On paper, the Bookham 10k should be a nice easy stress free introduction to the new year of events at Events to Live Towers. And so it was until the website exploded about ten days before the event.
With frantic phone calls and lots of typing we managed to get it back online with just hours to spare phew! But it did lead to many sleepless nights in the week leading up Bookham. The new website is still not without 'issues', we are working on these and will get it sorted, so I apologise for the typos etc in the interim.
The excitement continued all the way to Saturday with a local newspaper twitter feed announcing the end of the world in Surrey because of the falling and imminent snow fall. Actually, although prone to exaggeration to feed a news 'story' the reality was hitting us in the face in big, cold white flurries as we came out of Banstead pool early Saturday morning.
When Alan rang later that morning saying he couldn't get the van up to the lock up because of the snow we feared the worst and once again referred to the beeb weather site for reassurance. It was there in the prospect of heavy rain for most of us which should clear the snow but with more snow forecast and our head marshal (plus quite a few of her volunteers) stranded in Caterham. We were in the worst possible situation. Not enough prospect to cancel the event outright there and then, and knowing we would have to enforce our contingency plans unless things dramatically changed.
We sat up all night looking out of the window waiting for the forecast snow. By 5am, we had not received any at all in Ashtead but since we tend to sit in a protected valley there, that's not unusual. We would need to make the trip to Bookham to check the situation.
Head marshal, Tracy, text us just after 5am saying she was still stranded and continued to update us with marshals cancelling as they were in the same situation.
When we got to Bookham, the roads were clear and miraculously ice free. The parking was ok so yay, the event would go ahead. Now we just needed to make sure we had enough marshals.
A plea went out via Twitter and Facebook for help, and Penny and I stepped into Tracy's role and started prioritising marshal points. We also started calling and messaging everyone we knew who was running but would potentially step into a marshal role if required. We are blessed with very patient friends.
In the end we managed to fill all posts and more and despite the freezing weather, they all looked really happy to be there. Thank you to everyone who turned up, you have no idea how grateful we were.
Once that was sorted it was down to the business of the day. A quick and slightly bizarre briefing from Alan before Dr Rob (for more fab events in the Mole Valley check out www.trionium.com) led us in the national anthem and started the race before joining in.
The race went off really well and after the frustrations of the preceding few days we were relieved to see lots of happy, smiling faces coming back into the finish line.
With congratulations to Dorking and Mole Valley for taking the mob trophy (in memory of Robert Wyld) in convincing fashion and all of our race and age group winners.
As always, we have many people to thank for without whom, the race would not go ahead. Firstly, Powerbar UK for your race nutrition; Run to Live running shop (our retail partner); Laurie King for the t-shirt design; Girlguiding Surrey (East) for your brilliant marshals; Fine Fettle Multi-Healthcare for your post race massage and the members of the Run to Live running club for answering our last minute plea.
The next event is the Surrey Spitfire 20 and Tempest 10 at Dunsfold Aerodrome on Sunday 29th March. We hope to see you there.