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The answer to the standby problem of course is to hitch yourself to a potential ten timer.
I had thought to advertise my possible assistance in this matter via an eBay auction, but my companions vetoed the idea, banging on about me being entirely without Essex.
This is true - I live in Thuffolk.
First timers have a decent probability of getting in as well; Something like a hundred get pulled from the hat in the draw for places.
The wily old hand will pick an unsuspecting friend who had never remotely entertained the ridiculous idea of hobbling across Scotland in the pouring rain carrying half a house on his back, and embolden him with tales of derring-do and warm evenings supping peaty malts, gazing up at the moon set fair in the heavens.
The old hand should be applauded for introducing another victim fellow walker to this wonderful event. After time, some of these victims virgin Challengers mature to become leg ends themselves, adept in the dark arts of selection and eBay.
Be very afraid
I've just released the plague rats.
That's over 30% though.
I am glad I got a few under my belt before I bumped into you.
I have to say, we broke Dave twice.
It was those sandpaper underpants
For the purposes of clarity it should be stressed that the incidence of first-timers getting places in the draw is purely down to the luck of the draw – no favouritism, it's just statistical likelihood.
In fact, if you look at the those who are on the main list and those who are on the standby list and compare both to my usual drinking buddies, the integrity of the draw is perfectly transparent.
Which is my way of apologising to all those friends who didn't get on this year!
I think we can see what happens to any buddy of The Dawg who is a bit slow to get his round in. Worth bearing in mind in the Park bar.