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Merrily we woggle along

Did you know that the woggle was invented by a young Australian lad in the early 1920s, but the word was not officially used until the 14th edition of Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys?

Well you do now.

And on this educational note, we begin today's tale of running adventure!

"Be Prepared!"

Our demon bacon fryer is on fine form again this year.

She's not the only celebrity we have, though.

A few words from Chris Finill, who holds the Guinness World Record for greatest number of consecutive sub-three-hour marathons - thirty three of them!

And Lily Partridge, cross-country champ who branched out into marathon running recently and did 2:32 on her first go. Fortunately for everyone else, she's not running today, just helping out.

Impressive in a different way is this chap here (whose name I forget) who's going to run the 10k playing guitar all the way. This may cheer his fellow runners up, or encourage them to run faster to escape the noise.

Some slightly younger superheroes too.

And Dave, our Dear Leader, standing on his favourite wall.

This is the prize that awaits!

At this point, I have to take on additional unpaid responsibility. There's nobody official around, and nothing marking the start, but clearly I exude sufficient aura of authority that people believe me when I tell them it's usually about here-ish.

Off we go!

Here's Johnny Guitar!

And behind the runners, the 6k walkers.

At around the 3k mark, there's nothing in it for the lead. By the finish, though, the chap in white will be ahead of Mr Green by over a minute, although it'll still be almost another minute to third place.

Amanda leads a little gaggle into a steep canyon. At this point she slows right down and apologises for holding people up, but it's their own fault for not overtaking her when they had the chance!

Across the top of the ploughed field. Every year we see bare earth here and have no idea what crop they plant.

And this is the view from the bottom. You can't actually see any runners at this scale, but trust me, they're there.

Unfortunately, they're not here. I have been misled by signs and tape that are for the 6k walkers, and the 10k runners are on a slightly different track.

This is where they are, in amongst the bluebells. However, as you can tell, this is not Amanda, and after a couple of minutes, I realise I've missed her. Darn, can I now get back to the finish in time?

No :-(

But after establishing that I've not been knocked off my bike and killed by a homicidal maniac, or had a puncture or something, she'll pose by the finish balloons with a smile again.

And here I am, butting into Amanda's picture of a girl guide. I thought it was my job to go around with a camera asking pretty young things if they wanted to be 'models'.

But we can't stay long, because we want to get back to Bushy Park for the Chestnut Sunday Parade.

What's that? We're not entirely sure... Last week, parkrun at Bushy was moved (back to its original route as it happens) because preparations for Chestnut Sunday had taken over the normal start area. Despite only living down the road for 22 years, we'd never heard of this, so a bit of praying to the great god Google was called for. Well, it seems that there's a promenade tradition dating back to Victorian times, ceasing during the Second World War but then revived - on a very small scale initially - in 1977 for the Queen's Silver Jubilee. These days it includes a substantial parade of classic vehicles and a fair in the park, so unsurprisingly we thought we needed to check it out!

Well well well... We start with a military theme. Bushy Park was the location of Eisenhower's Supreme HQ in WWII, so it's obviously a very relevant local link.

This is Harry, whose motorbike has broken down. We know this because Mrs Harry is standing next to me and proudly announces his arrival just as his bike stalls right in front of her! Harry seems to be taking it in good spirits, but then if you're going to restore an old bike like that, you probably have to have a certain philosophical outlook to stand any chance of retaining your sanity. I promise to send Wendy this and some other pictures I've taken, with which she can tease her beloved.

And I will leave you with a shiny red MG, because, well, it's a shiny red MG!

What an educational day it has been...

The next race is "Out of the Blue" at Battle, so I dare say I shall have to find some enlightening historical facts about the Battle of Hastings.

Until then.

Love to all,


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