Due to missing the Club entry date and not wishing to mess about early trying to find out how to make a late entry, I decided to go and watch! No life-threatening injuries, no abductions by alien spacecraft, no other excuses, just plain idleness!
(To see the START – which Rob missed’ you can view a video on YouTube here.)
I spectated at the 400m point and first along was Andy, looking hardly out of breath. After a while, the rest of the crew gradually
showed up but it was obviously turning out to be a tough one. Quite a few runners came through sporting various degrees of ‘battle damage’ ranging from blood-soaked legs hanging off to a head-to-foot coating of mud! Talking of feet, why did some of our girl runners want me to take pictures of their feet?!
I must say, the HJ ‘school uniform’ makes our runners easy to spot and it also helps that it is fairly unique amongst the other clubs so that inadvertently cheering on the ‘enemy’ is easily avoided! I’m afraid I managed to miss those not wearing the kit as I naively thought all of our fun-run people were thus kitted out – I found out at the finish that that is not the case. Cough up you lot before the Head Mistress gets her hands on you!
It was great to see the massive improvements in some of our runners. First of these was Nikki, running really well. Sue and then Amanda followed interspersed by a lot more club members including a mud-splattered male wreck gasping in a northern accent – answers on a postcard please! Danielle was far too smiley and
cheerful thus obviously not putting enough effort into her running! Joking aside, it demonstrates just how much improvement can be made to both running and general fitness by determination and ‘sticking with it’. This is where the Club ‘spirit’ comes in and the ‘working as a team’ ethos really pays off.
At the finish, THE ONLY CLUB WITHOUT EXCEPTION to have all it’s runners collecting in a mob to cheer in all it’s members was HENFIELD JOGGERS. No one moved off until everyone was in. This speaks volumes about the Club and those who are working hard to build up the team spirit, from designing and ordering kit, arranging social events to encouraging/coaching newcomers and much more besides. The example set by those hanging around in rather uncomfortably damp kit today makes ours a club to be proud to be a member of.
All in all, an excellent turnout and an event that was enjoyed by all despite the mud and generally tough course. Following a poll of runners last year, one of the changes implemented by the organising club, Horsham Joggers, was to increase the course to 5
miles so you know who to thank! Apparently, one of the endearing features of this run is the mud and there were pleas to ensure it remains, the organisers advising entrants to avoid wearing white socks! Tea and cakes were merrily consumed under the puzzled gaze of the smartly-attired church-goers and the sun continued to shine, not just on the righteous! No one could have asked for anything more and I missed it due to being an idle sloth!