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The trial and tribulation of a race organiser

It never gets any easier, but each year as you are collecting in the race tape you know you will be back to do it all next year. I have organised Edale Fell Race for four years now which after two years I had just about managed to get the adults race sorted, I decided to add a junior race. No wonder then as to why it gets no easier! People asked, “Did you run?” “Yes- round and round like a headless chicken!”
Last year we had very cold runners, with quite a few borrowing clothing off the sweeps. So this year I made it compulsory to carry a windproof top. However much we published this, some runners were turning up to the race without a windproof. Do I let them run? The FRA states that runners should turn up to every fell race prepared to carry kit. As the race heads onto Kinder, “Should I make every runner carry full kit, does this keep it simple?”
Surely on a cloudy, cold June day the runner would carry kit if they were going up for a training run, so why is a race any different? I believe in light and fast but you have to be light, fast and safe.
No doubt this will once again be a dilemma for next year, so please pack your windproof at the very least.
The highlight of the day has to be the junior race. An amazing turn out with 58 young runners. I told one person his children would be running round a field, he thought this would be far too tame, think they got a shock when they saw the field. The infamous uphill of last year become the more than infamous downhill this year! Most finished with grin on their faces and some climbed the hill again to have another go running down it! Brilliant to see such great performance from the kids. The overall junior winner started the adult’s race to a big cheer from all.
Some moments make you forget the manic running round and windproof debates!
It is impossible to organise a fell race without the amazing help of the entire marshalling, time keeping, entry and results volunteers. Every year with a week to go I never have enough and wondering what I am going to do but as the week goes on they all appear out of the woodwork. Big thanks to all of them. I have had requests for marshal locations for next year! So if you would like to join the team- book now!
A few learning points for next year-
• Don’t put a marshal on car parking who needs to be on the top of the hill too.
• Make sure you can pronounce the winning ladies name before you have a microphone in your hand.
• As the starter of the junior race, make sure you know where the start is.
• Take enough medals up for the kids (thanks Ruth for running back to get them)
• Above all- trust others- you don’t have to be everywhere.
It was a great day and well worth it everyone’s efforts as £600 raised for the local Edale charities.

About AccelerateDebs

Accelerate Simply, just loves to run. Moans about roads, preferring the mud and slopes of the fells, especially the Peak District.
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2 Responses to The trial and tribulation of a race organiser

  1. John Anthony Ward says:

    I am available to volunteer as a marshal if there is a vacancy.
    John Ward.

  2. John Anthony Ward says:

    Do the British SAS set off over mountains without the proper equipment I think not! If they turn up without a windproof tell them sorry you had prior warning.You don’t run today.