Race Day at Epsom
Epsom racecourse! Images of highly sprung thoroughbreds, elegantly dressed ladies and the excited hum of an expectant crowd spring to mind. Not on the 25th January 2009 when it hosted the 10th running of the 2000 Perch – just me, women wearing many layers of running gear to protect against the driving rain and the only ‘hum’ was that of embrocation and Deep Heat! After 12 hours of heavy rain, the going was officially soft.
The bell sounded and we reluctantly left the
comfort of the Jockeys changing room for the start. Under starters’ orders and
at 10:30 –they’re off – and 600 hardy runners started the first (of many)
climbs up towards the
Yet another long, nasty climb takes us back to the racecourse (Epsom Downs – I only saw Epsom Ups!) and the last stretch beckons. Past a sign informing ‘Downhill from here’ to another climb with a sign saying ‘Apart from this bit’. One last (muddy) climb to the finish and into the Unsaddling Enclosure to collect the prizes (tee-shirt) before trotting off for a quick rub down.
Why 2000 perch – a Perch is an old measure equating to 5.5 yards and 2000 of them is a touch over 10K.