Some people may know that I was in charge of the marshals at this event yesterday. It’s tough being a frustrated (non)-runner, especially as I had an entry, paid for back when I was optimistic enough to think this would be a short-term injury layoff. However, apart from a brief moment of tearfulness as I watched everyone lining up to take the start that meant I had to cycle off to the infield to sob on my own, I really enjoyed my day. The marshals all turned up, I got them kitted out in jackets, hi-viz vests, and gloves, distributed their maps, made sure they all had their lunch bags, and sent them off to their posts with my phone number in case they needed anything. Then I cycled down to the first corner where the plan was that all those marshals on the perimeter road would spend the first ten-fifteen minutes to stop people cutting the corner and thus cheating. From there I headed to the 4 mile mark and spent some time there cheering on the runners, and rescuing one of the wheelchair athletes who’d picked up a puncture and needed to get back to the startline area. That was interesting as we had to get him across the track in the middle of the main pack of runners… After only the stragglers were left I went back to the first post, which was now the last one before the finish and cheered on the flagging runners by yelling at them that there was only half a mile left and I KNEW they could do that. I did spend some time with the St. John’s guys after I got calls that there was a runner down around the 8 mile mark and another about a mile further on, which got a bit complicated mostly because the ambulance guys had a differenr map to the one I had. Anyway around 3.30 I finally left after a chat with one of the wheelchair athletes in the car park.
Result: a new red jacket, a case of sunburn (because my god it was hot out there) and a lost voice. Next year I hope to be running it again, but I enjoyed my day enormously and have nothing but admiration for anyone who managed to finish in those conditions, including the nutter dressed as a radio mast!