The Straw Race, Oxenhope, Sunday 7th July

The Straw Race, Oxenhope, Sunday 7th July

The Straw Race is a locally prestigious multi terrain event covering 2.8ish miles starting at a pub just outside Oxenhope and finishing at another pub, also just outside Oxenhope. The race is run in pairs, stopping at 5 or so pubs and pop up bars along the way. The aim of the race is to guide your bale of hay through the course stopping at five watering holes en route, at each of which participants are required to quench their thirsts before heading on with the journey. The marshals take the hydration aspect very seriously in order to ensure the rules of the race are adhered to.

Planning was key and much of it was done on the steam train up the Worth Valley along with Father Ted, The Tiger King and ABBA. Our Victorian travel choice gave us sufficient time to organise our pre race hair styles and apply any last minute tattoos to our faces and forearms. These finer details, when coupled with our own themed outfits from the 20p shop gave us the confidence to step off that train knowing that we looked smoking hot ahead of our jailbreak. After brazenly asking the local P.C. for a photo (she was a dream and shared our photo on the police WhatsApp group which I’m sure is a good thing) we joined the queue for the minibus transfer behind Cruella De Vil, Jack Sparrow and half of Hogwarts.

After some pre run quenching at the Waggon and Horses, we dibbered past the start line, re quenched and hit the descent at mixed paces, regrouping after approx 400m for a brief limbo competition with Mario & Luigi (Mario later pulling out with a twisted ankle) before navigating the single track along the ridge into Oxenhope proper.

In the village we were met by our haybale and some further liquid dehydration ahead of the straw race proper. Their website claims the bale weighs in at a hefty 20kg, though ours must have been on the Slimmers World because we were able to stick our broom handle through his belly without any problems and haul him briefly around the corner towards our next hydration point. Here we were met by our favourite drop (Vocation Brewery’s Bread & Butter) in the company of a saxophone band and Mr Whippy. Once refuelled, we continued on the road to start the ascent towards the Dog and Gun.

The outfits on show were spectacular. Whilst we held our own with our 20p get ups, we were shadowed by the “cast” of the Gladiators with their own arena on wheels complete with spandex and pugil sticks. OACs very own Emma L having a go on the main stage but sadly losing her bout. Next time.

A couple of refreshment stops later, our race really opened up when Mr Bale decided he’d rather be on the floor than carried any further (inadvertently becoming internet famous the next day when his remains were shared by the official page). Carly and I were fine with this rapid shedding and grabbed a handful of his innards each and followed the Spice Girls up the hill just in time to get stuck into the dance routine for Stop Right Now.

Being the competitive runners that we are, a final push was made to get past Postman Pat (Elton Thong was, ironically, far behind at this stage) to finish in an actually measured time.

A dry burger, some further refreshment and a walk down to the station followed before heading back to face the real world again.

The Straw Race was fantastic.

One thought on “The Straw Race, Oxenhope, Sunday 7th July

  1. A very funny report from this spectacular Straw Race by our members in mission in Oxenhope . It is very easy to spot familiar faces in those 3 pics . Well done all of you .

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