Leeds: 8th October 2016
I always take a couple of days rest before a race and this gives me the opportunity to volunteer at Temple Newsam parkrun. On Saturday, I was plunged into the deep-end of being Run Director for the first time, one of the two roles I haven’t done yet. Doing it for the first time, it feelt like quite a big deal, you have to get everyone’s attention and do that speech at the beginnning; you know the sort of thing, thanking the sponsors, volunteers and asking runners not to run-over civilian dog walkers who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time! Then at your sayso, everyone takes their marks and everyone sets-off when you say GO! The thing that gets me though, is that it’s more than that – you are the “go to” person; the last stop definitive answer to all questions, the one person who’s supposed to know what to do if there’s any problem. The fortunate thing is that I was not alone, certainly at Temple Newsam parkrun all the regular volunteers are really supportive and kind. Everyone pretty much knows what they are doing so it’s not as hard as all that. Now what about that other role I’ve not done yet? That’s bar-code scanning and you might think that sounds easy, until I tell the story of one scanner who was repeatedly pressing the “clear” button instead of “scan”. I therefore won’t take anything for granted and will concentrate on the task in hand. After all, how hard can it be?
Sheffield 9th October 2016
Last year my wife did this while I was doing the Brid Half and I was so impressed with the bling, I decided to go with her to the Sheffield Ten 10 Ten this year (Brid is next weekend). This is a little “local” trail race in Sheffield which has an amazing atmosphere which was certainly helped this year by the great weather. Like many races of its type, the start is innocuous enough with some running on the grass of the park followed by a short stretch along the road. Then, it turns off-road and you start running up an extreme grassy slope into the woods. This was like the same 45 degree hands-on-knees climb that characterised the Stainland Trail a few weeks ago. But here’s the difference: after that slope, that was it in terms of serious hill climbing. There were the usual root and stone covered woodland paths, but taking all that into account, it was fairly fast. With Stainland and other trail races I have done, that initial shock-climb has the label “welcome to hell” wareas with this race, the sting was taken out of the trail. It is therefore quite a fast course and I managed go get round in 51 minutes (position 168 out of 987) which for me in a trail race is pretty good going. Finally, check out the medal! This one is stylish, two-sided and weighs in at a hefty 110 grams. Small race, massive medal, well done to Kandoo Events for this one!
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Luke 10:19 NIVUK