Morning Harriers! I know one or two of you haven't been receiving updates since the end of August so I'm doing this as a bit of test post to see if I can fix the problem. I can see from the website stats who does and who doesn't receive our updates by email. I'm no techie guru so can't promise to fix it if you've dropped off a cliff but I'll have a go. The test also gives me the chance to pass comment on the gradual return of events.
You'll all know that parkrun are looking into making a comeback towards the end of October. This is far from guaranteed and there's plenty of work going on behind the scenes to make sure not just the authorities but that all participants and stakeholders are behind the plans that, as you would expect, are very focussed on the safety of all involved. We will all have our own opinions on what should or what shouldn't happen and how this may be impacted by tightened restrictions through local lockdowns. Watch this space and let's hope we get back to our local parkrun events soon.
In the meantime some events are starting to happen. It's no surprise that these are smaller events, typically taking place on the trails where it's much easier to social distance compared to thousands of people taking to the streets of Leeds in the Abbey Dash for example. I honestly can't see how city centre events can return any time soon but that's just my opinion.
I was fortunate to take part in the Yorkshireman Marathon last Sunday in the hills around Haworth. There were a number of COVID measures in place and these all had to be agreed beforehand with the respective local authority and all relevant local stakeholders. The finish for example was in a primary school car park. Start times were staggered with small groups setting off with 6 minute gaps inbetween. Expect this to continue with part of your race booking process being to remember to book your start slot.
The checkpoints were also different to what we have come to expect. Yes there was still a crowd of hugely cheerful volunteers there to greet us and encourage us on our way but gone are the days of grabbing handfuls of jelly babies, haribos, flapjacks and whatever else you can get your hands on. I'm a fan of a pork pie myself! Instead, marshals were on hand to pass provisions to us and pour water into our drinks containers.
Many requests were made in the weeks leading up to the event not to turn up if you were displaying COVID symptoms. I imagine this might be the hardest one to manage. parkrun will also make this request and what will you do when you wake on a Saturday morning with a sniffle and a cough, only two runs short of your 100th parkrun? The answer, I hope, is to do the right thing and stay away. parkrun is important but it's not that important.
The other frequent request was to make sure we were ultra friendly to anyone we saw en route. That's standard I would suggest for a Postal Harrier. Don't give anyone a chance to complain about an event taking place that they might not agree with. A friendly smile and we are on our way.
All passed off without incident in the end. The event organiser was superb, a mix of serious intent and humour. He deserved his solid stint in the local pub afterwards. You trail marathoners out there should keep an eye on this event next year, it's a beauty.
So that's event one out of the way and no ill effects other than some tender quads. On to the Hardmoors this weekend, another absolutely gem of an event along a pretty decent section of the beautiful Cleveland Way with another pair of event organisers who have worked tirelessly to make this event happen. Just don't ask them if a buff is a hat (Jo, Dee and Dave you will know exactly what I mean).
If your favourite events aren't happening just yet, don't panic. I'm sure Coach's Whitby & Penty have lots in store to keep you in tip top shape ready for the return.