Monday, 10 October 2016

10 years Anniversary for PETTS WOOD RUNNERS!

Hello blog lovers!
Me and Woody!

Well what a day it was on Sunday 9th October!  Just an amazing day!  I get so excited about my club's Petts Wood Runners 10k event even though I am not running in it!  Just being part of a fantastic organisation is just brilliant!  I was due at the rec for 8:30 and my lovely hubby the Old Boy dropped me off.  There was already so much happening, gazebos put up, tents put up, the start/finish arch in position!  Everything going like clockwork!

The team leaders with their team around them briefing them before they go out to their positions on the course.  Here is a picture of  us listening to Hels, our Rec Team Leader

Marques for information,
the pub, St. Christopers and
the Higgs BBQ
The 'put up' team were still busy putting things up, Sarah and Barry from OINT (One Inn The Wood) were busy setting up the Beer Tent, a most welcomed attraction,  here for a third year!  There was the St. Christophers tent, Higgs tent, for all those bacon and sausage rolls!  Everything was coming together just perfectly.  We even had a PWR information tent too!

I don't think we have missed out anything this year.......oh and of course the local band were also playing  The Dirty Perks.

We have our mascots busy dancing and playing with the people that were milling about, Woody, Woodina and introducing Woodetta, the latest member of the Woody the gorillas family!  So after the briefing we all went on our way to our posts.  Some were car park and port-a-loo marshals others were 'keep the path clear' marshals while others were on ladies loo duties!  Me and ZippySherry were on rubbish duties, tea duties making sure our marshals are well supplied for tea and to fill in where its needed!  Love this job!  I am on the rec watching the start, witnessing the finish, and joining in all the fun during the race!  Are you supposed to have so much fun volunteering? Here is a picture of Emma Doyle doing her warm up, with the Gorilla family helping out!

Emma and the Gorilla Family!

After making sure there are bins strategically placed all around the green, getting teas and coffees for the baggage ladies, or as Wendimoo likes to call themselves the bag-ladies!.  I checked in to the female changing, just to make sure things were going 'down' smoothly!  And there I found another job, bucket duty!  What is it about races, that as soon as you get your number you need to pee......and then continue to want to pee until the end of the race! I know that is how it is with me!  But sometimes the 'cisterns' can't quite keep up with demand!  So bucket lady I became for a few minutes!  Then I was back on duty with the rubbish.

I looked at my watch and it was 10:15, I then met up with J.J. and Kirsty, ready to do one more thing.  At our club we like to have local heroes to be the official starters of our race.  We had the The Running Man in 2013, the wettest 10k we ever had!  I believe last year we had June, the local Lollipop lady, who has been safely seeing children over the road for years!  And this year, well its Kirsty and me!  Kirsty Bygraves (yes, she is related to the Max) is a lovely young lady.  She is 22 years old, and back in her younger days at school she used to like playing football! I know......she's a girl.....playing football......I still struggle with the whole offside rule........and no, I don't think I want another explanation!  Anyway, she has had to give up her football, her lungs won't allow her to doing anything like that anymore.  Kirsty has Cystic Fibrosis, an incurable life shortening disease.  So, she does what she can to raise awareness for this disease and to raise funds for St. Christophers Hospice, who are now part of her care team, and of course Petts Wood 10k raises money for St Christophers, and so far, not including yesterday, we have raise over £43,000 pounds since we started 10 years ago!  I also had the honour to be able to stand next to Kirsty, to say the countdown with her.  I had that honour because of what my running club had done earlier this year, they had voted me for the Members award.  What an honour, felt so humbled and proud at that moment!

Me and Kirsty!

Three, two, one.......Kirsty pushed the klaxon and the first wave of runners went through!  we had several 'pens' and to ease congestion going though the gate we sent them off in waves, and it went totally smoothly!  Kirsty and me cheering from the little stage, watching as all 837 runners ran past us!  There just seemed so many of them, they just kept on coming!  This is one of the best 10ks around, it keeps getting voted in the runners world, with 100% of the runners saying they would do it again!

Once all the runners had gone it was time for the next race, the childrens race!  There seemed to be so many kids!  The Gorillas, Woody, Woodina and Woodetter were at the start lines to cheer.....or chase after them in their races.  I was on hand to hand out the chocolate medals to all who passed over the line!  Let me tell you, there are some extremely fast little runners, I reckon there could be some future Olympians among them!

Future Olympian!

After that it was all change!  The tapes came down, tables were laid near the finish funnel and bananas water and tee-shirts were laid out ready for when the runners come back. Oh, and of course, a speciality of PWR, Samosas from the local Raj Doot!    We didn't have long to wait, because the first of the runners, Alistair Locke, was back 36.01 minutes after he left!  That's an incredible speed!  the first lady back was Jessica Keene in 38:49 minutes!  Simply amazing!  Then there was a steady flow of runners coming in after that.
The finishers tables
And for this year only
The finishers 10th
anniversary tee-shirt!

The last runner was simply amazing, it brought tears to many an eye as over the loud speaker came "Lets give a huge cheer for Louise ably guided by Jerry"  Yes, Louise is PWR 10k's first blind runner and our very own Mr.S was guiding her around the course!
Louse and Mr. S.

Simply amazing!  I was just totally speechless!  What a feat, negotiating the woods, with roots, holes, stones.....hills......and with Mr.S no doubt cracking his jokes!  Oh I do miss Mr.S in our group.  I shall have to get him to come and say hi to us all in group 1.

After all the awards and prizes were given, the people slowly disappeared, the beer kegs were slowly emptied, the bacon all gone, cakes from the St Christophers tent were eaten, it was times for the take down.  Again this worked like clock work!   The take down team came along ready to do their bit.  Folding, unscrewing, packing, washing, sweeping, rubbish thrown into the rubbish van.  Once it was all done you wouldn't have thought there were well over a thousand people had been through that rec!  All was clean, calm and spookily quiet!  And then......everyone went down to the pub, O.I.T.W. to have a celebratory drink!

Fabulous event, I would recommend this race to anyone!  If you have time go look at the reviews on Runners World.  Oh, just one other thing!  Us marshals and volunteers were all give these fantastic buffs!  How cool is that!  Here's to next year!  Cheers all!


Second and last four photos curtesy of Kevin

And this brilliant video taken by our own PhysioMike