Although established formally in 2011, during an assault on Perranporth Triathlon in gale force winds, the Sexy Walrus can trace its true beginnings back to the late 19th century. A group of beautifully-moustached and ill-equipped adventurers began goading each other to undertake assorted adventures and challenges while remaining in tailored 3 piece suits and hats. The greatest challenge of them all was simply known as the The Walrus Run, which comprised of a financially crippling journey to Svalbard, where each competitor (wearing a suit and hat remember) would attempt to mount a Walrus and ride it until they were ejected from its back, started suffering from the extreme hypothermia and exposure, or were mauled to death by the enormous and splendid tusks of the Walrus. Each competitor was ranked on the size of the walrus mounted and the length of time they survived on its back.
While The Walrus Run was attempted with great fervour and passion it often ended in tragedy. A century later we hope to embody those early pioneers of the Walrus mentality and invite you to follow our movements on this website and our Facebook page.
Extracts from the Recently Found Diary Of Simon Grundlethorpe
From the diary of Simon Grundlethrope:
3rd May 1891 – It has been a cold winter here in Norway. Sir Walrus and I have spent much of it held up in a shelter made of wheelbarrows and leather in Hammerfest, northern most Norway. We have been unable to continue with our journey to Svalbard due to the recent weather. Frustrating. After making good progress travelling through northern Europe we have now been in Norway for 2 months waiting for a fishing trawler to take us northward. We still play cards. Sir Walrus, I suspect, is drinking too much.
10th May 1881 – The weather continues to frustrate. The ice remains in port. We have been joined by our dear friend Richard Crispwithinson. He is truly a joyful fellow with a big heart and steely determination. And he brings fresh supplies.
12th May 1881 – Good news. Long-standing companion and adventurer Lord Stirlingsworth has sent news.
Gentlemen STOP Good news STOP I am making good progress to join you STOP Aim to be sharing a whisky by the end of the month STOP
His arrival will surely bring good fortune and the burst of energy to begin our voyage into the Arctic.
13th May 1881 – Sir Walrus’ drinking has become a point of contention. Last evening he slapped a vicar with his flipper for looking at him cock-eyed. To Sir Walrus’ surprise it emerged that there was no vicar but a large and rather upset cart horse. I feel the lack of daylight is getting to him.
We have misplaced our medicine rum and rubbing alcohol. Richard – a most resourceful fellow – is negotiating with some of the locals as I write. He has also managed to source a mandolin – he claims that Lord Stirlingsworth will be most pleased.
23rd May 1881 – The ice is clearing. We hear that the
northernmost ice remains thick. We are now able to spend more time preparing for our voyage. The daylight is now enough for us to regain more physical training.
Lord Stirlingsworth has sent more word:
Gentlemen STOP Delayed in Copenhagen STOP Incident with a prostitute’s gloves STOP Won’t keep me from joining soonest STOP Prepare the brandy STOP
29th May 1881 – Preparations are going well. We have secured a captain and a cabin boy, Petter. The captain is a foul-looking creature with a hooked nose, and he carries a whip for no reason I can think of. His manner is clement enough and his men seem able.
He claims to have tackled the high seas since he was a child: ‘I’ve spent more days on the water than on the land and developed a knowledge of these waters better than any other captain’, he claims.
He also claims to have once seen a sea creature so large ‘that it swallowed half of my ship. It took 3 of my men to their watery graves but I survived due quick thinking. I hurled my Coxwain face first into the creature’s horrendous eye blinding it temporarily. The shock caused the creature to sink back down to the murky depths.’
30th May 1881 – Lord Stirlingsworth has joined us. He brings, unfortunately, some potent Egyptian rum with him. Sir Walrus is in good spirits.
31th May 1881 – A black day. The boy, Petter Fuglesang, whom we hoped would provide us the service of beltsman and cabin boy when on Svalbard, has died. He had taken a nasty blow to the head last night and never recovered. He passed this morning in his mother’s arms. Lord Stirlingsworth and Richard suspect foul play. We cannot proceed without a beltsman.
1st June 1881 – Good news. Sir Walrus has, in timely fashion, located a replacement for poor Petter.
Ingeborg, a woman of 17 from the local village. Sir Walrus described her as:
Full of spirit and will make a fine belstman. I have never seen such character before in a nordic. Her eyes are sharp and her nose has an intelligence to it. Yes, I can say that I’ve taken a liking to this Ingborg.
2nd June 1881 – We have met Ingborg. She is not as we expected. Lord Stirlingsworth described her as ‘A feral creature. No hair upon her head at all. I cannot say that I am too keen on young Ingborg. She does not speak English, she does not seem to speak much at all and does not seem to like us me much. Sir Walrus seems to be the only one with whom she will communicate. We depart in 2 days so we must make do.’ Sir Walurs remains often below deck. He is trying to teach Ingborg to play cards. He assures us that she will be a fine beltsman but Lord Stirlingsworth and I have our doubts though we dare not speak them. Richard still dwells over the death of poor Petter.
3rd June 1881 – Ingborg has come to me. She feels that ‘Sir Walrus has been making advances. He keeps me below deck and tries to show me how sharp his tusks are. Frankly it’s madness to even have a walrus on board let alone one who can’t keep her flippers to himself.’
4rd June 1881 – Preparations are going well. The weather is fine and the ice has melted away from the fishing lanes. The captain says that we will be good to depart tomorrow at 6am, high tide.
7th June 1881 – We have been at sea for almost a week.. The ice is thicker and more present. The going is slow. The landscape is vast, unending. The wind, which had fallen in the south, now rose with great violence in the west. The captain’s disgusting features seem to have worsened in the cold sea air. His nose is now flush with boils. The mood on the ship has changed. Optimism has been replaced by bitterness.
Lord Stirlingsworth has somewhat fallen out with Sir Walrus over a game of cards. I suspect that they had too much to drink. Sir Walrus claims he: ‘Was cheated, plain and simple. You may have learned some fancy tricks in Paris but cheating is cheating.’ I can’t help feel that the time for petty rivalry and tomfoolery is over. We are, after all, heading for the everlasting ices of the north, and to feel the misery of cold and frost. We travel to Svalbard to undertake the Walrus run.
12th June 1881 – I decided to write to my love in London, just in time to give me a final boost before we leave for the sea.
Dear Margaret, My love. This summer, when you walk the streets of London or admire the great green fields of England, please, think of me. It gives me great hope to imagine your smiling face and at this present moment I need all of the hope I can. The ice has surrounded us; progress is slow. The journey has progressed well enough I suppose but tragedy befell us in Norway. Our cabin boy was killed, struck by a rock upon the cranium dead. Sir Walrus also continues to drink heavily and has caused a number of disputes while on the ship. He has taken our new beltsman under his flipper and is very protective of her. I feel that this trip may be too much for her. My darling. Will I ever see you again? What I wouldn’t give to taste some sweet honey from your bees nest just once more? Please tell your mother that I cannot pay her back for the money she lent me.
Your Love – Simon Grundlethorpe.
15th June 1881 – As we pursued our journey northward we soon found that the snows thickened and the cold increased to a degree almost too severe to support. The morale of the ships’s men is low; the Captain’s face is now a sea of raw skin. Lord Stirlingsworth has composed a ditty on his mandolin to keep the spirits high.
We left our intrepid adventurers (Sir Walrus, Simon Grundlethorpe, Lord Stirlingsworth and Richard Crispwithinson) on the high seas – heading for Svalbard and to take on the famed Walrus Run. A feat of endurance, strength and skill undertaken only by the most intrepid and daring. They are joined by the foul looking captain, a few of his sailors, a dog and the beltsman – the shy and feral Danish girl Ingeborg. Petty arguments begin to form and the journey begins to take its toil on the adventurers.
From the Diary of Simon Grundlethorpe:
16th June 1881 – The ice is thick, the snow settles upon the bow. Sir Walrus’ condition is worsening. He has not been seen for days although occasional bellows from the bowels of the ship confirm that at the very least he still lives.
17th June 1881 – The ice is thicker still. The ship groans from the weight of the ice sheets pressing against her hull. We struggle to make progress in this our frozen prison.
18th June 1881 – Oh god the ice is so thick. Thick and everlasting. Glorious and to be dammed at once. The night never quite comes, just a grey dusk settles through the midnight hours. We fill our bellies with salted whale blubber and walrus milk, which thankfully is in good supply. The gin is still plentiful which stirs the spirits but I fear the effect it has upon Sir Walrus.
25th June 1881 – Lord Stirlingsworth – so often unflappable and resolute – has begun to show signs of fatigue and mental struggles. Ingeborg carries on. She looks cock-eyed at me often and spends much time delivering food and water to Sir Walrus below deck. Crispwithinson spends much time looking at maps and equipment, he remains focussed on our task to pass the time. Overall, morale is low. The crew are beginning to wonder if their meager earnings are worth it. Maybe our intrepid band are beginning to feel the same. Are the glories of the Walrus Run worth it? Stirlingsworth quotes –
Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea.
27th June 1881 – The ice thins a little at last and we have made good progress for a few days. Richard Tells tells of an interesting tale: ‘Sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they’d leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine. These were home to breeds of birds with no natural predators. Breeds of birds that lived nowhere else on earth. The plants there, without enemies they evolved without thorns or poisons. Without predators and enemies, these islands, they were paradise. The sailors, the next time they visited these islands, the only things still there would be herds of goats or pigs.’
Sir Walrus emerging from below deck comments – ‘Does this remind you of Adam and Eve? …. Do you ever wonder when God’s coming back with a lot of delicious sauce?’
30th June 1881 – A great storm has visited us. The sea wrought, and was tempestuous against us. We strapped everything down and huddled below to watch the storm rage. Never in my life before have I experienced such beauty, and fear at the same time. The captain stands on the deck throughout, rocking from side to side, laughing. We could see him from the main hatch – a strange sight indeed. He shouts again and again as if to the gods:
The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.
1st July 1881 – The seas have not yet settled completely but the worst is over. The sailors are in good spirits now and seem to have enjoyed the storm somewhat. The captain smiles more often now:
Sailors know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
2nd July 1881 – TRAGEDY. Oh tragedy. Sir Walrus has been washed overboard. He came onto the main deck to discuss rations. He became irate when one of the sailors accused him of pinching his snuff. A short argument ensued and Sir Walrus walked away so briskly that he stumbled. At that moment a great wave took the boat and Sir Walrus unsteady on his feet toppled overboard, hat and all. We ask the captain what to do – the captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still. Sir Walrus was not seen again.
Ingeborg has been wailing like a baboon ever since. Lord Stirlingsworth shouted to the gods for what felt like hours. ‘YEA GODS! WHY DO YOUR TORMENT ME SO? WHY DO YOU FORSAKE US? GAAAAAAA’
Richard and Lord Stirlingsworth and I have consoled each other with gin and the firmly made decision to continue in his honour. Richard said that ‘We must carry on – we must. In his honour. “Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.” ‘ Oh Tragedy, writing these words brings me to some emotion indeed. My disappointment is great, how great no one will probably ever know.
3rd July 1881 – The mood is black. In a world of everlasting light the light has gone out.
An Extract from Sir Walrus’ readings papers.
Two nights and days I was tossed about on the swollen sea, and many a time I thought myself doomed. But when Dawn of the lovely tresses gave birth to the third day, the wind dropped, and there was breathless calm. Glancing ahead as a long breaker suddenly lifted me, I glimpsed the shore nearby. There was no safe harbour, no roadstead for ships to ride in, only jutting reefs and icy cliffs and headlands. Then my knee-joints slackened and my heart melted.
As I considered all this in heart and mind, a large wave drove me towards the splintered shore. There my blubber would have been stripped, and my bones shattered, had I not clung to a berg with both hands, and hung there, groaning, till the wave had passed. So I survived, but with its backflow the wave caught me again, and took me, and drove me far out to sea. Just as pebbles stick to an octopus’ suckers when it is dragged from its crevice, so pieces of skin stripped from my sturdy flippers stuck to the ice, and the wave swallowed me. Then wretched I would surely have come to a premature end, if bright-eyed Athene had not sharpened my wits. Freeing myself from the surge breaking on shore, I swam outside it, staring towards the land, hoping to find a shelving beach or a natural harbour. Then, swimming, I came to the mouth of a swift-running river that seemed a good place, free of stones, and sheltered from the wind. I felt the current flowing, and prayed to the river god:
‘Hear me, Lord, whoever you might be. I come to you, as to one who is greatly longed for, as I try to escape the sea and Poseidon’s menace. Even to the eyes of the deathless gods that man is sacred who comes as a wanderer, as I come to your stream, to your knees, after many trials. Pity me, Lord, I am Sir Walrus – your suppliant.’
5th July 1881 – The seas are calm and we make good progress. Yet Richard speaks wisdom when he says
The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea.
6th July 1881 – Land Ho! The day opened with a stiff breeze from the south each which gathered strength. Our spirits lifted with the wind. An hour after lunch land is sighted by the captain ‘SEE HERE, SEE HERE, LAND HO! LAND HO!’ he shouted. But was also heard to speak quietly after ‘There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land again after a cheerful, careless voyage.’ At first mirage distorted its outline into an unknown and unrecognized shape we were quite sure it was Svalbard. We are now in a Blue Funk and progress is once again good.
Ingeborg remains below deck and eats little and snarls like an animal when anyone comes close. A curious thing though – this morning when the news of land had not yet buoyed our spirits Ingborg was heard talking to the dog:
“I like the Walrus best,” said Alice, “because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters.”
“He ate more than the Carpenter, though,” said Tweedledee. “You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn’t count how many he took: contrariwise.”
“That was mean!” Alice said indignantly. “Then I like the Carpenter best—if he didn’t eat so many as the Walrus.”
“But he ate as many as he could get,” said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, “Well! They were both very unpleasant characters—”
7th July 1881 – We have made it. Dear dear sir Walrus would be proud. To-day we feasted in the cabin on the young seal which Lord Stirlingsworth shot, minutes after setting foot on dry land, and he unanimously pronounced it equal to rabbit. We have set our bear trap, baited with seal’s entrails, and have placed it so far from the ship that we hope the dog may not find it.
The captain wishes to stay on board with his men. He claims that
The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides.
He is a foul man this captain and far more ugly than anything I can describe.
8th July 1881 – Something strange has happened. Something wonderful and strange. I cannot describe on these pages the feelings of joy and happiness that now embodies my heart.
Sir Walrus returns. Lord Stirlingsworth saw him approach the camp, a black spot growing ever larger. At first we thought it a bear or even a grotesquely large seal but soon we saw that it was indeed our good friend. Lord Stirlingsworth stands atop the camp and calls to Sir Walrus and our merry band:
WHEN old Noah stared across the floods
Sky and water melted into one
Looking-glass of shifting tides and sun.
Mountain-tops were few: the ship was foul:
All the morn old Noah marvelled greatly
At this weltering world that shone so stately
Drowning deep the rivers and the plains.
Through the stillness came a rippling breeze;
Noah sighed remembering the green trees.
Clear along the morning stooped a bird
Lit beside him with a blossomed sprig.
Earth was saved; and Noah danced a jig.
9th July 1881 – Sir Walrus cannot explain exactly how he survived but his thick blubber surely helped. He claimed that ‘spending much time in the baths of Budapest conditioning myself to the temperatures of the world has surely prepared me for the worst. And I think now i have experienced the worst.’
15th July 1881 – We have now made many sorties deep into land looking for Walruses and so far have only come across bears. These white beasts are to be feared and loved at once. Our dog sounds the alarm when one gets too close and Lord Stirlingsworth’s rifle does the rest.
18th July 1881 – We head north again, further this time. We begin to pick up tracks of walruses. The mood is powerful! We are back together and strong in our mission. The camp at night is a joyous place. We are close now, closer than ever before. Tomorrow we will surely be able to begin after months of travel the famous Walrus Run! Lord Stirlingswoth keeps spirits high with a song!
SAFE AND SOUND ASHORE AGAIN