bitter Wheatsheaf
277 04-Oct Yates 130 Birthday Ale bitter Yates
296 23-Oct John Willie’s 100 bitter Four Candles
278 05-Oct Andwell Gold Muddler blonde ale Steam Railway
284 11-Oct Ale of Wight blonde ale Crab and Lobster Tap
287 14-Oct Old Growler dark beer Far From the Madding Crowd
291 18-Oct Trojan Horse dark IPA (IDA) The Savoy
297 24-Oct Edinburgh Pale Ale IPA The William Morris
285 12-Oct Theakston’s Mild mild Isle of Wight Community Club
292 19-Oct Colonel’s Whiskers mild The Savoy
293 20-Oct Moorhouse’s Black Cat Reserve mild Four Candles
298 25-Oct Plain Ales Inncognito stout 2014 Swindon Beer Festival
299 26-Oct Belhaven Black stout Beehive
302 29-Oct Marston’s Oyster Stout stout Four Candles


DT #





301 28-Oct Taylor’s Select Reserve port house
275 02-Oct Anciano Reserva Tempranillo red wine house
276 03-Oct Simo Crianza red wine house
279 06-Oct Trapiche Pinot Noir red wine house
280 07-Oct La Rabatte Chianti red wine house
282 09-Oct Banrock Station Shiraz Mataro red wine house
283 10-Oct Arpeggio Nerello Mascalese red wine Rustico, Swindon
286 13-Oct Desconocido red wine house
288 15-Oct Villa Garducci Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine house
289 16-Oct Morrison’s Claret red wine house
290 17-Oct Rosemount Reserve Shiraz Grenache red wine house
295 22-Oct Featherstone Ruby Cabernet Shiraz red wine house
303 30-Oct Bin 99 Cabernet Franc red wine house
304 31-Oct Navarra Old Vines Garnacha red wine house
294 21-Oct Luis Felipe Edwards Rose rose wine house
281 08-Oct Inycon Pinot Grigio Grecanico white wine house


DT #





300 27-Oct John Lee Bourbon booze house


The Fish and Chips Challenge was in a lull partly due to the ongoing medical problems and partly due to the remoteness of new venues and my ability to reach them.  My spreadsheet updates my days-per-fish rate and the minimum number for the year (based on one every 7 days until year-end) after each fish.  The average of these two appears to be converging on 124.9 for the year (let’s say 125).  I’m going for a pub fish and chip lunch when I finish this post, so this looks like a fairly good prediction.

103 Yates’ Swindon, Wiltshire 04-Oct-14 Pub
104 Stotesbury’s Fish and Chips Newport, Isle of Wight 11-Oct-14 Chippy
105 Tottie’s Fish and Chips Cowes, Isle of Wight 12-Oct-14 Chippy
106 Morrison’s Battered Cod Fillets Swindon, Wiltshire 17-Oct-14 House
107 The William Morris Cowley, Oxfordshire 24-Oct-14 Pub
108 Swindon Beer Fest Food Tent Swindon, Wiltshire 25-Oct-14 other


Chippy Challenge 2014-10-31 prediction chart

The G-Had has started to make an impact.  In October, the site had more hits than in all months prior combined.  It also led to paranoid behaviour by North Wilts HHH when they tried to pretend a run wasn’t going to happen and then came up with a clever (but easy to defeat) trail marking plan to foil the IntifadHHHa.  With local attention piqued and health poor, the war became one more of propaganda than contact but a fresh scalp was added courtesy the Isle of Wight HHH.

Also, the subtleties of the Intifad-HHH-a versus a Calip-hhh-ate became a matter of record, over on the G-Had HHH site.


GHadHHH Hits


Off the Rails, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight   2 comments

Off the Rails Yarmouth 3

At the Horse and Groom, a couple at the bar suggested that I might hit the Off The Rails but I just thought they were insane (for loads of reasons, and fair enough they had loads of reasons to reciprocate). But, down the old rail path near Yarmouth and along the marathon route there it was: an old station converted to a restaurant or, at least, a snack bar.

“Is this place licensed?” I yelled up to some diners on the platform who laughed riotously (as did the race marshalls at the end of the platform). then, to drown out their laughter, I repeated, “no, really, do they serve adult beverages?” and one guy at a table near the entrance said yes. I hopped up on the platform and came in to find the staff unable to comprehend my request for beer until I pointed at the cooler full of lager and said, slowly, “Staropraman.” “You really want a beer, mate?” “Oh, yes please. That would be lovely.”

They were awful nice after that, as I went out, draped my legs off the platform and started to boo runners I had chatted to before and calling others “freaks” and “losers” before returning my bottle and heading out to overtake them, again.

Off the Rails Yarmouth 1

Horse and Groom, Ningwood, Isle of Wight   2 comments

Horse and Groom Ningwood

Almost too soon after the New Inn, the race cruised up on the Horse and Groom, a huge house that I made the mistake of entering form the first entrance I could find and then walking half the length of a football pitch to get to the bar. It was hot and humid and my glasses fogged over but I was greeted by a very friendly bartender who, while much busier than the one at the Sportsman’s was actually able to serve the crowd ahead of me and chat with us all while doing it. Soon, I was out front, heckling the passing marathoners.

And, the beer was good (Scrum, from the photo I snapped).

Horse and Groom Ningwood beer clip

New Inn, Shalfleet, Isle of Wight   2 comments

New Inn Shalfleet

A few miles up from the Sportsman’s, I had made up a lot of my lost ground when the New Inn appeared on the right and the race route continued on leaving me with a choice. It would have been rude not to stop, though.

The two guys at the bar were efficiency incarnate and completely nonplussed by an American showing up from the island marathon demanding drink. I soon had a Ramsbury Best Bitter and crowds of other customers wishing me well on the rest of the run. Nice house.

New Inn Shalfleet interior

DT #262, 19 September 2014 (Somersby cider)   Leave a comment

Somersby cider Abbey Stadium

One at 3-to-1
While my other three greyhounds
Loped in next to last.

Name: Somersby cider
Type: cider
Venue: Abbey Stadium greyhound track, Swindon

Review/notes: Totally functional cider.  I broke even on betting after four races so two of these were my entire cost for the day…result!  Decided to walk it off and head back to the house for an early supper.  First time at the afternoon meeting, definitely not the last.

If you want any tips, feel free to ask. This is the dog I had the most faith in…came in fifth:

Abbey Stadium Swindon one of my losing dogs

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

2014 Malmesbury Carnival 10K   7 comments

2014 Malmesbury 10K leftovers

I forgot that I signed up for the Malmesbury Carnival 10K until I received an email reminder last week.  I also forgot that upon registration for the event I was given the option of personalizing my bib number.  When I went to pick it up, the guy ahead of me had put down “Mel Gibson,” prompting me to mutter, ‘jackass,’ under my breath.  I gave my name and the volunteer retrieved my number whilst reading back “Pub Crawl.”  Jackass, indeed.


2014 Malmesbury 10K below Abbey

We started beneath the Abbey but you really couldn’t see it from the start and it was at your back or obscured by houses after the horn blew.  The race I ran was pretty disappointing on its own merits: I didn’t even break 45 minutes, the race was chip timed, and the field was small so I cannot blame starting at the back of the pack (maybe I lost 30 seconds filtering through the crowd in the first kilometer but no excuses…I was capable of sub-40 but really couldn’t ask myself to try that hard).

Malmesbury 10K with 2nd pub crawl loop included


So, I cleared the finishing mat and was confronted by the mayor, herself, hanging the finishing medals on all comers.  It was mortifying but it would have been rude to decline and I was able to remove it once out of the tent and moving on toward my fish lunch.

The next step was to live up to the Pub Crawl label and to extend the daily mileage by hitting all the pubs within a short detour of the race path (linked here).  This resulted in a net 15 miles with stops at the Red Bull, the Cat and Custard Pot, and the Horse Guards before a valedictory beverage at the Three Cups.   There were still a few stragglers coming in on the B4040 as I headed out and an intermittent-to-steady stream of cyclists but, largely, I had the quiet roads to myself.

race photos


DT #241, 29 August 2014 (Harviestoun Schiehallion)   Leave a comment

Harviestoun Schiehallion at Fork Handles

Racing tomorrow
So, of course, it’s record night.
Well, let’s do this thing.

Name: Harviestoun Schiehallion
Type: lager
Venue: Four Candles, Oxford

Review/notes: The beer has good, flowery hops.  Caught it at the Fork Handles on the way to the bus.

Harviestoun Schiehallion pump clip

In pretty good condition for the 10K and needing to do the route twice to make my Saturday mileage so, right on schedule, we break out the booze and music.  Let’s see how it goes tomorrow….

There’s no Robyn Hitchcock in the house, either, and Jackie works till 7 on most Fridays so I don’t know how to convince her to make the trek to Oxford to catch a second set for his concert a month hence.  It may be time to give Blood On The Tracks another visit for some such evidence.

Robyn Hitchcock poster

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

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