Here’s the latest race reports from last week and reminder from Chris. Thanks to everyone who has sent one in.
Please keep sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Message from Chris Fitz
Less than a week to go before the DIRT relays in Delamere. They start at 4pm so if we could get to Delamere car park just past the visitors centre for no later than 3.30pm that would be great. £3 per person
Confirmed so far
Laura Baynam Hughes
One more please?
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!
Bacchus Half Marathon 8th Sept
I had heard of races set in vineyards in France, which sounds lovely but a bit of a trek to get there, so when I discovered that there are also such races in Surrey, I booked myself and Jason in straight away! This event was held at Denbies Vineyard, along with 10k or Marathon options, depending on your fitness / drinking propensity. With 5 wine-tasting drinks stations on offer, the Half seemed like a good distance to do. As we knew people locally, and were invited to dinner the night before, we ended up getting some practice in with a bottle of red between two of us. This kind of felt like training for this particular event.
On the day, the weather was perfect – cool but sunny. The estate itself is stunning, really beautiful set in rolling countryside. We’d not factored in a lot of elevation – of course when you think about it vineyards tend to be set on slopes though – so this was a 1,500 feet of elevation race! Apart from all the wine on offer around the course, there is also a focus on fancy dress which we’d not really appreciated when booking, but will definitely go for it next year. There were people dressed as bunches of grapes, butterflies, a strawberry, a rhinoceros, various superheroes, the 118 runners, robbers, aliens and nuns, and a rather eccentric man who had an inflatable doll and was insistent that everyone high-five his blow-up lady friend 😮 Obviously everyone was terribly polite and obliged, then scarpered off quickly through the grapes. Here we are at the start looking quite sensible:
At each drinks station there were samples of the various wines produced by the estate, with a lovely sparkling wine at the first station. (Non-alcoholic was available, but we weren’t there for the water!). Jason and I asked a helpful volunteer to take a picture of us at each drinks station – and a friendly lobster took our picture at this one, then asked if we could return the favour as her pincers made taking selfies quite tricky. There was music playing, which you could hear along the course so far, all helping to create a very jovial atmosphere.
The first few miles were running up and down hills in grassy vineyards, then we started to move away from the main estate and into a forest, where drinks station number two was located, along with a tartan-clad gentleman playing some bagpipes. Here was some cheese and a still white wine on offer.
Out of the forest, the terrain became dry and chalky, along grassy tracks and stone paths through the top of a beautiful valley with gorgeous views, eventually to drinks station number 3, with another white, and various energy bars on offer. Whilst Jason used the portaloos, I made use of the wine tasting (amounts weren’t limited) and sampled a fair bit. There was a live band playing here too, and no-one was really hurrying to get on with the race.
Not far along from here was drinks station number 4 with a lovely rose and more of a country-music type band. [Jason was actually wearing suncream, I think it’s just a dodgy picture. But look at those lovely tasting cups of rose!]
Through more forest, where munchies set in and I had to have some emergency jelly babies to keep me going, and eventually we came to the top of the estate, which was stunning, set high up overlooking the main buildings, and with the last mile entirely downhill. But before that was drinks station number 5 with a cheeky red and more sparking white, with all sorts of tasty samosa type snacks and another live rock band.
We lingered for a bit, then ran to the end, earning a disgraceful half marathon time (though actually our running time excluding the stops was around 2 hours 20 which isn’t too bad considering we were non-too sensible by the end!), a t-shirt, medal, hog roast and drinks voucher for… more wine! We basked in the sun for a bit then dragged ourselves off to start the trek home.
If you want to do something a bit different, perhaps as a group, in fancy dress, as serious or not as you want to make it, and enjoy a trail race in a beautiful setting, this could be the race for you! It was one of the most fun running events we’ve been to, and despite the quite long travelling time, we definitely want to go back next year.
Essar Guilden Sutton 10k 15th September
Several of us gathered at the Essar Sutton 6 – a number of us regular participants in this speedy 10k. It was a bit damp when we set off but stayed dry. It’s a great easy to get to and cheap race. There’s two laps of a loop then a wider route along the roads around Guilden Sutton. I am always grateful for the gentle downhill on the 7th Kilometre but the last 2k are hilly..
Great result for Hannah who came first (of course!) and also achieved a PB. Many congratulations to her.
Although the course undulates it seems to yield really good results. We also achieved first place in the Ladies team. Great results for the fellas too.
Well done everyone.
THAT’S ALL FOR THIS WEEK – KEEP SENDING THOSE REPORT IN!