Disaster! The electricity supply failed, the tea was cold, t-shirts and medals failed to arrive, the portaloos overflowed, the doughnuts were mouldy, it threw it down with rain before the race, hardly anyone turned up and 20 runners went the wrong way … these were some of the nightmare scenarios that kept me awake in the week before the race, my first as a Race Director.
Thankfully, none of this came to pass, apart from a minor drama with the electricity, solved valiantly by Martin. The sun shone from a clear blue sky, the Shobdon Wood course was breathtakingly beautiful, carpeted in perfumed acres of shimmering bluebells and after an exceptionally dry April, the tracks and trails through the woods were in optimum condition.
The aim for any event organiser is to be a swan, gliding serenely over the water while paddling furiously underneath. The experienced team of volunteers from Croft Ambrey RC, who have presented this race now for around 17 years, were indeed a ‘bevy’ of swans (I’ve just looked up the collective noun), the race passed beautifully and wonderfully positive feedback has been received from competitors, such as this: “Everything about the race was outstanding; from the online entry process through to the finish line and beyond – brilliant organisation and support, fabulous course (despite the cruel climbs!), excellent refreshments and a high quality t-shirt. You even managed to organise perfect weather!” Such comments make it all worthwhile.
The only slight disappointment was that the field of 115 finishers was 24 down on last year, with fewer entries on the day, rather strange, given the lovely spring weather. Nonetheless, the event was a great success and a great advert for the club. A huge tribute to the dedicated team of Croft organisers and volunteers of whom the Race Director was just the figurehead.