"Gosh, look at you!", he says, channelling his inner
This is Bacchus 2010. Just a bunch of lads and lasses out for a run
around Denbies and the locality. A few wore fancy dress, but they
were very much in the minority and well to the back of the field.
But now it's 2016, and just getting to the car park has become an
This is only a part of the crowd: runners, supporters, stallholders
and more. Probably a few ordinary Denbies visitors not quite sure
what to make of it too.
Queen Amanda prepares to don the royal gold lamé hotpants, but Rob
and Nicky are blasé about such things. I guess when you've seen what
they've seen over the years...
"Arrgggh!!!! Are queens not supposed to have ears
or something?! Why won't the <expletive deleted> thing fit
Babes on the Run get the crowd warmed up. I am reminded of that
great existential question mulled over by countless eminent
philosophers since the Dawn of Disco: "What is my booty, and
how will I know if I'm shaking it?"
Until you do your back in :-(
I think Edie and Patsy believed me when I told them I was Mario
The Directory Enquiries Martial Arts and Roller Disco Team are here.
Up at the front as the race begins, though, it's all a bit more
serious. There's a few fancy dressers, but not many. In fact, this
first few dozen are not unlike the 2010 crew, it's the multitude
behind that make it so different today.
At the first water (and wine) stop, there are Morris dancers. Well
of course there are Morris dancers: who ever heard of a race
without Morris dancers at the first water stop?
The runners are presented with a dilemma almost immediately: left
for the race, right for the alchohol (and Morris dancers). Her
Majesty is not the sort to be amused, so off to the left she runs.
Just to be clear, the race is not all through beautiful
Surrey countryside. The suburbs of Dorking get their day in the sun
"Superman and the Lifeguards" - sounds like some 60s pop band that
long ago disappeared into well-deserved oblivion.
The fancy dressers we are seeing now are mostly full marathoners,
who started half an hour earlier but are now being overtaken by the
faster halfers. It's good, because Amanda just isn't slow enough to
let many costumed characters get ahead of her, so I'd otherwise be
missing out on much of the entertainment.
These two are in fact members of the fairly exclusive "dressed up
and faster than Amanda" club. I must admit to shameful failure to
enage with the zeitgeist here: I was fairly sure they weren't
actually underwater canaries, but I didn't catch on that they were
Minions until I asked.
The Belted Galloways are sensibly staying in the shade. It's bloody
hot in the sun now. Some of those costumes are going to be like
Ah... If I'd not stopped for a few general views of the runners
against the distant hills, I'd've got to the top of Ranmore Common a
few moments sooner and this picture would actually have Amanda in it
If you live in Dorking and like hitting things Brazilian-style, you
join Bloco do Sul. Just think of this as Ranmore de Janeiro.
It's good to see someone bringing a bit of glamour to the race.
Phew, I've got ahead of her again. Possibly because I've gone about
a hundred yards when she's had a couple of miles to do.
Full marks for ingenuity there! A future career as an inventor
And here comes Amanda racing past the pop-pom girls!
She crosses the line... But what is Anthony up to?
Seeing as neither Amanda nor I partook of the refreshments on the
course, we deserve a little glass of something with a spot of lunch
by the car. Cheers!
And finally, apropos of absolutely nothing at all, feast your eyes
on this rather exotic sheep at the Wisley Flower Show in the
afternoon. She seems to fit the theme, though.
Next up, the Ashtead 10k - about as far from Bacchus as it's
possible to get and still be a race!
Love to all,