Sunday, 11 January 2009

Getting Down and Dirty

As I sit on my patio taking in my sea view of Umlanga Rocks Durban, I wonder if this unbearably warm spell of weather we are experiencing, is ever going to pass. I spare a thought for our friends in the northern hemisphere who this time of the year have the exact opposite, no doubt wishing that the short icy days would hurry up and be over with.

Watching the Liverpool Stoke game yesterday, reminded me of just how cold it gets there. A slow motion replay of a shot that hit the cross bar, clearly showed the ice being rattled off the woodwork, Liverpool also looked rattled, but lets not go there. Spectators where dressed in trench coats scarves and beanies and while Liverpool was definitely feeling the heat, those in the stands appeared frozen to the bone.

I tried to imagine what it must be like being in England, in winter, and swimming across an icy river, followed by a crawl through a huge heap of mud which believe it or not, this is exactly what some people do. The event is called the Maldon Mud Race and takes place in Essex over the Christmas New Year Period, every year.

Two minutes of internet research, informs me that the tradition began 30 years ago with a pub manager putting up a prize of a free drink, to anyone who could cross the muddy water and get back again. Today, it is a charity event and after trudging through the mud, 20,000 pounds was raised, making the 2008/2009 event, another resounding success.

Stuart Putt from Boreham was crowned the 2008/2009 champion after completing the course in 3mins 49 seconds. The winner of the ladies category was Vicki Sharman from West Hanningfield, the toast of the town. :) On behalf of, hats off, and well done to everyone who took part.

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