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The Mock Badger 2017

Well, this is a race with a bit of a difference...

Here's what the Surrey Badger half-marathon looked like in 2016, running through the vineyards of Denbies Wine Estate. This year it was much earlier, so the vines wouldn't even have been in bud, but otherwise it probably looked quite similar. We weren't there though: a clash of race dates took us elsewhere.

As it was the last ever ETL event and one that Amanda was particularly fond of, she was rather sad to have missed it. But then, when the race director is your mate, there are always ways...

Yep, it's Amanda's very own Mock Badger! Just her running, with Nicky, Grant and Penny (and me, of course) accompanying by bicycle!

It's the only way we can keep up with her, after all.

Penny and I feel it would be churlish to use the brakes on such a fine descent, so we get a bit of a way ahead at this point.

This is meant to be a bucolic scene of runner and cyclists passing a field of peacefully grazing cows. Unfortunately, either the people or the cows (or both) are not co-operating, so to get them all in shot, I have to use an angle so wide you can barely see any of them. Ho hum.

Into the woods. No reference to Stephen Sondheim is intended. [I really don't get Stephen Sondheim. Not even a little bit. If you ever watched "Whose Line is it Anyway", you may recall it generally took Josie Lawrence about five seconds to come up with something that sounded as good or better than the real thing.]

Coo, a little bit of sunshine! Not a lot, but it's still welcome.

Getting quite strong now, although sadly it won't last.

A bit knackered at the top of a long hill! Amanda's not waiting for us, though, she's well away.

Nicky and Penny can get their breath back rolling down the other side of the hill now we're back on the road again.

And here's our girl, with Grant bringing up the rear.

Back in Denbies, on what would be the finishing straight if there weren't a couple of corners to go.

Around the last bend...

And across the (imaginary) line!

Amazingly, despite not taking it at full speed, chatting to us on the way and sometimes stopping until we can catch up and tell her which way to go, she's only three minutes off last year's race time!

Afterwards we have a little walk, and just around Denbies the bluebells are looking quite spectacular.

No action shots of me on the route, of course, so I'll just pose by the bluebells.

Normal race service will be resumed shortly.

Love to all,


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