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On The First Run Of Brexit My BoJo Gave To Me

A Tier 4 in a Denbies?

I must admit, I had been more than half expecting that since Boris had so vehemently denied that there was any possibility of extending the transition period, today we would be waking up to the first day of the extended transition period.

Oh well, I suppose even Boris must tell the truth sometimes, even if only by accident.

Another thing that has surprised me is how few people seem to have noticed how many of the widely expressed motivations for Brexit can be found here:

But this is water under the bridge now, even if it's not lorries through the tunnel, so let's take our minds off that and go for a run.

The Knacker Cracker had already been re-organised in a Covid-defensive format, taking place at Denbies rather than Box Hill, as the National Trust have stopped all organised events on their land for the time being, but that was when official restrictions were less severe.

As such, it can't really go ahead in Tier 4, but that doesn't mean that people can't run around Denbies in their own time and at their own risk, and should they wish to do so, well, Rob's already sourced the medals and race numbers, so people may as well have them as souvenirs. And just to help anyone who might want to do that, he's put some race markers out. (It's basically two laps of the parkrun course, but that's not really tough enough, so he's added a little spur that adds in some hilly bits.)

But this is not a race event, Lordy no, most definitely not! Remember that! This is strictly virtual.

To be fair, it really is a virtual event, because it will continue for the whole of January for anyone who'd rather not mingle, but you know what runners are like: some of them are going to mingle just a l-e-e-t-l-e bit if they can.

But first, let me remind you of what once was...

Getting ready for the start of the Knacker Cracker 2020. This is a scene which couldn't happen today, although it's rather hard to say quite how it ever could!

And this is what we see when we arrive today.

The figure in the red jacket is a rather more fully dressed Steve Winder, who's already done his run and is just chatting to Rob before he departs. A solitary runner is beginning his second loop.

Amanda heads for the start, fiddling with her phone, while a strange man fiddles with who-knows-what!

This is going to be another first: Dr Rob will be running in his own event later.

Not sure about the phone app, but her trusty Garmin won't let her down! (If it does, the scream will be heard by fishermen in Grimsby trying to figure out what an oven-ready deal actually means, so best it doesn't.)

So now my plan is simple. As I said, this is a two-lap race not a race, just a run, so I'm going to walk the route in reverse, and I reckon that will take about the same time as Amanda will take to run it twice.

So what will I find on my journey?

Well, if it isn't Wally Woman and Batgirl!

Good to see that people are entering into the KC spirit.

Maybe not dressed up, but still doing a little twirl for the camera.

I think we know where Wally is now: he's stuck in the queue at Dover.

I'm free! I've escaped!

I think they're trying to pretend it's still Christmas last year.

Aha, it's Amanda.

Actually, I will learn later, it's two Amandas: the one who's giving me a right old flash of her 2020s as well as the one in the background!

The shirt Amanda R is wearing is from 2014, the year when almost everybody went the wrong way in atrocious conditions and ended up doing half-distance. One of the tiny few who got it right was Nicky, who was consequently first lady (albeit simultaneously second-last lady IIRC) and Amanda has chosen the shirt as a little shout-out to her down in Devon, where lockdown and winter are getting a bit depressing.

"At least her heart's in the right place." Err, no it isn't...

Aha! As promised, Dr Rob is running in his own race not a race! for the very first time.

He will catch that dog if it kills him!

Rob and Amanda do a socially distanced high-five! This is also about the point where Amanda finishes the mileage for her Phoenix Thames Path Vultra, so an excellent moment for celebration.

This is on the extension to the parkrun route, which heads up the hillside and back down again.

Here's the turnaround. With no marshal and no spectators, I bet there are some runners who'll do it clockwise instead of anticlockwise just to prove to themselves how out-on-the-edge they are!

Remember the days when pubs were open and we'd meet for a drink at the Rocket And Wookie? Or am I just imagining that?

Ok, near the end now, and my plan on timing has proved pretty accurate. But Rob has just overtaken the Amandas, so if I want to get to the finish before him, I'm going to have to cheat a bit and take a slight shortcut through the vineyard.

"So how was it for you?"

"Completely knackering!"

I wonder whose fault that could possibly be...

The two Amandas have, I gather, been swapping places throughout the race No! Stop calling it that! casual coincidence of runners running, but in a spirit of sisterhood, contrive a simultaneous finish that would get them DQ'd for race-fixing if it were a race.

No carrots, no soup to finish, but it's been a good bit of fun anyway, so let's have a socially distanced group photo.

Amanda finds the swag box. Several of the runners claim it's taken them longer to find it than do the run, but we think they're exaggerating. They'd have to run really fast and be really bad at finding things.

And to close, we see that the Surrey Hills Brewery are keeping up with the times!

So what next? For running? For the economy? For the pandemic? We do live in those so-called 'interesting' times.

Love to all,


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