Sunday, 29 April 2012

Surviving Maldon Mud Race 2012

Yes, it's a cold, wet and windy Sunday morning and I'm not sure who maddest around here, is it me, for daring to venture out from under my warm duvet and only to drive 45 mins into the deluge of a storm which has been going now for over 24hrs. Or is it the mad Maldonites for inventing The Maldon Mud race, in the first place.

We arrive late, and snuck up to the end of a line of 5 stalls, not much was happening and we started to unpack. It was beginning to rain quite hard now, but we needed the gazebo up to keep our stock dry.

We got it half up when it really began to blow and despite having all four weighted feet and anchoring guy ropes on each corner, at one point I thought we were about to take off.

Anne did well, all 8 1/2 stone of her, clinging onto the flailing gazebo covers it looked like holding back a stay-sail on a gaff cutter. These pop-up gazebos although being quite well designed for a leisurely Sunday afternoon, sipping pimms by the pool, the designers clearly did not consider that anyone in their right mind would "put-up" the "pop-up" in a howling gale, but that is exactly what we were trying to do.

It is only half up, but also broken in three places and I find myself carrying out emergency field repairs, just to make it safe for when I take it down again. We're tied down with two extra make-shift straps, and Anne is sitting bravely, in the centre of the shelter, trying to sip a coffee as I survey how the locals have secured their shelters.

I realise I have to make a decision soon, we're beginning to look a bit silly now, our 5' gazebo, no stall, no products, not even a table, just Anne, sipping her coffee, now on the far side still looking very brave, and not getting too wet. Do I embarrass myself, ourselves, in fact Colne Soap Makers and admit defeat in front of these hardy Maldonites, or do I go for plan B, one box on the table, no table cloth and make all attempts to keep things dry !

You've probably guessed, we are still optimists, and the gaps between gusts seem to be getting longer, we go for plan B. And eventually probably about an hour and a half after arriving, manage to open our stall.

Anne bought a hot coffee & breakfast, our friends Noel & Belinda arrived, things were brightening up.
The race was shortened in the end, it went along not across the river this year due to the bad weather.

But Anne managed to get some photographs.

As we were packing up, the wind began began to show signs of easing off it was becoming a pleasant afternoon after all. A little too late for us this time, all packed up with steaming wet jeans the heater runs full bast and we head off to Maldon Little Ship club to enjoy some home made soup and rolls.

We were wet through, but not all washed out at Maldon Mudrace 2012.

Maldon Mud race 2012 photographs by Anne.

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