So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

by Matt Biglin

Wincle Fete cropped up in conversation, late one Friday night last year. Specifically, it was the Wincle Fete sausage catching competition, which seemed pretty exciting. We were 2 bottles in by then but hey!

Sausages launched, sausages caught. Knock-out progression. To be clear, it’s only for dogs, not for humans.

Also, from the story there was even a whiff of jury nobbling, so possibly, a Mafiosi or Singapore syndicate connection. (Note from GVS fictional legal team: there is absolutely no evidence for this)

Also, in the evening there was a band, in a tent, and a late bar. A bit of research later and we had a bed and breakfast all booked.

Oh, yes. Also when we looked it up there is the Trout Run, which sounded fun. And you get a trout.

I found out later, just about everyone in the club has done this run before (not everyone and his dog, obviously, because they were doing the Sausage Catching)

A competitor in the main event

Lets just hope the dog competitions weren’t during the run; clashing with the main Schnauzer on Schnitzel event. They wouldnt do that, surely.

I saw Roy Whittle before the start, but apart from Ita, I think that was it for GVS representation. This year’s run started near the trout farm (!!). It was straight up the road, up some fields, then up and immediately down a knobbly hill, the runners looking like some wheezy conga as the 300 squeezed through the first stile into the woods 10 minutes in. I believe the middle part of the course remains the same each year, though the start rotates from different farmers’ fields (checks website for statistics). It’s about 7k long with 900ft of climbing.

The GVS contingent

Zigzag down from the woods to the river; deep enough to make it advisory to hang onto the rope on crossing. The route soon dropped into the tight rock chasm where I felt the air temp drop for a minute or so as I passed through.

Back up the hill and at the top it was somewhere around Hanging Rock, about a mile from the village finish, that I realised that I had acquired a small rock down the end of my shoe. Presumably picked up in the river. I tried to shift it around, but where the path went downhill it just jammed the rock painfully into my big toe feeling like a jabbing pin. I’ve heard it said, sort out your shoe quickly, or it’ll just cause you problems later, which is wise advice but no-one wants to stop in a race if they can help it. I’d just about decided to stop and deal with it when I heard crowds applauding and shouts through some trees. I decided to tough it out to the end and managed a sort of brisk hobbly hop.

The route spilled out into the road along the finishing bridge, where I could see the fete arena and the ring where apparently athletic dogs were taking turns to jump in the air for some kind of pork based projectile, in the finals of the competition.

Hitting the finish, grateful for the opportunity I finally sat down, shoe off and emptied the half brick from my shoe.

The trouts were collected afterwards from a stall, vacuum packed. I baked mine and it was delicious.