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
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
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
So now my plan is simple. As I said, this is a two-lap
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
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
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
"At least her heart's in the right place." Err, no it isn't...
Aha! As promised, Dr Rob is running in his own
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
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?"
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,