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.
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