> The Rugged Great Lakes Run – with apologies to G K Chesterton

Before the Walker came to Boot or strode to Coniston,
The rugged Northumberland Runner ran the rugged Great Lakes Run.
A rocky run, a rugged run, that left him stiff and sore,
And after him did Gibson run, with Blunt and Birkinshaw;
A chilly run, a crazy run, that heard us cry ‘no more’,
The day we went to Foxes Tarn by way of Mickledore.

I knew no harm of Abdelnoor nor Valentine or Fish,
And for to vie with Borrowdale I had no such wish;
But I did bash their bumbags because they came and flew
Around the rugged run while the howling east wind blew,
As you and I trudged up the hill with compass in our hand,
The day we went to Scafell Pike by way of Bowfell Band.

Their hands had lost their feeling, and heads begun to drop,
As they stumbled on the Scafells and on to Slight Side top;
By Great Moss and Red Tarn they knew not where to go,
‘Til Little, Hainsworth saved the day and led them off Blisco.
God pardon us, nor blister us; for we had quite our fill
The day we went to Stool End Farm by way of Stonesty Gill.

My friends, we will not go again through wind and cloud and rain,
Or feel so miserable and cold and quite in so much pain,
But run with quickening steps the grassy trod afar,
Down to the finish line and warming Dungeon bar;
For there are good tales yet to share and finest pints of ale,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Oxendale.

Old Cheviot,
21 June 2008

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