The Kingdom of Fife, in general, doesn’t have much to offer the running community, a few nice hills, some pretty bridges and a few roads that take you out of Fife are among the highlights. Its generally a cold, lacklustre and soulless place where it is acceptable for people to enjoy dressing up in plus fours and tweed whilst wasting a nice walk following a small projectile round a well manicured garden.
On Saturday the 21st of January, we bade a tearful farewell not only to one of the few decent things that Fife has to offer, but, also to one of the last bastions of running tradition. For years the Devils Burdens Cake Raffle has grown in stature and status in Bella folklore and this year it was cruelly snatched from us…
The story of the fabled Cake raffle began with Helen Palmer (now of Bella’s Norway branch) having partaken in the Burdens race returned victorious with Carrot cake held aloft like an exalted hero. Helen told of iced carbohydrate riches beyond compare. In the years that followed legions of Bella’s followed in Helen’s legendary footsteps we all pretended that we were there for the race, but this was just a charade, we were all really there for the cake. Team Bella in the last years have fared well in the raffle largely due to spending more money than is required to bail out Greece on raffle tickets. Each year when our first victorious raffle winning warrior went forth to claim their prize the calls of “CAKE…. CAKE” could be heard in the hall. It was not uncommon for a Bella to forego a bottle of Champagne or spirits in order to satisfy their cake habit. Once all the cakes had been won we only then turned our attention to the wine, spirits, slankets and left over/unwanted Christmas presents.
The cake raffle made no appearance on Saturday, there was no mention and then it was all over. Some Bella’s were stunned, the others just shocked that something so loved could be taken from us without even a whimper.
The side show that was the Devils Burdens race was attended by one Bella Ladies and 3 Bella Mens teams.
The Ladies team was: Leg 1: Ciara Baxter and Romy Beard, Leg 2: Jackie McGuire, Leg 3: Elsie Downham and Sandy Brindley, Leg 4: Emma Birnie. Who completed the course in 3:37.28 and were 12th Senior ladies team.
The Mens A team consisted of Leg1: Grant McDonald and Craig Reid, Leg 2: Mark Johnston, leg 3 Matt Williamson and David Weatherhead, Leg 4 Russell Whittington. They were 17th overall in a time of: 2:44.02
The Mens B team consisted of: Leg 1: Bryan Lamb and Brendan Moriarty, Leg 2: Stuart Mathieson, Leg 3: Robbie Hayman and Andy Birnie, Leg 4: Nea MacInnes who were 30th overall in: 2:54.25
The Mens C team was : Gordon Clements and Alex lawther, Barry Edwards, leg 3: Steven Gilligan and Chris Brotherstone and leg 4: Nick Forrester in a time of 03.22.24
Notably there were a few close times between the teams and a few people were a bit burst at the end. Special Mentions to all of our Bella Burdens debutants, Davie Weatherhead who came straight off a 12 hour night shift and then ran leg 3 with Matt W. Bryan Lamb in his first competitive outing for Bella and Emma B on her return to competitive running after her dodgy ankle.
I feel it is important to mark the passing of our beloved friend in some way, perhaps we could all post pictures of our favourite cakes as a mark of respect and to show our appreciation for the hero that was the DB’s cake raffle.
PS. apologies to anyone that likes Fife.
Thanks to Brendan for the report.