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Floreat Esher!

The Esher 10k is organised by the Esher Church School Association - the PTA - so parents join and parents leave and the team is rarely the same two years running. We thought 2016 was low key but 2017 was all but nonexistent, so it's pleasing to see that this year they seem to have got some people who know how to organise a race. New website, chip timing... blimey, loads of entrants!

And Nicky and Grant are going to be running it for the first time in yonks. Some years back it used to be a regular event for the RTL Running Club, but it just dropped off the radar.

The sun is shining, so off we go on our bicycles.

"I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Oh, I've come to it."

I always have to make sure I'm ahead of Amanda when we take this path, because it's a very narrow bridge with a bit of a step, and she always stops and walks the bike across while I like to show off by getting the line exactly right. Get it wrong and you will catch a pedal on one of the railing stanchions if you don't bail out pretty quickly, so Amanda likes to take the sensible option.

Nicky and Grant are in their Pirate regalia, although I'm not sure if they are members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

What's that? You don't know what the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has to do with pirates? Everything, my dears, everything! For it is written that the shrinking numbers of pirates in the world today are what has caused global warming!

Oh yes, back to the race...

The marshal here isn't entirely clear about the job, but fortunately this is an easy spot.

This chap has a trickier task as the race leader comes through on one branch of the loop while slower runners are still crossing on the other. Not in the same league as some of the Surrey Slog marshalling, where at least fifteen different paths intersect at each of eighty-seven junctions (I may be exaggerating slightly), but you still need to keep your wits about you.

Grant comes up to the crossing point.

Then Amanda on the loop. I'm just about to say to her that I haven't seen Nicky yet and hope she's ok when Amanda looks to the right and calls out "Hi" to her!

And speak of the Devil, here she is.

Coming out of the woods, high fives from a young supporter.

Aha! Little Miss Quick has been just a little bit quicker than Amanda for most of the race and provides a distinctive early warning signal.

Onto the green for the last few metres of the finishing straight. But is that chap behind going to pip her?

The good news: no, he doesn't. The bad news: just look at that clock! Bah Humbug!

But we will later find that the bad news is really not so bad at all: she's first in category :-)

Grant finishes a few minutes later.

I walk back to congratulate him, but then see him disappearing off back down the course to intercept Nicky. Meanwhile, Amanda is getting changed and afterwards takes her bike and follows.

And here they all are appearing at the top of the road.

Grant runs in with Nicky but then peels off at the last moment to avoid crossing the line twice and doubtless causing no end of trouble.

Right, time to sit in the sun for coffee and a chat!


For us, it's back on the bikes up to Hampton Court and Home Park. I ought to be doing my accounts, but Sarah, my accountant, will understand that we can't waste the beautiful weather, won't she...? Besides, we need to be sure the swans on Dew Pond are nesting happily.

We'll take that as a 'yes'.

So after a couple of poor years, the Esher 10k has thoroughly redeemed itself, perhaps with a little help from the weather gods. Long may it continue.

Now those of you who pay attention to such things will perhaps be wondering why the Esher 10k report follows that for the Woodland Woggle, despite the two events themselves occurring the other way round. I refer you to Frank Tipler's 1974 paper in Physical Review D. 9 (8), "Rotating cylinders and the possibility of global causality violation", in which he describes how a solution to Einstein's General Relativity equations shows that a massive infinitely long rapidly rotating cylinder can act as a time machine. He glosses over the minor detail of how you would go about building a massive infinitely long rapidly rotating cyclinder. This I leave as an exercise to the reader.

Conventional chronological sequence will be restored as soon as possible.

Love to all,


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