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Member of the Month - HellsBells

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pedroscalls asks: Congratulations on winning MoTM. My question is, if money and time were no object is there any route or race anywhere you'd love to do?

HellsBells says: Hello Pedroscalls and thank you for your question. I haven't really got a dream race. There's several I like the idea of - Marathon du Medoc would be fun, as would the Disney races. Glen Coe marathon should have amazing scenery, then there's Barcelona, and Amsterdam, and Dublin, and, and, and......
Velociraptor asks: Congratulations on a well-deserved win. When and why did you take up running? And is there a race distance you haven't attempted yet that you would like to test yourself on?

HellsBells says: Hello Velociraptor, thanks for the nomination and thank you for your question.

I first started running in 2006 - a group from the surgery I was working at then had entered Race for Life and asked me to join them. I was horrified when I found out that it was 3 miles and they intended to walk it all - I wasn't very fit and had never thought about running, but walking 3 miles really didn't seem a sufficient challenge to ask people for money. I was using a weight loss website at the time ( hello WLRers :-) ) and found the couch to 5k programme through there. I went into John Lewis to buy some shoes - the bloke in there had as much clue as I did, handed me a pair of Asics and lamely said "these are quite popular " :-0 The first time I "went out for a run" I didn't even make it to the end of our road - 0.1 miles by Garmin!
Race distances - hmm - I definitely don't want to go beyond marathon, and seriously doubt I'd actually manage another marathon, hmm, I've somehow never done a 10 or 20 mile race. 10 miles appeals as something that's a significant distance but achievable, but then the Oakley 20 really appeals, just for the hoody
Watford Wobble asks: Have you ever rung church bells?

HellsBells says: Hello WW and thank you for your question. The short answer is no. The longer answer is that Mr HB learned to ring when he was 13 and has been ringing for over 50 years. He's an extremely competent ringer and very involved with various things locally. He's a civil engineer by day and has an interest in efficient design of bell frames. My avatar picture is of the new bells at Great Saint Mary's in Cambridge in their new frame which he designed - I actually pinched the picture off his business website :-) He did try to teach me to ring when we first met but I was never really very interested - I just meet them in the pub afterwards :-)
Rosehip asks: Congratulations lovely lady :) Well deserved. My question - one perfect race and a huge new PB or being able to run when you feel like it until you're 80?

HellsBells says: Hello Rosehip and thank you for your question. Hmm, a huge PB would be wonderful, although I'm realistic enough to know it's not going to happen, but I think I'd rather still be able to potter round parkrun in my 80's. We have a regular parkrunner who was 80 this year and I'm ashamed to say I can only dream of the times she turns in!
RichHL asks: Woohoo! Finally...

MrsHL enjoys knitting socks. Have you ever knitted your own running socks?


HellsBells says: Hello Rich and than you for your question. How's the Vincent campaign going? Socks - I've knitted lots of socks, most of them get snaffled by Middle Boy. I don't think hand knitted socks would be great to run in - they'd be very sweaty - but they are wonderfully comfy to slip on after a soak in the bath following a long run
Ness asks: Congratulations... Where would your ideal holiday be and would it involve any running?

HellsBells says: Hello Ness and thank you for your question. That one's easy - my ideal holiday is somewhere we're going back to for the 10th time next summer - the Scillies :-) I absolutely love it there and it's somewhere I can really relax. It's not ideal for running, though I do usually do a little whilst we're there, but lots and lots of walking
jennywren asks: How on earth have you not won this before? My question is: what's your favourite run distance?

HellsBells says: Hello Jennywren and thank you for your question. My favourite race distance always used to be half marathon. These days I seem to struggle with distance and am enjoying the shorter stuff more. A new 5k PB this year may have helped influence this opinion :-)
Autumnleaves asks: Congratulations xx What is your favourite running memory - and why?

HellsBells says: Hello Autumnleaves and thanks for the question. This one's easy - Windermere marathon 2010. My first marathon, in the company of Velociraptor and Jennywren, a beautiful course, a lovely slate medal and my godson to cuddle at the finish :-) The annual St Neots Fetchfest has to be mentioned as well, and then there was travelling down to Southend so Nellers could help me get a parkrun PB, oh and my 50th parkrun when we had the foodbank collection. Maybe not so easy after all :-)
ChrisHB asks: When are you going to join us for a Thames Bridge Challenge, and how many other Cambridge Fetchies do you think you'll be able to bring with you?

HellsBells says: Hello ChrisHB and thanks for the question. I do like the idea of the Thames Bridge Challenge very much, though I do worry that I'd be too slow and not able to do the distance. Currently however, life has just been too busy to be able to commit, and now that Mr HB has broken his leg and I'm the family's only driver and only earner, it's even harder to find free weekends :-(
minardi asks: Many congratulations :-) If you were to win the lottery (euromillions rollover, not UK edition), what would you do?

HellsBells says: Hello Minardi, thanks for the question. Well, it's never going to happen as I bought a lottery ticket for the first ever draw back in the 90's and haven't bought another since, so this is indeed a flight of fantasy. I'd probably spend some on myself - that's just human nature - I really fancy an MGBGT but suspect I'd also need to employ a full time mechanic to keep it on the road. I'd make sure I had enough to be able to retire and live on Scilly with a constant supply of lovely yarn but after that the rest would be rather surplus to requirements and probably more of a worry than a benefit so I'd hand it out to be used for useful things - sanitation and clean water, malaria eradication, all the sorts of things that are reasonably simple but make a huge difference
swittle asks: When is a busy GP off duty?

HellsBells says: Hello Swittle and thanks for the question. I have to be honest and say that, really, I have it quite easy. I used to be a partner but these days I have a salaried job which absolves me from a lot of the admin/business running/employment side of things. I only work 2 days a week as well, so although they are usually 11 hour+ days, I'm nowhere near as over worked as a lot of my colleagues. Doesn't stop me from being bleedin knackered though, or stop me from moaning :-)
Speckled Henny-Penny asks: Well done! What are your memories of running from your schooldays ? Did you love it or hate it?

HellsBells says: HelloSpeckled Hen and thanks for the question. I hated sport at school. It was compulsory team games - hockey and netball - and I was never in either the sporty or popular crowds. I was always last to be chosen when picking teams - being ritually humiliated twice every week doesn't instil a love of sport! By the time I got to O-Levels ( yes, I am that old ), I was drinking, smoking and probably couldn't have run for a bus! I know some people had great careers that started with sport at school, but it completely passed me by I'm afraid
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congrats. What do you get most out of running? :-) G

HellsBells says: Hello HappyG and thanks for the question. It probably sounds corny, but it's the people I've met and the social activity that have meant the most to me. When I first started running I didn't know anyone else who ran and I was also fairly socially isolated. I was looking for a running log when I stumbled across Fetch - it had been mentioned on a weight loss website I frequented - and the rest, as they say, is history. I can honestly say that I've never met a Fetchie I didn't like, and as for the awesome hugathon crowd.......... :-) It was a Fetch group that first started talking about a parkrun for Cambridge, now, over 6 1/2 years since our first event, most of my local friends are parkrunners. Whoever said running was a solitary sport was very sadly mistaken :-)
Captain S asks: Congratulation on being MOTM. My question is based on the radio show desert island discs. "What would be your running related luxury on your desert island and why?"

HellsBells says: Hello Captain S, thanks for the question - I think! I've had to think about this one, but the answer came to me this morning when a strap was rubbing painfully during my long run. It has to be Bodyglide - all that sand and it gets Everywhere :-0
Bintmcskint asks: Well it's about time, too :-) Congratulations, HB. Here's my usual question...you are stranded on a desert island. You can take one type of food, one book and one Fetchie. What and who do you take and why?

HellsBells says: Hello Bint and thanks for the question. This one's hard. The food bit's easy - I'm a Fetchie, it has to be cake. The book would be my ancient one volume copy of Lord of the Rings - yes I've read it multiple times, but I've been in love with Aragorn since I first read it age 13 and if I can't have Mr HB in the flesh, I'll have my daydreams of being rescued by my hero :-) and with all the appendices and Middle Earth history that I haven't ever read properly there'll be enough to keep me going. Choosing just one Fetchie was nearly impossible, I'd love all the Huggerati and my parkrun friends and what about all those Fetchies I haven't met IRL yet? In the end, though, I'm afraid I had a bit of a cop out and settled on Tiger Feet - with all her Scouting skills she'll look after us both and I still get to give someone Mum hugs :-)
Helegant asks: Congratulations HB. You've cracked the secret of fitting a quart into a pint pot with family, work and running - so when will the new bike feature in the Fetch results list?

HellsBells says: Hello Helegant and thanks for the question. The new bike is not getting quite as much action as I would like - with Mr Hb's injury I'm driving to places we would normally cycle, but I appear to have been persuaded to consider some tri action next year - so watch this space!
tulip asks: congratulations HB! What is your favourite re-fuelling food and drink?

HellsBells says: Hello Tulip and thanks for the question. This one's easy :-) Refuelling drink of choice is always tea, mugs and mugs of tea. If it's a race and Mr HB is there to have it organised, then refuelling food is a bacon butty - protein, carbs and salt for that lost in sweat :-) If it's a training run then usually a hot cross bun or peanut butter on toast.
Corrah asks: Many congratulations on MOTM :) My question is if you could be a superhero, which one would you be and why?

HellsBells says: Hello Corrqh and thanks for the question. I've been struggling with this one. Initially I thought Mrs Incredible as we share a first name and who wouldn't want to be that stretchy? But I quite fancy a spell looking like Lynda Carter's WonderWoman, or being able to rock a catsuit like CatLady - though she wasn't exactly a superhero - in the end, though, I think I probably have most affinity with SuperTed
Carpathius asks: Congratulations! How has this taken so long? You are the embodiment of lots that is Fetchland :) Is there a race that you have a real burning desire to do?

HellsBells says: Hello Carpathius and thanks for the question. I can honestly say that there aren't any races that I really feel that strongly about - it all depends on the circumstances on the day whether a race is fantastic or a mediocre experience. I can think of plenty I definitely don't want to do though, and top of that list are the sort of muddy, wet, obstacle type events that the 700 crowd get up to :-)
BaronessBL asks: Congratulations HB - so many good questions already asked.. but mine is.. I know you are a fan of parkrun so which is your favourite parkrun that you've done and which would you most like to be a tourist at that you haven't visited yet...and why

HellsBells says: Hello BBl and thanks for the question. This one is impossible - they're all so different and yet all the same. Favourite has got to be Cambridge though - it's home and I'm a homebody at heart. As for one to visit - I don't really know. To be top of the list it would need to be flat - I live in Cambridge, I don't do hills - not too crowded so a PB would be a possibility, but not so sparsely attended that it felt lonely, somewhere beautiful, near water but with trees and shade. If anyone's got any suggestions that fit the bill, I'd be pleased to hear them :-)
Night-owl asks: Congratulations. Lots of good questions asked. If you could design a new running challenge what would it be

HellsBells says: Hello Night Owl and thanks for the question. Hmmmm, tricky one. I'm not very imaginative at thinking up these things and am constantly impressed by the wizardry of those that do. If I had or come up with something I'd sub contract it out to Binks
SusiesueH asks: many congratulations HB :) I'm torn between two questions to ask, so I'll be cheeky and ask both. 1, what inspired you to take up running? 2, what's your favourite music to run to?

HellsBells says: Hello SusieSue and thanks for the question. I started running for 2 reasons really - I was using a weight loss website to try and shed a few pounds and came across a lot of people who ran there. When someone at work then organised a Race for Life team, it didn't seem quite so absurd to try and actually run it rather than walk as my colleagues were planning to do.
Favourite music depends on what time of day it is. My MP3 player has a radio, so if there's anything decent on Radio 4 I'll listen to that, but if it's time for You and Yours or similar drivel I switch to my music which is mainly a selection of 60's and 70's pop compilations that I put on shuffle. I have been known to burst into Build Me Up, Buttercup halfway down the road :-)
northernslowcoach asks: So pleased that you've won this fetch twin, about time! I've taken so long to decide what to ask everyone else has beat me to it.... what's your favourite book?

HellsBells says: Hello Fetchie Twin and thanks for the question. Ooof - I really don't think I can pick just one. If I'm a bit delicate - after flu or surgery - then I want my old trusted companies - Anne of Green Gables, the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, Little Women. Other times I'll re read To Kill A Mockingbird or Lord of the Rings. I don't re read many books though as there's so many more that I haven't yet read. Favourite authors include Alexander Mccall Smith, Anita Shreve, Lisa Jewell and for pure escapism the Shardlake novels by C J Sansom. I also really enjoyed the trilogy written by Mrs RichHL and can thoroughly recommend them
Pestomum asks: Hello lovely! Does running make you happy? xx :-)

HellsBells says: Hello Pesto, thanks for the question. Yes running makes me happy. It may not make me happy whilst I'm doing it - those days when it's hard and I feel slow and useless - but it's all the other things running has brought me, the friends, the company, the opportunities to go places that really make me happy.
McGoohan asks: A helicopter arrives outside your house. It's Richard Branson. He has agreed to take you anywhere you want. Where would you go and why? Note that the helicopter can take you to Branson's private jet so there's no limit on distance.

HellsBells says: Hello McGoohan and thanks for the question. Mr Branson won't have to take me far, which is just as well as I'm not sure I'd get in his helicopter on principle. Just 30 miles off Lands End and I'll be happy. The Scillies really are the one place in the world I would love to stay forever. Good weather, surrounded by water, space, peace and quiet, little traffic and a laid back easy going atmosphere. I can't wait till next August hen we go again :-)
runningmumof3boys asks: congratulations hellsbells - if you could dinner with any fetchie who would you choose and where would you go and what would you order?? x

HellsBells says: Hello runningmum and thanks for the question - another tricky one! I'm going to cheat a bit on this one :-)
I'd have Breakfast in America with Diogenes, because the original Diogenes was a sort of Supertramp, and we would, of course, have to have kippers.

Previous Winners

2018
December Jigs
November K5 Gus
October Fellrunning
September LindsD
August Helegant
July Dvorak
June run free
May Sigh
April katypie
March Ness
February DocMoye
January Fenland Flier
2017
December Valyrian Plastic
November westmoors
October Windsor Wool
September Joopsy
August Hills of Death (HOD)
July GlennR
June LazyDaisy
May James74
April Doctor K
March Flatlander
February Night-owl
January .B.
2016
December jono.
November Corrah
October The Scribbler
September Big Al Widepants
August Gromit
July HellsBells
June Roobarb
May Nelly
April postieboy
March AntClark
February clare1976
January Duchess
2015
December ChrisHB
November Race Jase
October fetcheveryone
September Columba
August Carpathius
July Autumnleaves
June Tizer
May KinkyS
April kwala
March McGoohan
February Canute
January D2
2014
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November Sharkie
October runningmumof3boys
September swittle
August Irontubs
July MikeR.
June KinkyS
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April Marigold
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January ogee
2013
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October Avon
September curly45
August Liliaicha
July CC2 Speedy Goth
June Bintmcskint
May Foxy
April flanker
March The Terminator
February Johnny Blaze
January Mother Duck
2012
December Toks
November _andy
October Paul the Builder
September Nellers
August Northern Exile
July Fenland Runner
June runnerbean
May Ultra Kanga Kazzaaaaah!!
April GimmeMedals
March Lyra OK
February Elsie Too
January Smout
2011
December richmac
November hellen
October LouLou
September Sunbed Athlete
August Nywanda
July Phoenix Lesley
June Dave A
May ogee
April BigChiefRunningBore
March Mrs Jigs
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2010
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November Gymfreak
October Happy G(rrr)
September Foxy Davy
August GregP
July Binks
June Tiggia
May Lisrun
April Anna Finn
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February Hendo
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2009
December Puddington
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August B.B.
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April Velociraptor
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January Trin
2008
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September Cavey
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July JenJ
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February Oldbiddy
January Old Mum
2007
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