After last weekend's sunshine, the forecast for this one has been
looking a bit grim, but then Saturday isn't as bad as expected and
Sunday seems to be turning out quite nice!
So, then, a-woggling we will go!
And the woggles are in the pink.
Once again Dave's got Lily Partridge to come and start the race, and
to say a few words beforehand. Once again there's a rumour that she
might be taking part in the race, but once again it proves
unfounded. One of these days she's gonna have to stop chickening
out. Afraid of the competition, eh?
Everybody begins to make their way to the race start. Unlike last
year, somebody manages to get there with a 'Start' sign first, so I
don't need to unleash my inner sheepdog and corral them all at
roughly the right sort of place-ish. I didn't let the power go to my
head, though, so I don't feel deprived.
Lily rings the bell and Pavlov's dogs all start running. The young
lad at the edge of the picture is definitely cheating though.
Amanda is number 1668, although 1666 might be more appropriate as
the WW takes place close to the anniversary of our very own Great
Fire. She'll just have to stay next door.
Is she trying to hide from me or to give this chap a bit of a
thrill? I think he's not too sure either.
Here are the leaders at about the 3.5k mark. They will have split
into two pairs about two minutes apart by the end, but right now
there's next to nothing in it.
The route at this point is a little different to previous years, and
it's fortunate I've been given the gen in advance by Dave, because
the website still links to an older GPS track at mapometer.com.
He made particular mention of this rather splendidly photogenic
In previous Woggles, I've gone from my first stop in the woods to
the road crossing before they run across the top of the ploughed
field, but it's time for a bit of a change. As ever, though, the
plan is tentative, so we will have to see how it goes. OpenStreetMap
is good with trails and tracks (far better than Google maps), but
you still can't get much of an idea how long A to B will take on a
bicycle without seeing the terrain for yourself.
So what looks like a short distance on the map is actually up a very
steep hill, and by the time I've got to the top, it's pretty clear
that these are slower people than Amanda and I've missed her. Still,
it's a part of the Woggle course I've not seen or photographed
before, and it certainly has some beautiful views.
Well towards the back of the pack here, but who cares.
Back in the woods it seems obvious that one would find a Grufalo on
And a fine crop of bluebells.
I think now that it's probably impossible for me to get ahead of
Amanda for the 7.5k point I'd got in mind, and having failed to make
a note of the exact start time (it was a bit late), I can't come up
with a good estimate of her arrival time there anyway. Plan B, then,
back to the finish.
Past the mansion house, looking splendid in Spring as always with
Dave is cheering people on at the final exit from the woods when I
get there, and assures me I haven't missed Amanda. I was fairly sure
I was in good time, but it's nice to have it confirmed.
"Look at me! I'm a Farnham Runner!"
I don't like to tell him I've seen his sort before.
And here she comes, about to turn the final corner into the home
But if I want a good finish-line picture, I'm going to have to run
Phew! I can out-sprint her over the final hundred metres! I wouldn't
give too much for my chances over any significantly greater
Let's try out the Woodland Woggle Official Selfie Frame!
Ah, it's 1666's neighbour on the other side. (I bet he doesn't drink
Carling Black Label.)
And still plenty coming through as it's time for us to leave.
Just a few miles down the road is The Sculpture Park
(www.thesculpturepark.com), so we're off to be all culchural like.
As I'm paying for entrance, the lady asks me how I heard about them.
"My wife sent me an email", I reply, which is technically accurate
but probably not quite what she was looking for. I turn to Amanda
for further enlightenment and it seems that they were recommended to
us by Hannah Peschar on a previous visit to her sculpture garden
(quite possibly after the Surrey Slog!)
They're quite similar in a lot of ways, and if you like one, you'll
almost certainly like the other.
After much thought, I have failed to come up with an amusing yet
insightful bon mot about this piece; I guess that's Art for
Through the foliage, we spy a tank, and round the other side, the
artist is still painting it.
You can tell he's an artist...
And it's goodbye from me.
Love to all,
PS: You know that bit in the Bible where it says "the first shall be
last" and all that? Well that's why last week's Esher 10k hasn't
been written up yet. See, it's God's Will. That's my story and I'm
sticking to it!