As a club, Bridport Runners had to forego their 2020 Christmas meal due to Covid restrictions, in exchange our club members were treated to the hills of the Shave Cross Mini Marathon in lieu of a turkey dinner.

Bridport Runners at Shave Cross (photo credit Clive Whaley 2021)

Our Club Chairman, Ben Renshaw, has made this race his second home in recent years and again pulled off the win over fellow club member and first vet Adam Slater. Chris Monteith put his ultra marathon training to good use on the hills with a 3rd in category/4th overall finish.

Ben Renshaw collecting his 1st place silverware
(photo credit Clive Whaley 2021)
Adam Slater – 1st Vet/2nd overall
(photo credit Clive Whaley 2021)
Chris Monteith – 3rd in cat/4th overall
(photo credit Clive Whaley 2021)

More importantly despite the race climbing the side of Pilsdon Pen, our club members came away smiling.

Following is a tongue in cheek race report from Clive Whaley, celebrating the unique nature of this race:

A large contingent of Bridport runners took part in the Annual Shave Cross Mini Marathon on Saturday 7 August. This was of course, nothing to do with the free entry generously donated to all club members as compensation for the Covid induced cancellation of the club Christmas celebrations… NO, it was in recognition of the fine traditions and pure barking madness of this village event which has been distributing beer and raffle tickets to thirsty and confused runners for 328 years.

It was in 1693 when 2 local farmers, Mr Shave and Mr Cross first had an argument about who could ride a pig bareback 3 times round the local field, up the hill and back down again. After the first challenge, which was a dead heat, the pair celebrated over a beer and a hog roast and the Mini Marathon was born.

In 2021 Ben Renshaw had fastest pig, Adam Slater had 2nd fastest pig but that makes him 3rd or older than when he first started… Chris Monteith had 4th fastest and that made him the previous year’s winner, or something… (Shave Cross rules are not simple). The prize giving and raffle ticket distribution was baffling and went on longer than the race itself. In a further disturbing incident, Clive Whaley was given a ‘spot prize’ of £5 in cash in a plain brown envelope and was promptly banned for life due to breaching his amateur status… “rules is rules” said the organisers. (All pigs were tested for performance enhancing substances.)

Old meets new, outgoing club Chairman (Brian Shelley) with current club Chairman (Ben Renshaw)
(photo credit Clive Whaley 2021)