Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Having fun at the Bacchus Half Marathon

At the weekend I ran in the Bacchus half marathon, in case you wondering which of the millions of half marathons out there that this is then let me clarify, 

It is 'THAT' one. 

You know the one you have read about on Runners World

The one you have heard people talk about and your not sure if it's true, the one that seems to be the stuff of legend, that is too good to be true, yes THAT one around the vineyard with all the wine!

Ready to attack the Bacchus Half Marathon
If you haven't ran it before or haven't heard of it the Bacchus marathon and half marathon are events ran from the Denbies wine estate in Dorking, Surrey and take their name from Bacchus the Roman God of wine. Not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful vineyard and the stunning Surrey scenery you als get to experience their delicious wine. The half marathon comprises of 7 scheduled wine stops, starting with white wine before working through some red and rose culminating in the last two stops serving celebratory sparkling wine. 

Bacchus is certainly no ordinary half marathon.

Some amazing Surrey scenery which my camera does not do justice to
Firstly it's run around a picturesque vineyard in rural Surrey.
Secondly at least 80% of participants wear fancy dress and amble their way around rather than running against the clock.

Wine, so much wine...
And thirdly all the drink stations serve wine from the Denbies wine estate, but not just wine, water, energy gels, and all manor of snacks you could possibly want. I am talking biscuits, crisps, chopped up mars bars, bananas, orange segments, jelly babies and other sugary sweets, quite a banquet!

Food, all the food!
Pretty much everyone I have spoke to about this race has agreed runner an non runner alike that this would be their kind of race as it sounds like so much fun. 

And it certainly is a lot of fun! I had an awesome time, easily the most fun I have had during a race and I would say I have really enjoyed the majority of my races. 

You know when you have a race where you are constantly overtaking and then being overtaken by a handful of other runners and you build up a bit of camaraderie with then? Imagine this but better because everyone is having fun not worrying about split times and PBs and because everyone is in fancy dress and has had a fair bit of alcohol and then not only are you chatting with people as you run past each other but having a drink and a chat with them every two miles or so at every drinks station. 

Another drink stop, and more wine
I ran the race with my brother in law Tom and we ended up wearing St George and the dragon costumes, me as the knight St George (or King Arthur as I was commonly referred to) and Tom as the dragon (or the devil as several people seemed to think not least a startled gentleman dressed up as a vicar!).

Slaying the dragon for the first but certainly not the last time.
We started the day with a pre race wine, (well it would be rude not to!) and set out just to enjoy the day and run at a comfortable place.

Pre race stretching with a cheeky pre race wine, if Carling did races...
We took our time enjoying each and every drinks station, the wine, the bands and the people.

Hamming it up again!
Along the route we enjoyed hamming it  up to the max our characters as I pretended to theatrically slay the mighty dragon, needless to say neither of us will be winning any Oscars any time soon! 

We both marveled and appreciated some of the stunning scenery and reflected on just enjoying a great running experience.

A zebra, just one of some of the friends we made along the way...
But most of all we enjoyed the atmosphere, the banter and the friendships we made along the way with superheroes, hula girls, fairies, bumble bees, ghostbusters and zebras to name but a few. It was great to run with, chat with, dance with and drink with all of yo, as they say it's people that make an event so thank you to everyone who helped make the day awesome!