The life of a Race Director..

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The easy part..

Whilst I am predominantly a trail runner, I do my weekly runs on the road. For this reason I joined a running club in 2015 in order to find a safe place to run. I decided to join Randburg Harriers which was the nearest to me. I had no idea what it meant to be a part of a running club but have been thoroughly educated ever since. Joining Randburg Harriers has been one of the best decisions of my life. I have made such amazing friends and met such interesting people. The first road race I ran with a license was the epic Randburg Harriers Valentine’s Night Race for which I had to get permission to run and helped with the set up (members are encouraged to volunteer at club races). This planted the seed.

Inevitably because I can’t keep quiet and because I can’t ever say no, I ended up joining the club committee in 2016. In 2017 I became the Race Director for the club. So every year I now organize with the able assistance of an amazing race committee the very same Valentine’s Night Race and the Adrienne Hersch Challenge.

Let me tell you, race organising is not for sissies. I have now done two years of races and it is seriously hard work. But it is also rewarding. It is very satisfying when everything falls into place and you have a fabulous event. The secret to this is of course team work. Yes I am at the coal face being the director but without a team of committed individuals to support and depend on, it would fail dismally without a doubt. This year I had an amazing team and they made my life infinitely easier.

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My amazing Race Committee (minus three special ladies)

But even with this team, the pressure of making sure everything is going according plan is still huge. I handle it really well during the pre- race stage and actual race day but every year it catches me after the race. Its like coming down from a drug binge (not that I have any idea what that feels like LOL). For the past week it has felt like crawling into a ball and the world swallowing me. What didn’t help is that the beautiful mare who I used to ride before I broke my ankle had to cross the rainbow bridge and whilst she wasn’t mine, she had a very special place in my heart. I will be returning to riding in Dec after “the Race” and will now need to find another special steed who will address my paranoia as well as special Thess did. I am not the bravest horse rider….

Miraculously my running didn’t take too much of a beating with all the race organising. I managed to complete I would say about 85% of my runs which I am happy about. This last weekend was an epic fail however. I started to run on Saturday but the stress I was feeling got the better of me. I was completely stressed out on Sunday with our race helpers run and never got to run myself. I did however do the middle part and managed a quickie. It was also what appeared and felt like the coldest day of the year! I have never been so cold in my life. Thank goodness my race committee decided that an urn would be a good idea! Coffee was the first thing everyone went for when they got back to the club house!! Luckily the race is now a thing of that past and I now have a short reprieve before we start planning for Valentine’s.

In parting, one of my awesome running buddies Dave Funnell recently completed the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) CCC which is 100km. It is hardcore trail running with HUGE elevation and about 25% of the field fell out and never completed the race. It is a dream of mine to go run in the Alps. I don’t think I will ever get to do this epic race (even if I do get qualification points if I finish UTCT LOL), but I need to run on the Alps!

Something that stood out for me in all the conversations about UTMB was when someone said “If we do not try….”. This resonated with me. I keep harping on about how slow I am and how hard getting faster is but I will give myself this much. I will always try. It is something I promised myself when I starting my fitness journey. JUST TRY. I have yet to excel at any sporting activity but I just keep trying. Whilst not being good at it does frustrate me, I just try focus on the positives.

Keep trying…

 

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