The Viking Invasion of Chadlington
Legend has it that the Great Brook Run has its roots in the first great Viking invasion of Chadlington.
Having invaded the Dorset coast, the Vikings moved north raping and pillaging everything in their way. Then, on December the 26th 1066 they came across the small Cotswold village of Chadlington and a daunting natural obstacle which would confound their quest to conquer Wesdaxsfortshyre for the next 56 years – The Great Brook!
As villagers congregated on one bank of The Brook they taunted the hapless Vikings who were camped on the other. Infuriated, the Vikings looked for ways around the raging torrents but were bewildered to find that The Brook was almost two miles long – a formidable obstacle indeed. They tried to dam the Brook at its source, but it was quite cold and there was a long-horned cow looking at them funny, so they killed it and made a hat.
In frustration, the Vikings captured some of the cleverest people alive at the time, brought them to Chadlington and demanded they find a way to cross this awesome natural border. Galileo was summoned and brought telescopes to spy on the Chadtonians who were almost 6 feet away, Michelangelo invented a helicopter made from a sycamore leaf (useless idiot) and all Julius Caesar could do was come up with a chicken salad which everyone agreed was very nice but probably quite fattening.
Then, on the 27th of December 1384, they noticed The Brook was only 18 inches deep, popped over and killed everyone.
3,372 Years Later
Many millennia later, two men were getting drunk in a pub. Adam Engberg (a Viking descendent) and James Kelly (from “Up North”) decided that an annual, nay yearly, event was required “To celebrate Chadlington’s Proud, Violent and Brave repulse of the Viking Terror” which lasted nearly 500 years on the banks of The Brook. “Never, in the field of human conflict, has so much been owed by so many to so few”, said Winston Churchill about something else.
Anyway, that night, as we sampled many brews, The Great Brook Run was born.
Devised to replicate the fearsome retreat of those original Chadtonians, the run takes modern day villagers a whopping half mile across mud soaked fields before stopping abruptly, as if on a bungee cord attached to the pub, turning around and haring back to the ale house through a half mile section of The Brook, clambering over and under all obstacles in their path.
The modern brook has changed very little over the years, and a Viking seeing it today would be incredibly old and a bit dead.
It should be noted that some historians think the above account has one or two inaccuracies in it, may be somewhat embelished and elements of the lore and legend may even be fictitious. But it should be good enough for Wikipedia.