Sunday, 27 May 2012

Summer Sun & Supernun!

Summer Base, Woodhouse Grove
With training in full swing from our Summer base it seems we have, at last, been graced with some Summer weather to go with it.  Does that stop us moaning, no it does not, we think it makes it ok when we follow our cursing sentences about how hot it is with 'we shouldn't moan'!! By jove it has been rather hot for running this last few days - not that it put all of us off, for me at least, it makes it a real pleasure to turn out.  Even for a hilly YVAA grand prix race.  Hosts, Kirkstall struggled to get all the runners registered.  I had struggled to get there, not leaving work until 6pm on the total opposite side of town, we arrived in the car park to find it full from end to end.  After a heated debate with the other half  he dropped me where he thought I needed to be to register and drove off to find somewhere to park.  I soon found I wasn't in the correct place but several phone calls later I found a large throng of people and a very large queue to pay our dues.  I stood in line for quite some time feeling agitated when eventually those all ready registered were ushered inside to the front. The sun, it seemed, had enticed lots more runners out who had made their decision to run so late they couldn't register in advance.

The delay was welcome in more ways than one, firstly it was getting later meaning it cooled slightly, not enough to make the hills any easier but still marginally cooler than it had been earlier in the day, also giving me time to de-stress! The club fielded teams for both the Ladies and Men, and extras too which was great! Finishing times for Team ERR ranged from 39 to 76 minutes, mine though remains a mystery as I was missed off the results all together but I'm somewhere in the middle at a guess.  Even more annoying than the time I was given someone else's slower time than my own and vice versa, for the Horsforth 10k - on this occasion I hadn't even run! I've emailed the host club and they are currently 'looking for me'!! Hope they find me soon I have another YVAA race in Bingley on Tuesday!

Nun on the run!
An 'Olympichero parkrun' at Leeds Hyde Park finished off a busy week - having saved my nun get up from Sophie's hen do back in December I decided 'Supernun' might be an easy enough character to create.  How wrong was I, as per usual I left it until the last minute to get it done, fabric paint would be easy enough to come by and I could paint a Superman 'S' on my black t-shirt, don black shorts, socks and paint Olympic rings of differing colours so as not to infringe that all important copyright on my bib.  Wrong! I couldn't find any fabric paint in any of the places I visited so at midnight on Friday night I finally purchased t-shirt printing paper and some permanent markers would do to draw the Olympic rings.  It didn't turn out quite as I'd imagined but hey at least I entered into the spirit of things which is more than I can say for the majority of people there!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The shandy man!

So after what seems like an age but is actually only 11 days, life it seems must return to 'normal'.  But normal it will never be because we won't have Arthur joining us for his usual cup of tea on Monday's, or coming to the club's speed and hills session or gracing Bradford parkrun with his usual gusto each Saturday.  I don't know how we will ever return to normal but what I do know is that Arthur wouldn't have wanted us to sit around moping. His is the only funeral I have ever attended wearing running gear and where I smiled when the hearse came into view, carrying his coffin draped with the parkrun banner Linda had made for his 100th run and proudly sat on top of that, his trainers, not a single flower in sight! One of a few requests Arthur had left in his list of wishes for his family and amongst them was no flowers and a big bowl of bitter shandy at his wake for his friends and family to partake in his honour.  He was a real shandy man! Also he often talked about how nice it would be for everyone at his funeral to wear one of the many running t-shirts he had earned over the years. Quite a few of us fulfilled that wish too - you have a lot to answer for Arthur James making us stand there in over sized running t-shirts and what did I end up with 'Eccleshill Tough 10k 2009'!

So we will keep him in our hearts and hopefully the tributes we have paid to him will keep his memory alive for years to come and in the future his motto will help us through many a tough training run or race..... 'run because you can'. 

With the John Carr 5k series over for another year we can now get back to regular three nightly training - for me it's been a mixture of feelings, some that I'm all out of routine which I hate, I'm a real creature of habit but on the other hand the runs we have done as a whole club have been fantastic not only because they paid tribute to Arthur but also because it really does demonstrate the ability of the running community to pull together in times of need. It was a very proud moment when Eccleshill came together and other clubs supported us in our efforts to honour a truly inspirational member of our club.
Kim James leads Eccleshill to the finish

Team ERR at John Carr Race 3 in tribute to Arthur

Monday, 7 May 2012

My dearly loved friend Arthur

It's with a heavy heart that I write this week as following a pleasant weeks training and racing we find out that we have lost a valued member and for me a treasured friend.  No more will Arthur James grace us with his presence at work each Monday as he calls for his weekly cuppa and chat outside of  our club meet ups. Following a bright and breezy run at parkrun on Saturday at which he was proudly presented his 100 run tee shirt and jacket, I learned of his untimely death.  It seems he retired to bed on Saturday night and never woke. I actually feel - as I guess a lot of people who knew him do - like I've lost a family member.

I'm sure we at Eccleshill Road Runners will keep his memory alive in more ways than one over the coming weeks, months and years.

Rest In Peace my dear friend, the world will be a much duller place without you to brighten our days, til we meet again..........

A week in pictures

Proud of his banner

Abseiling down Culture Fusion

At Saturday's parkrun 

At Wednesday's John Carr Race
Saturday's parkrun,Tricia's 50th