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15/09/2016

Taming the Bacchus

by Giles Cooper (Head of Marketing & PR)

We Did It!

On Sunday, the BI Winers team took on the mighty Bacchus Half-Marathon. The really important bit is that everyone finished the race and all within 3 hours. The weather gods smiled on us and the nearly 1400 other runners, and we were delivered of a beautiful bright, sunny but not too hot day – ideal for running. 

BI Bacchus Half-Marathon Team with medals

A serene early meet and pep talk from UK Sales Director, cheerleader-in-chief and official photographer David Thomas (whose wife Hannah had unwittingly been entered into the race by her loving husband a few months before) preceded plenty of hydration and a little light stretching. At 10:35 we were off.

BI Team Leader and hot favourite for a top 10 finish Sebastian Rowe had wriggled his way to the front of the horde and got away well, whilst the other BI Winers started together but soon broke off; some in search of clear track towards the front of the pack and others smartly preserving energy for what was to come. The race was on.

Throughout the course there are multiple water stops which facilitated the consumption of Denbies’ vinous treats – whilst many runners took full advantage of this, the BI Winers were entirely abstemious, such was their determination to post the best times possible, only water – along with a few gels and energy sweets – passed their lips.

All was going well and everyone was in at least a modicum of control – until the arrival of the race’s key feature – Ranmore Common. Specifically, running up the side of the North Downs. This particular section of the race comes at around mile eight and consists of two solid, steep miles uphill with absolutely no let up. It was this climb that really took its toll.

At the peak, we were afforded the most incredible views and the blessed relief of a period running through cool, shady woodland for around a mile before turning back towards the winery and a most beneficial two-mile downhill stretch to home. This enabled those with any strength left to open their legs and go for it, taking vital minutes off their finishing time. The sight of the car park and buildings down below, accompanied by the roar of the crowd cheering home the first runners in, provided that last rush of adrenaline to see us over the line.

Rowe’s exceptional skill and ruthless training regime – not to mention a perfectly executed race – saw him finish in a stunning 6th place overall with a time most of us could only dream of – 1hr 31:21.

BI Bacchus Half Marathon Seb Rowe with celebratory Krug

The rest of us followed across the finish with David Thomas generously providing a magnum of Krug for the team to enjoy as we gathered one by one having crossed the line and collected our medals. Basking in both glory and the noonday sun, with a hog roast and a glass of Krug, life felt pretty sweet.

Huge congratulations to all the runners – in particular the magnificent BI Winers who not only achieved such great results, but also raised (at time of writing) a fantastic £1905 from our £2000 target for The Benevolent and The Sick Children’s Trust. With the sponsorship page open for another month there should be no reason why we can’t smash through this target.

Big thanks also to Gary Boom and BI for supporting the team with our entries into this race.