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My, haven't you grown!

"Gosh, look at you!", he says, channelling his inner annoying uncle...

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 expedition!

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 properly?!"

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?"

It's catching!

Until you do your back in :-(

I think Edie and Patsy believed me when I told them I was Mario Testino.

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 too.

"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 saunas.

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 surely beckons.

And here comes Amanda racing past the pop-pom girls!

She crosses the line... But what is Anthony up to?

Cheeky blighter!

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,


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