[*] With apologies to those who remember their O-Level Latin better
than I do; and for those who don't, that kind of means "Concerning
the Field of Cabbage". You see how important a classical education
But I digress. The cabbages and kings (ok, queens) await:
Cunningly standing on a step above the melêe.
Hi Claire! We'd probably have missed you at ground level.
Ground level: this is the best shot I have of Amanda at the start,
and I don't think I've got Claire at all.
Just past the half-way mark, this is the leader. He's pretty much on
his own and stays that way until the end. Mind, last year, he came
fifth, in an utterly pathetic time of 50:24. This year he obviously
had to live down the shame.
First lady. Hmmm... She's not one of the usual suspects, Sport
Systems have no other results for her whatsoever. But she has a
Wikipedia page! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanie_Twell.
Unfortunately, that seems to imply that although she's only 25, her
best days are already behind her. Still a fit bird, though.
First banana! Few are wearing fancy dress for this race, even at the
back, but perhaps his middle name is Cavendish.
Aha! Amand is spotted in the distance!
I'm standing there waving my big lens about (and you all know how I
wave my big lens about), but it's only at the last minute Amanda
realises I'm there!
Claire spots me much sooner. Is it my irresistable charm, or is it
that she's still slightly injured and not able to give the race
absolutely 100%? (It will, I'm sure, come as no surprise to anyone
that I am utterly contemptuous of pundits who demand that somebody
give "110 per cent".)
The final corner!
Gun time, of course, which is only meaningful if you're Kenyan or
Ethiopian. It's a bit unfortunate that this race has chip finish
times but not start times. Amanda's notional chip time is the best
part of a minute faster.
Claire with her mum. She'd made all these noises about how she might
have to walk part of the distance, and she was about 2.5 minutes
behind Amanda at the halfway mark, so I thought I'd catch her at the
finish despite taking time to congratulate Amanda. No way! Looks
like she did a split negative. I trust you're proud of her, Mum!
Amanda's cousin Hugo was intending to run but had to drop out
because of injury. He nevertheless came to support his running chum
Lucy (his wife, we understand, had more sensible things to do). We'd
not seen him in yonks, but fortunately managed to avoid standing
beside him for hours without realising it!
The local environs have a certain je ne sais quoi...
And this is defintely in that category: it's a chap taking his
ferret for a walk! On a lead and everything! We used to have some
neighbours who would take their cats for a walk of an evening, which
said cats seemed to enjoy, though we were quite sure that ours would
have looked at us with that pitying expression that cats are so good
at that says, "you simple-minded fool"... But Mrs Ferret (or was it
Ms Ferret) was on a mission!
And finally, what could be more appropriate to the Cabbage Patch
race than a cabbage patch?! Hampton Court's new vegetable garden as
Love to all,