BVR at the Bacchus Half Marathon

Running the Bacchus Half Marathon is all about having fun. The day arrives we are all doing our last minute preparations, have we got the right costume, oh yes my friends this half marathon is not about running envy this is all about costume envy. Have we made enough effort, there are flamingos, space people, cheer leaders, film characters, references to the god of wine Bacchus, confident men in morph suits, the list is endless.  Our chosen theme this year ‘the 80’s’, fluorescent colours in abundance.

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Walking up to the start line Rocky blaring from the speakers, we are ready, last minute photos waving at complete strangers smiles all round. Approaching the start with Thunderbirds are Go, the countdown begins, off we go.  We start running through the vines, twisting in and out, 1.5 miles covered and we are coming to a stop, a pinch point maybe too many people wanting to get through but no we get closer and the marshal is shouting runners to the left, drinkers to the right, guess where we were going. The entertainment was the local morris dancers the drink was Surrey Gold, loads of water downed and we were off, our first hill. Not bad we made it walking is the new running right? Quick tour of Dorking, nice beep beeps from motorists, everyone is happy. Now this is where things are starting to go wrong. The ghetto blaster has stopped, a disaster, oh sorry I didn’t say one of the team was a rapper and had spent hours compiling a rappers delight played through a blue tooth speaker attached to an inflatable ghetto blaster, and the playlist had completely disappeared. Random music selected we were back in the game.

Wine stops available at 4 and 6 miles plenty of water and food for energy, a young couple were the entertainment at mile 6 they were encouraged to sing 1000 miles which of course we all joined in the chorus.  Was that preparation for the hill that followed, well no, it was a slow uphill killer that went on and on, we were pleasantly distracted by a herd of bemused belted gallaways. Onwards and upwards, approaching mile 7 we knew a stop was coming up, the entertainment was great a rock band who strangely were playing 1000 miles, runners with more energy were dancing away and sparkling wine was on offer, sadly this was a low point as when we got near the table the bar was dry. No point hanging around any longer we started up the worse hill on the course, how long does this go on for, thankfully parts of it were in the shade. On top of Ranmore Common we were met by the team mascot Archie who was so excited to see us all and Richard was pleased we had made it this far. We were entertained by a steel band, no wine on this water stop but there were plenty of sweeties, the lovely ladies were making up sweetie bags as well. Off we go it is pretty much all downhill now(ish).

Next stop 10 miles we had some lovely rosé and if we wanted to hang around a concert by the local bell ringers. Moving on we are so close to the finish only a Parkrun to go. All downhill now definitely, last stop included cheese which tasted so good, might have only been cheddar but it was fabulous. Last bit through the woods, bemused walkers coming from the other direction cheering us on, we were almost there. Oh no, what about the ghetto blaster, got to have it playing us home. Quick blue tooth link to my phone and we were running back to ‘Ain’t no stopping us now’, we all linked arms and over the finish line we go, smiles galore. A weighty medal was handed out with a technical t-shirt, more food and water with lovely fresh pineapple and melon to help rehydrate.

Bags retrieved we went in search of the support crew, food and drink tickets in hand we were off in search of hog roast and wine, now time to relax. No one was in a hurry to move, all wanting to enjoy the sunshine and talk about the run. Richard popped a bottle of Prosecco the best way to celebrate another great run, happy days.

If you are looking for a half marathon pb this is not the run for you, however, if you want to dress up drink wine and generally have a good time this is definitely worth having a look at, although be warned it sells out about 2 months before the day so it is not a last minute run decision.

 

BVR runners – Karen Jones, Gayle Gunner and Sarah Bradbury

Support Crew – Richard and Archie Jones

BVR Does Hart4Relay

So … waking up to blue skies and the sun already shining it looked like it was going to be a glorious summers day … so what better to do … lets go to a not so empty field just outside Fleet ….

The first thing that strikes you about this place is that you are two minutes from the M3 and all the busiest that brings but yet you feel like you are in the middle of a farmers field away from all of that.

So there were already gazebo’s set up a plenty and as the morning hours passed more gazebo’s were erected …. Oh and that was just for the BVR camp! Looks impressive … must be time for a photo ….

Warm up done and at 10.25 we were called to the start … so those setting off first got behind the starting line and the rest of us … that’s the rest of our six teams … and support crew … all went to cheer them on their way so with Paula Fudge being given the microphone they were off .. and off they went … fast!

So the course, unsurprisingly was mostly trail. The starting area sent you on a very slight incline and then right along some bumps across a field, then down a country track. This is all rather pleasant … then came another slight incline … no this isn’t too bad … keep on pushing along … and then through the woods … what is this? Am I going backwards … no still going forward that’s okay … oh and there’s the top … phew … ooh, followed by another hill … ahh that’s okay, this ones not too steep and at the top again and down a nice path. Oh, and there’s a nice marshal cheering me on and turn the corner … ouch … this would be the hill everyone was talking about at the start (and I’m at the bottom looking up …. a long way) … plod plod plod and there’s the top. Phew! Now for a bit of sand and some nice long flat runs through the woods … haven’t I been here before (you come to the same point from two different directions) … and then comes the down hill … just don’t fall flat on my face… this is a very long downhill back to the race village and round the corner and there’s the finish line. Right I’ve crossed the finish line … oh my god … who put the exchange area so far away? Right I’m there! …. and breathe!

So as I mentioned earlier …. we managed to enter six teams … everyone gave their all on every run and there were some great times achieved on something that was not exactly a flat course. However, would I describe it as hilly? Well, that brought about some debate so I think I will leave that for the people listed below to comment on. Besides that the atmosphere was fantastic and there was a real sense of team spirit that quite frankly I am not talented enough to find the words to describe … for everyone there … thank you for creating this wonderful atmosphere.

Throughout the four hours and beyond the cheering of BVR for their running teams could be heard and it was a sight to behold to see everyone crowded after the finish line to cheer those still giving their all out on the course home for the final lap.

The event itself was a little bigger than we expected with 115 teams taking part (28 male teams, 60 mixed teams, 27 female teams). So how did our teams fair?

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Our fastest team – the BVR Black Group, Simon, Scott, Steve and Alex went out fast … and after the first few laps were in second, at one stage they dropped to fourth but somehow managed to pull that back with the superhuman efforts and finished back in second place overall and second male team. They completed 16 laps. Well done guys … I could see how much effort went into that and it was great to hear again the BVR cheers when we got to see you collect your prizes. How was the beer?

Next came the BVR Leg Ends, Paddy, Kev, Alan and Mick completing 13 laps, came 40th overall and were the 19th male team.

Blackwater Valley Runners Team 3, Andrea, Nicky, John and Maria completed 12 laps and came 66th overall and were the 26th mixed team.

Blackwater Valley Runners Team 2, Chris, Tracy, Melvyn and Amanda and Blackwater Valley Runners Team 3, Linda, Richard, Mary and Karen both completed 11 laps and team 2 were the winning team completing their laps 23 seconds quicker.

BVR Lovelies, Emma, Lucy, Cath & Linda came 83rd overall and were the 11th female team.

And of course …. no amazing achievement can pass without the obligatory celebration! So, then came the prosecco and the beer and the ……

Thank you to those that brought it with you … it was a lovely way to finish.

Well done all … it was a great day … and a great team to be part of.

So what’s next … well our next BVR Points Championship event with be the Farnham Half Marathon, Marathon & Family Walk. More information can be found at http://www.farnhampilgrim.org.uk/.

If you don’t fancy that distance why not join us at the Alice Holt Races the following weekend on the 17th. There is a 10K, 5K and a 3K or 1K for the smaller runners in our families. More information can be found at http://www.farnham-runners.org.uk/racediary/aliceholt10k.htm

So come and join us for a run in September on the 11th September.