What an incredible event! It was a pleasure to organise
and over £1300 was raised for the MS society. Everyone embraced the spirit of
the event by getting stuck in and giving it some welly!
Entries exceeded all expectations with a grand total of
64 Tea-mates making up 32 teams. One of the best entry requests was from Steve
Kinsely – “I was thinking of entering with my partner on a tandem, but it's
not a very off-road tandem”. To which the answer was “Yes! come along,
and bring all your tandem friends!”
Tea-mates embraced our challenge to compete in fancy
dress; from Top Gun’s Maverick and Goose, to some crazy Mexicans and not
forgetting the Two-Must-Get-Tea-Ers!
A quick look at the results shows that the average
tearoom visitation rate was 3.97 tearooms per team, with four teams managing to
get to six – hats should go off to these guys and girl. The “Real TeaRoom Race”
results look like this:
- Middle Pocket
- Short and Stout
- Team Carrot Cake Challengers
- El Kendalos
Another interesting result is the “Couples League” which
is shown here:
- All the Gear. . .Nae Idea!
- Team Sweetpea
- Team Earl Gray and Eve’s Pudding
- The Treacle Toffee Tandem Team
Most people got to The Church House Inn in Torver on
Friday night; a special mention to Robin with a journey time of 11.5 hours from
Bristol taking A-roads on his provisional motorbike licence. A warm welcome of
local ales and a log fire was appreciated and for many the start of the
challenge was getting out of bed on Saturday morning. The briefing and give out
were at 9am, after which the mapping ensued. Tea-mates had to use grid
references and clues to plot their route through bridleways and mountain bike
trails to a maximum of eleven tearooms.
Teams assembled at 10am ready for the off. The fleet
were lead out by some daft roadie in a bright orange MS Society t-shirt [ed:
The unmistakeable Colin] who tried to maintain a steady pace whilst not
getting swamped by lots of excited racers. An observer later commented that the
way the fleet went around a Land Rover coming up the hill, was not unlike a
swarm of ants! Luckily, for those who skipped breakfast, The Bluebird Café was
less than 2 miles from the start.
This years course was tricky and it was not easy to find
an efficient route around the course with the terrain ensuring that the going
would be slow. Due to the number of racers this year, tearoom points had to be
reduced to ensure that participating tearooms wouldn’t be cleaned out of cake.
This meant that it paid to visit more photo points though this would not have
been so obvious until after the race – except for those veteran Adventure Racers
According to some reports racers were somewhat eager for
cake in the early stages with one gentleman piling his plate high at
help-yourself-tearoom Bank Ground and Katie of ‘Team Gingerbread’ being really
very excited by the mammoth portions at The Giggling Goose in Ambleside. In the
latter stages, Carol at Bank Ground was seen refusing Sarah from The Jammy
Dodgers to leave the table until she had another, much larger slice of cake –
The owners of Betty Fold tearoom went way beyond their
call of duty and provided a whole new working [almost] bike to Paul [Goose]
after managing to break his own – now that is service! While the Minstrels
Gallery in Hawkshead got into the spirit and started to grade teams with “Nice
Points”; ‘Team El Kendalos’, Car-Crash-Dave and Robin “Epic Motorbike Ride”
Bruce picked up some of these.
A talking point in the pub that night was the ford
crossing, offering double points – only a few made it, but at least one from
every team went for it and got wet; Laurie of ‘Team Scone with the Wind’ was a
true gent, sacrificing his dry feet at the start of the 6 hour day.
New for 2007 was the eCake challenge; each competitor
was given a Tunnock’s Teacake at registration and was challenged to sell it for
as much money as possible equating to points and more money for the MS society.
Lucy and Hendy dominated [as they tend to!] in this challenge having no shame in
taking money from anyone [to raise money for the MS Society]. They managed to
raise £100 alone, with the fleet raising £270 in total.
Teams came flying into the finish in a haze of sweat and
heavy breathing trying to say where they’d been, what their team number was etc.
There were many stories of mini battles against other teams on the way home,
wishing they hadn’t had those last few scones. In the case of the winners,
Team All the Gear. . . Nae Idea, they wished they’d had a few more cakes,
scoffing energy gels in the last hour.
The score sheets were collected, the blanks filled in,
the photos downloaded and results verified. Car Crash Dave did a superb job with
the scoring. [Thanks Dave!] After everyone had finished, teams headed in to the
pub for a heat by the fire and a wash in the sink; though a select hardcore few
went for a dip in a nearby stream- Brrrr!
After dinner, the prize giving was held, with most teams
present – unfortunately a few had to rush off home. As well as giving out prizes
for the top ten places, fancy dress and “Mare of the Day” prizes were awarded.
The Two-Must-Get-Tea-Ers, won the racing fancy dress and Team GingerBread
won the prize for evening wear! Team Crash and Burn won “Mare of the
Day”, with the destruction of Paul’s bike and were given a Pedros PitKit to
clean themselves up after the event. The ‘most happy boy ever award’ went to Bob
who came fifth overall, with his TeaMate Jill.
The complete results can be found
here, but the top three teams were:
- All the Gear. . .Nae Idea
- The Master Bakers
- Team Sweetpea
The prize table was considerably bigger than last years
with a uniquely painted teapot [thanks Eve!], some handmade wooden Teacakes
[thanks Hendy’s Mum!], plus donations from Pedros [thanks Jack], Crank Brothers
and Clifbars [thanks 2Pure]. The prize
giving was followed by a fantastic evening of singing, strumming the guitar,
drinking and chatting 'til the early hours.
Apologies should go to the locals of Torver who were
left with just one barrel of beer to last them a week!