The Leith Hill Half is upon us again, and after missing last year's
through illness, Amanda is keen to be back on the track.|
But first, Omnia Vincit Amor and all that: the UK Wife-Carrying Race...
Preparing for the start. The Estonian Hold position is now all but universally employed, so it's heads-between-legs a-go-go!
The race gets regular media coverage these days. It's even appeared on National TV.
Bigamy! "Tiny" (quite literally off the scale weight-wise) can't make it this year, so Joel has had to improvise. Is he man enough for two?
And Dr Rob's got another new wife this year!
Who obviously wants a quickie divorce right now!
Joel has to pause for breath; but whatever it takes, they're definitely going all the way!
On the positive side, there's hardly any water left at the end.
And he's done it without losing a wife! Now how's he going to top this next year?
Winners for the second year running, Jonathon and Charlotte, who will once again carry Britain's hopes to Finland.
Right, where were we? Back to the Leith Hill Half. Here they come at the top of The Nower, the first hill of many!
Amanda's got a bit of a gammy knee and has been a bit lacking in va-va-voom lately, but she's pleased to be running at all after last year.
What? Another digression? Well, as I head back to jump in the car (which is the only way I'm ever getting ahead of those guys!), the kids' race is starting.
The front ones are pretty fast, and even the back markers aren't slouches. I might stand a chance against the three-year-olds...
Close-fought all the way.
Ok, back to the old codgers again. Here's the leader, pretty much in a race of his own by the end of Wolvern's Lane. In fact, I nearly missed him because I was chatting to somebody and not expecting any runners just yet.
A rather fetching little floral camouflage number, perfect for the woods.
And there's our leader heading back just as Amanda appears. Darn, she'd like to be at least past the pub at the end of the lane before meeting him.
Leith Hill Tower in the background, and just another hundred metres to the turnaround point where she was marshalling last year.
This gesture means "Look at the beautiful view!" (I asked). And keep half an eye on the woman in the green top for later.
Here's Nigel, not enjoying the steps up to The Nower. This is everybody's OMG point, a really tough little section in the very last mile.
And that's why he's carried those poles around with him!
Ok, this guy is deliberately hamming it up for the camera, but there's plenty not so far from doing it for real.
But of course, trail runners are the kind of crazy masochists who enjoy the pain.
Revel in it, even!
Amanda's smiling again too.
I had to tell her sorry, only Amanda gets a kiss at the top, and she's wondering how she'll ever summon up the energy for the rest of the climb now there's no incentive.
That's it, no more hills! Just a little bit of gentle undulation and then it's downhill all the way to the line.
But what's this? Our lady in green is about to pip Amanda at the post! Where did that come from?
In theory I had a shortcut which would get me to the line before Amanda. This theory needs revision. I may have to learn to run faster.
Amanda's LHH PW, but full respect to the winner, Nathanael Booker, in the excellent time of 1:26:23.
We planned to go for a walk in the woods afterwards, but the weather starts to close in, so just a quick pose with the goodies.
And while Amanda's not a beer drinker, she knows a man who is, so the glass will not go to waste!
And thus I bid you all adieu until the next race.