It was Wednesday and once again we found ourselves in the sanctuary of a local Inn. This week it was The Pendle Inn at Barley. On this occasion, it was also a multi club occasion with members from Barlick, Clayton, West Pennine, Trawden, Wharfedale, LBT (which I thought was a sandwich), Rossendale and Accy Road runners all competing against each other on a timed training run. The scene was set. The wind was blowing right up Boar Clough, so my 2 year old record was in trouble. Tom Corrigan was the most likely on the night, but he didn't know the course and relied too heavily on the Dynamic duo of Stead and ball bag Bob. When asked if they knew where they were supposed to stand, both replied with a resounding. "Yes"! I should've known better, as the first 3 of Corrigan, Berry and Barnes were directed up the shorter route and missed out a considerable distance. The experienced Kirt Livesey was first to spot the mistake and he carried on to Boar Clough and did the full route. To be fair it made a nice change from the unholy trinity of Satnav, Palin and Massive getting everyone lost on this most important club day of the week. The shivering carcass of Big G Wadsworth awaited the arrival of the runners at the trig. Looking dishevelled and windswept he still managed to take down the numbers in a proper manner, befitting of his Yorkshire roots. Me and Pagey were talking about the perils of the path at the bottom of the death defying descent down the face of Pendle and not staying to the left and ending up in someone's yard when it soon became apparent that a few of the athletes had done exactly that. All 26 runners finished just in time as the heavens opened on us. Straight to the pub for the presentation of the nearest guess of time and run winner. Run winner was short course Corrigan and he duly picked up his prize of alcohol free wine, only to return it for the guess the time winner to pick up. We called out the 3 closest, Ian Winstanley must've thought he'd taken the prize, especially as he'd done three laps round the pub car park to get near but keep it realistic, but no. Colin Moses is a perennial guess the time winner and was walking around the Pendle Inn at this point like John Wayne after he'd just won his latest gunfight. This was more down to his bow legged stance admittedly, but no, not him either, as he was 8 seconds out. Someone had gone within 2 seconds of his guess the time. He happened to be having a five fingered knuckle shuffle in trap 1 of the pub toilets, so the tension built. The expectant crowd of the night run fraternity welcomed him to the main bar with all the sarcasm and abuse that he's become accustomed to. It was of course everyone's favourite excuse maker, Richard Briscoe. As he approached to collect his winnings, we got the usual "can't believe it! I fell over 15 times, I got lost, my head torch broke, I can't descend, I'm rubbish on the climbs, it was really windy ..." and that was before he had drawn out his acceptance speech. Eventually, he realised he had received none alcoholic wine much to the satisfaction of the baying crowd. If you haven't experienced a night race/timed run it's a cracking night. It costs a £1 to guess your time and it's always worth a good laugh in the pub afterwards. Especially as even people like Ian Holmes manage to still get lost after all these years. Keep an eye out on the web site and facebook page for the next ones. Great value, great camaraderie, low key, no bullshit, just good old fashioned fell running. Apart from the head torch obviously.