The Bacchus Half Marathon is a race inspired by the Marathon du Medoc, with an emphasis on fun. The start and finish are located to the front of the main building at Denbies Wineries and consists of two loops for the full marathon which starts at 10am and the half at 11am, which of course, is just the one loop.
The route is fully marshalled, beginning by running round the beautiful vineyards of the Denbies Estate, before heading to Dorking. Dropping onto the A25 for a while, before following the Pilgrims Way up to the top of Ranmore (the only big climb in the loop). Once at the top you drop down onto the North Downs Way, for a glorious descent back to Denbies. A multi terrain route, with woodland, grassland and areas of farmland, with what I thought was the best finish ever, approximately one mile downhill. The scenery was amazing, had to stop and look several times.
This is not a race for PB’s, a very relaxed atmosphere with a good many of the field in a variety of fancy dress costumes. A lot of runners stopping at the water and food stations, for wine (a different one at each station) water, sweets, Powerbar gels, fruit, crisps and biscuits. What a choice! The time limit for the half is seven hours, to enable runners or walkers to enjoy the atmosphere. Also, there were three or four bands en route, at the top of Ranmore a samba band, so I wasted several minutes there, even a set of bell ringers at one station.
This is quite an expensive run, but with a great medal and T shirt, plus your free BBQ and a glass of wine or a beer at the finish I thought it was well worth it. Definitely on my calendar again for next year, a superb day. It is very well subscribed, so enter early as it closes when the limit is reached.