Sunday morning, 7am and I’m driving to Marazion Station House to help marshall the BBC Sports Relief 2008 – is there ever a chance of a lie in when you get into this running lark? If you aint racing you’re either training, coaching, ferrying your kids to races or marshalling! At least it wasn’t raining, however the wind chill when I got out of my car could have frozen the *^%$ of a brass monkey and even my T shirt, Jacket and another jacket on top wouldn’t keep the icy wind out – but the final layer of an official Sports Relief T Shirt did the trick even tho’, along with everyone else, I looked like the Michelin Man.
More and more club members were arriving and so we turned our hand to erecting the official Sports Relief banner, moving 500 goody bags, 500 bottles of water erecting a small stage – things were taking shape -Ian sneaked off to have brief live interview with Dennis from the BBC Cornwall Radio show whilst the reat of us busied ourselves further
Sue asked me to head off down the course with a handfull of marshalls, spray paint (temporary paint I may add) tape, cable ties and signs. I issued several people with walkie talkies that I’d brought along – Geoff Cole – BAD MISTAKE! _ I don’t think he was taking things seriously as all we could get from him was ‘this is Black Dog to Black Dog leader’!!! but he seemed happy enough and I didn’t want to spoil his fun – he’d know all about dog later!
Consulting my risk assessment and Sues list of hazards and turn points we progressed down the course merrily spraying orange paint on paths, rocks and basically anything that didn’t move – yes even the dog *&^%!! We sprayed an orange circle around each lump to assist a follow up crew who were closely following on pooper scooper duty – i.e. Geoff C or should we say ‘Black Dog’ Geoof had great delight into going into great detail about how big he thought some of these animals might have been and what food their owners fed them!
I had trouble in persuading Delia where the 1 and 4 mile markers were to be placed, and at one stage I was even baffled, but I finally got my way – the cold was certainly beginning to affect lateral thinking, as by this John P, obviously had never attempted to wrap hazard tape around a bollard in the wind before, in fact I don’t think he’s done it without wind, or even possibly never seen hazard tape…..or even bollard?!? We all stood back and watched John struggle to get the hang of it, a contender for the MBH Bummer of the Year Award for sure – eventually he adopted a successful method and this seemed to spur him on as 10 minutes later and god knows how many layers of hazard tape got wrapped around, we were ready to move on.
As we approached where I thought the one and a half mile turn around point was I radioed back to confirm, all I got was crackle crackle crackle then……….this is Black Dog, go ahead Black Dog leader – bloody hell!!! it’s GC coming along behind with his pooper scooper!
Back at the starting area, the Caribean sounds of Hammered Steal quietened a little for Sue to do a massive warm up aerobics session before the off – it was a real carnival atmosphere – we were ready to start the first race 1 mile
All marked out, signed up, painted poops – we were ready and all headed towards our allotted positions, mine being next to the life guards station about 200m from the start – approaching my position out jumps Geoff pooper scooper spatula in hand just as the first one mile race started – you would have thought it was a 100m sprint by the speed some of the kids took off…………..they’ll learn (and they did!)
I walked up to the start with my orange paint and proceeded to spray a nice bright line to indicate the start and finish line – from now on, this moment on, for the rest of the event this would become the focus of attention of many people – In particular Nancy, who was watching me deal with small boys who seemed hell bent on rubbing it out – after bollocking the little lads I preceeded to guard this line with my life – for those runners out there, you know how important it is to see the finish line! – Nancy and Ian found great amusement in this and gradually more and more jumped on the band wagon to wipe out my line – ‘crackle crackle ‘Black Dog to Black Dog leader – OK that’s it I thought I can’t take anymore and sneaked off for a quick pint!! but I’m pleased to say my finish line it remained right till the end.
After the 3 events were over, of which special mention has to go to Viv M, MBH Head Coach who ‘nearly’ came home first in the 6 miler but he was beaten by a girl! (it was Zelah, not fully back to fitness yet as she only just given birth 11 weeks ago!) The marshalls did their bit by jogging the 3 miles – John P and me ….jogging…?!?!? I don’t think so – we are both far too competative for that – we did jog….. for the first 100m or so, then the testorone kicked in away we went – I managed to hang onto him for 2 miles but he pulled away in the last mile, both us over 50s putting in around an 18 minute run!! Gentle jog my bum!
The marshalls, those who could make, met up in the evening for a chinese and even this seemed to turn into a competition to see who could eat the most – we had opted for the ‘as much as you can eat buffet’ at the New Hong Kong in Penzance – I actually had the lead for most of the night but Graham S came up fast at the end and again Jeremy M amazed us all by cheating and demolishing a huge mound of ice cream.
So that’s about it, a good day, a good event, a good evening, thanks to all those who helped out, organising, marshalling, running and just turning out – we’ll do it all again in 2 years!! 420 entered and ran – look out in the Cornishman for the reports.
(click on the thumbnails below to view a larger version of each pic)