A wine-tasting tour doesn’t usually involve breaking into a sweat, but when you have to run a couple of miles in between each sip -- in fancy-dress no less -- it becomes a different prospect..
Nine women from Gade Valley Harriers discovered this on Sunday when they took part in the Surrey Bacchus Marathon, half-marathon and 10k event, which included a visit to England’s largest vineyard.
Starting in the heart of the North Downs at the Denbies vineyard, the participants were given the chance to sample up to six different wines while being accompanied by bands playing rousing music at various intervals on a hilly, off-road course around stunning Surrey countryside.
The backdrop was breath-taking views of the Mole Valley and Ranmore Common.
Seasoned marathoners Susie Ivin and Teresa Reason didn’t bottle doing the full 26.2-mile distance event and, dressed as Batgirl and Robin, crossed the finish line together in 5:14:38.
Kirstie Hardiman, aka Winnie the Pooh, along with nurse Holly Beckett, Mary McCluskey in full a full Baywatch outfit and Wonderwoman Angeline Cottrill decided to wine-d it down slightly by taking part in the half-marathon and finished in 3:32:00.
Helen Terry and Joanna Kidd thought breakfast was best before wine, so paired up as a bacon-and-egg costumed duo, completing the 10km course in 1:19:08, ahead of Claire Pellett, who dressed up with a Batgirl theme and crossed the line in 1:29:25.
Several Harriers completed races earlier in the week, with a couple managing multiple events.
Dave Goodman participated in the latest instalment of the Chase the Sun 10k series, this time at Clapham Common in South London on Wednesday evening.
He crossed the line in around 42:19.
He then went on to pick-up a personal best (PB) at the Run Through Victoria Park half-marathon in East London on Saturday in a time of 1:27:14, before wrapping up his weekend with the Rough Runner gladiator-style assault course on Sunday.
Phil Mercer competed in the monthly Ealing Mile event in west London on Friday for the second successive month and beat his previous time to pick up a PB of 5:45.
On Saturday Mercer ran his first 15km race at the Conquer Crystal Palace event in South London, clocking 1:11:19.
Last Wednesday Em Coady and Katie Hogendoorn took part in the Silverstone 10k event.
Coady completing the two-lap course around the Northants motor-racing circuit, which hosts the British Formula 1 Grand Prix, in 59:58, while Hogendoorn picked up a PB in a time of 61:22.
On Saturday Peter Tucker completed his 100th ParkRun, the weekly, timed 5km events which takes place in parks across the country.
He finished the undulating, multi-terrain course at Cassiobury Park, Watford, in 31:45.
Kim Morgan picked up a PB at the same event in 24:02.