Race build up
I’d seen this race advertised and was really up for getting involved as it sounded like fun. It’s organised by ETL Events & takes you around Denbies Wine Estate with wine given to you along the route & fancy dress is encouraged! Sounds amazing right?! I signed up knowing that a few others I know were going to do it too. We were soon in a twitter DM group with quite a few of us doing it. We debated fancy dress ideas & narrowed it down to Bees or Unicorns so we did a poll on @Ukrunchat to decide for us. Unicorns got the majority of the votes so there it was- a ‘blessing’ of Ukrunchat Unicorns would be trotting their way around the wine estate on September 11th.
The DM group has been a lot of fun over the past few months; discussing costume ideas & horn puns all over the place! We were all mega excited to get our costumes on & see everyone.
Race day arrived & the weather was perfect…although perhaps a bit too warm for people with massive costumes. We picked up our race packs upon arrival, it was hilarious to see all the costumes at race registration. It was a little busy but we had plenty of time so it was ok but my one & only comment for improvement for this race would be to put the Surname letters above head height so everyone knows which queue to get into as it was guess work with so many people about.
The atmosphere was great even before the race started. Everyone was happy & enjoying seeing all the wild & fun costumes. All the Unicorns soon met up to catch up and get ourselves ready. It was soon time to head to the start and joined in the warm up which was quite a sight to behold with all the imaginative & fun costumes.
This was to be mainly on trails with 7 pit stops with wine & snacks. Pit stop 5 would ‘dry’ with Dandelion & Burdock or lemonade. Time was not a factor for this run; we were all there to have a good time & enjoy the day….who knew how long it would take to do a half marathon when drinking wine at the pit stops- I certainly didn’t mind & I still don’t know my exact time.
We started the run at steady pace around the vineyard & it felt pretty hot. The 1st stop came quite quickly at about 2 miles in. We all got ourselves a couple of wines (served in small cups before you think we’re crazy alcoholics), I had a slice of orange & some water too & enjoyed a bit of the Morris Dancing while we cooled a little before heading off again.
It’s a really scenic course & it was stunning especially on such a beautiful day. We passed several bemused passers by- it must have been funny stumbling across people in all sorts of costumes running around on a Sunday morning.
The first few stops were different types of white wine. Then the 4th stop had a sparkling wine. Pit stop 4 is the best stop I’ve ever been too- I had to be dragged away. There was a great band that everyone was dancing to so I joined in jumping about to ‘500 miles’. I would have happily stayed there for longer but once the encore was done it was time to trot on.
The last pit stop had red wine with cheese & biscuits which was delightful. I enjoyed a few of each before running on towards the finish feeling a bit full of cheese.
The run to the finish was a fun down hill run & we finished with some great cheering from the crowds. I was given my lovely medal & t-shirt and got some water before heading to get my bag. Everything was done with ease with no big queues at all.
All the Unicorns reunited for some finisher photos & we enjoyed the food & drink with the vouchers we’d been given whilst enjoying the great DJ.
The whole race is quite magnificent. I don’t think there could be a more fun race out there. The ETL Events Bacchus Half Marathon is about all the fun you can have running. Get in fancy dress & run a bit, walk a bit, drink a bit (or a lot), eat a bit, dance a bit & enjoy the fun atmosphere!
I would like to say a massive thank you to all the amazing volunteers- they’re amazing & it can’t have been easy serving wine to that many thirsty runners but they did it with a smile contributing to the awesome atmosphere. Plus the entertainment was fabulous- especially the band at pit stop 4. Also there are lots of fabulous photos from @UKSportPhoto, here’s my favourite:
I am sure I will be back for Bacchus next year- I can certainly see why people go back year after year.
I put together a compilation of memories of the day- Get this on full screen & I hope you enjoy it!
If you fancy running this epic race in 2017 here is the website: ETL Events