BCN Marathon Challenge 2012
If all the excitement of the C&RT election isn't enough, the ballot papers were followed up with some forms of a very different, but no less exciting kind.
The papers for this years Marathon Challenge have arrived complete with the arcane scoring guide and that sealed envelope which contains the cruising log and those crucial "treasure hunt" questions - all sealed with the strict instruction:
"DO NOT OPEN BEFORE 8am ON THE SATURDAY MORNING OF THE CRUISE".
Oh the suspense. The event takes place on the first weekend in June (2nd and 3rd), the four day bank holiday to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. But that's four long months away, and by that time the weather will be warm and all this snow and ice will be long forgotten.
The one sad note on this topic is the absence of Graham Whorton, the late Chairman of BCNS, whose cheery face greeted all the boaters as they arrived in Walsall basin. Graham will be missed.
The Challenge papers
So now its time for some crucial route planning, that must be good for two or three nights down at the pub with my crew! Of course, the whole event will be the subject of lengthy debate of the Canal World Discussion Forum with rivalries rekindled and predictions made.
Those complicated scores
The BCNS Marathon Challenge is staged round the backwaters of the Black Country Canals, the little used Remainder canals which wind their way through what was the industrial powerhouse of the nation. Its a unique event in the world of canal boating, and one which should be experience at least once.
So, if you have yet to finalise your cruising plans for the year and have the urge to do something a little out of the ordinary in the company of some passionate boaters why not enter? With 100 miles of canal to play with there is sure to be space for a few more boats....
See you in Walsall basin.