Spent a (mostly) enjoyable day on Wednesday helping with various tasks at the annual Otley 10 mile road race which attracted about 400 runners this year - the most for at least ten years.
Myself and a small team of volunteers began at 10.00am by putting up lots of signs around the race HQ (Otley Cricket Club). Stuff such as 'car park', 'late entries', 'first aid', etc. Then we set up the finishing funnel and marked out the running route around the edge of the cricket pitch before getting organised for the afternoon's task. Colin Best also drove around the course putting up lots of 'caution runners' signs.
At 4.00pm we reassembled to begin the task given to us this year by West Yorkshire Police. We had to erect a temporary barrier along Pool Road so that runners had no choice but to use the footpath (not the actual road) for the first 1.3 miles of the race (2.1 km). As we were doing this Tom Hannah drove around the course putting out the mile markers and one or two other signs. This has to done fairly late because, in the past, some have been known to go missing.
That took about 90 minutes and afterwards I hurried home for a snack only to realise I had lost my house key. Shit - I knew where it was - in the grass verge somewhere along Pool Road !!! I also knew that it would take many hours to search for it properly so I just accepted it was lost for good and was thankful that if it was ever found there was no way it could be traced to my house.
6.20pm - time for the evening shift. Began by giving out marshals high visibility clothing and explaining where they were expected to be, at what time, and what their duties were. The latter varies with location of course. After the race my job was to help Hugh Pearson write down the race numbers of every finisher - strictly in finishing order. Not easy when two finishers didn't have numbers and a third had the number on her back.
Overall it was an enjoyable way to spend a day. It is a good exercise for all runners for only then can we truly appreciate the effort that goes into staging even a small road race. Colin Best has been race director for a few years now and he deserves much credit ... especially organising the 40 + marshals that are needed. Well done to him.
Apart from all that I managed to fit in a short run of my own early in the morning and some strength training early in the afternoon. So, a good day all round then.