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Woodman Five

Today the Woodman 5 mile race through the trails of Ashtead Common. It's a Wednesday evening, and in stark contrast to the Battle 10k last Thursday, the sun is shining and it's nice and warm!

The eponymous pub. I must sheepishly admit that we've never been here before, despite many visits to RTL as-was and the Ashtead 10k, and even Ashtead Hospital. A barmaid accosts me as I ponder the pumps, and I cannot deny that I am looking forward to a post-race pint, but must eschew her offerings for now.

See, no drinking, just race prep.

We all head towards the start. Note the three women in the foreground: quite without any kind of plan, they'll end up bracketing the evening as we come back afterwards.

Rob show his tongue, although the story he tells us is about another part of his anatomy entirely! If you weren't there, don't ask. At least, not publicly. I may be prepared to reveal confidences if plied with sufficient drink when nobody's watching.

Ok, so here we are on the start line. Now it's not obvious in this picture, but I think we've discovered Steve Winder's secret! Let me zoom in...

See, he doesn't actually touch the ground! I'm afraid that your iPhone pics just aren't technically good enough to reveal this kind of thing, which is how he's got away with it for so long, but now you know!

Amanda says you don't often see her and Dr Rob in the same shot, so I have to include this.

The only serious competition for Mr W in 2017 is Mr W in previous years.

So this woman walks past, talking to her friend on the phone. "I won't get in the way of the pictures!" she cries, but she's not getting away that easily! If anybody local recognises her, do tell her she's now part of history :-)

Rob is well ahead of Amanda now.

Ah, now this is Emily. I don't know this as I'm taking the picture, but it's something I'll discover later. She's not that far ahead of Amanda and her shirt is quite distinctive so she's acting as a bit of an early warning signal.

Here's Amanda, a moment later. Slightly to my surprise she seems to be the only one in an Ashtead 10k shirt.

I think my charm is working :-)

That little pink spot in the background is Amanda...

Blimey! There goes that Winder fellah again!

Once again Dr Rob tries to tell us how big it was.

"Come on ladies, pick up the pace, you're plumb last!"

Amanda comes through. But have I missed number 83 or has she dropped back...?

Back to the finish in good time on this occasion. Phew!

Here she is! And this time the pink figure in the background is Emily. Aha!

Sorry Rob, didn't realise it was that bad :-(

Bit of a gung-ho sprint to the line...

And a serious photo-finish for some!

They think it's all over. It is now!

Remember what I said earlier? Pure coincidence, but a certain symmetry.

And this is how I learn who Emily is: Rob invites us to join his pub quiz team and she's one of the other members.

We can't stay until the end because Amanda needs to be up early for work, but we do our bit and later Rob emails us to say that we won!

And a bit more symmetry as we say goodnight to the Woodman.


(Yes, I know it's half-past ten in the morning: use your imagination, people!)


PS: To see more of Emily (and Amanda and Rob and loads of other people), the full set is on Flickr:

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