Making it all worth while!
Following on from the fact that the PWR 10k made the top 10 list, this letter was received by our Club Secretary this week.
The success of our event and the opportunity to raise the money for this worthy cause relies on 3 key components.
1) The Race Committee who perform all the behind the scenes work to make sure the event goes ahead.
2) PWR members who do an absolute sterling job of coming together on the day peforming a mutitude of roles.
3) The runners who pay to take part in and run whatever the weather!
Take one of these components away and we do not have an event to raise the money!
So, a huge 'Thank You' to everybody involved in whatever capacity!
6th place but aiming higher!
If you missed this in the Runner's World magazine at the end of last year, the Petts Wood 10k was voted the 6th best 10k in 2013.
Incidentally, it was also voted the BEST 10k in October for the 5th year running.
This is testament to the Race Committee and the members of Petts Wood Runners volunteers who spend a lot of time and effort striving to put on the best event possible.
Last year was a real test as we all spent hours in monsoon conditions, in fact it hasn't really stopped raining since!
PWR would like to thank all those who voted for our event.
This year, we are aiming for a PB and will try to improve on 6th place.
See you on the 12th October!
View From Under An Umbrella
We have received this delightful piece from Copywriter Sara Woodward who is a Petts Wood resident. Sara informs us that she lives in Birchwood (part of the 10k route) and cheers the runners home every year.
Petts Wood 7th 10k Run
View From Under An Umbrella
The Petts Wood 10k run took place on the 13th October, as the leaves were turning yellows, reds and gold.
PW Running Club had been busy planning for the day. Sponsors, security and stewards. Information packs sent and registration forms completed. Seven hundred and fifty runners signed up. Elite runners to those who had never run a 10k, but took up the challenge. They put in the training, pounding pavements and counting down the days.
Refreshments, red and white tape and sound system. Nothing had been left to chance.
Sunday, 13th was the sort of day that prompted Noah to built his ark. A low weather front. Rain lashed winds swept the country. Autumnal winds that made sailors shudder and surfers smile.
The competitors and PW Running Club watched the weather bulletins, sighed, shivered and put away the sun block. Hunted out waterproofs and packed a towel and bin liners.
A day of leaden skies. A day children puddle jumped and race organizers quietly cursed, between marking out the course and hanging signs from lampposts. The competitors arrived, collected their tags and tried to keep dry. They failed.
They took their place at the start line. Elite, honed runners at the front, pensive rookies at the back. Stopwatches checked, tags secured, muscles stretched. The Race Organiser wished them well, urged caution and
they were off. Ahead lay 10K, rain, mud and pain. A rainbow coloured stream of numbered running vests and black bin liners circled the cricket square, where fielders had taken wickets and batsmen had struck elusive sixes in the summer.
Spectators watched under umbrellas and welly wearing children, with rain splashed smiles, jumped in puddles. Forlorn dogs sighed, sat on the wet grass and longed for home. And as the runners broke up into groups and counted down the kilometers, children competed in their own races and claimed their chocolate medals.
The elite runners were the first to exit the wood. Mud splattered they crossed the New Bridge and turned down Birchwood, to the recreation ground. The first runner across the finish line wore a black vest and a quiet smile,
followed by the rest of the field. Some were home and showered before the last person crossed the line.
But it was a race about so much more than who came first and last. It was about all the bits in between.
The Race Organiser and his team. Soggy stewards and course marshals, who encouraged the field, from first to last.Delegation, detail and paperwork. Red tape, counting medals and remembering to buy the biscuits and milk.
It was about the competitors, organizers, spectators, wet dogs and welly wearing children.
It was a jostling start line of numbered running vests. Vibrant yellows, oranges and muted blacks. Waterproofs, trainers and bin liners. Those who had put in the hours and those who had let the hours slip away but were prepared to take on the challenge. For themselves and Harris HospisCare.
It was about the Petts Wood runner, who ran with the children and threw in a few mud dives to entertain the crowds.
It was about Woody the Gorilla, with his fixed grin and enthusiasm and Wendy and Jackie on the tea urn
with their big smiles, soggy feet and biscuits.
It was wet haired Emma on the mike, with her red beret and all the rest of the PW Crew who made it happen and smiled through the rain.
It was about the Spring Boks runner, with his dog called Lucy and little girl with a pink umbrella. They both ran in the rain and took home their medals.
It was about the runner who finished first and all those who followed in his footsteps. The competitor who hobbled through the pain and the runner who stayed by her side and got her across the finish line, long after the elite runners had done their cool downs and headed home with another medal.
A day to remember for competitors, spectators and welly wearing puddle jumpers. A day of pain and rain and
lactic acid. Fallen leaves and tree roots. A day of achievement and overcoming adversity. A day of wet dogs and bin liners. Medals, mud and memories.
PW 10k Run. Viewed under an umbrella.
I don't care.....
what the weatherman says, if the weatherman says it's raining you won't hear me complaining.
On Sunday 13th October, I am pretty sure there weren't any complaints, more a case of lots exasperated comments from runners and race officials/marshals alike about the 'liquid sunshine' that was falling from the sky.
The rain started pretty much on cue at 6.30am just before the first of the Petts Wood Runners arrived at Willett Rec to commence the set-up of the event and equally on cue only stopped around 2.30pm once almost everything had been cleared up.
2013 was the 7th year that Petts Wood Runners hosted their 10k. To be honest we have been lucky the previous 6 years with fine weather on each occasion, so you could say we were due a wet one and boy did we get a wet one!
Over 800 runners had registered for this year's event and the first of these arrived probably just before 9am to collect their race number and timing chip. By this time, pretty much most of the Race HQ was set up, Marquees, Gazebos and tents erected, the course around the Rec marked out, Start/finishing arch inflated and pegged down, water containers filled (which seemed somewhat ironic) and probably the most important thing, the tea urn was on!
Along with the runners arriving were also 100+ Petts Wood Runner volunteers, who were donning their bright yellow safety vests, getting their final briefing from their team leads and making their way out into the course (not before a nice cuppa first though)
And still the rain fell, as you can imagine, conditions were getting quite boggy underfoot as more and more people arrived. Runners were taking refuge wherever they could and as you can see some were quite resourceful
The rain was not going to dampen anybody's spirits though including Woody the Gorilla our mascot who was being as mischievous as always. Witnesses saw him pinching umbrellas, stockpiling a stash of bananas and giving one or two people a fright. Let's be honest, if you get a tap on the shoulder in a park on a wet Sunday morning in Petts Wood, the last thing you expect to see when you turn round is a 6ft Gorilla!
The grill was also working overtime and I can personally vouch that a Bacon butty certainly raises the spirits! There was also a fine selection of home-made cakes baked by the PWR ladies to accompany the tea and coffee.
At 10:10am a warm up routine was led by one of our members, Adele who is also a Personal Trainer. At first maybe only 20 people joined in, but soon people were throwing caution to the wind (and rain) and joining in. Adele certainly made sure everybody was warm, I felt tired just watching it, I doubt if I would have had the energy to run 10k after that!
At 10:25am the runners made their way to the starting area. The fast guys and girls at the front were treated to an impromptu warm-up routine from one of the runners that certainly raised a smile or two. A local celebrity 'The Running Man' (he even has a Facebook page dedicated to him with over 5000 followers) gave a short speech and started the race. Each of the time zones was then started in intervals after that and 671 runners ventured off for 10k of fun, mud & rain.
KIDS DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST
Getting dirty! Unfortunately due to the conditions, we had to cancel the bouncy castle, but this was not going to stop the kids having fun and at least half a dozen lined up for each of the three age-grouped races. All the kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy their lap or two of Willet Rec, including the biggest kid of them all, PWR Chris who was guiding the kids round yet still found time to perform a full length dive and slide in the mud. Each kid (not Chris) was rewarded with a large chocolate medal for their efforts. The parents of these children were rewarded with a wash load of dirty clothes!
DE JA VU
There was a double de ja vu as the winning runner entered the Rec a mere 35 minutes after the race had started. Firstly, it was last year's winner Peter Tucker of Bromley & Blackheath Harriers and secondly, Peter also couldn't resist performing a full length dive and slide up to the finish line. Peter finished in (considering the conditions) a very respectable time of 36:04
It was over a minute before the next runner crossed the finish line and after that for the next 70 minutes there was a constant stream of runners. Once each runners crossed the line, some of the PWR marshals had the glamorous job of grappling with muddy legs and removing the timing chips and then the runners were presented with their medal, a banana, a hot samosa and more water just in case they were not wet enough!
There were smiles aplenty as people crossed and in some cases slid across the line. The biggest cheer of the day was for the last two ladies (Louise Callow & Paula Ferguson) to complete the course, accompanied by our last runner marshals kitted out with PWR colour pom-poms as they entered the finishing straight.
It is easy for the uber fit to blast round 10k in 40 odd minutes, but these girls showed grit and determination to get round and they must have enjoyed it as there were plenty of smiles once they had crossed the finish line.
Presentations were then made to all of the category winners by Richard Dunstan PWR Club Coach and David Boswell PWR 10k Race Director and as the last of the runners dispersed from Willett Rec, so the clear down began.
1st Male Peter Tucker, Bromley & Blackheath Harriers 36'04"
2nd Male Terry Reeves, Dartford Road Runners 37'31"
3rd Male Stephen Thackeray, Beckenham AC 37'44"
1st Female Jenny Butler, Bromley & Blackheath Harriers 42'04"
2nd Female Clare Reeves, Bexley AC 43'18
3rd Female Carol Penlington, Bromley & Blackheath Harriers 43'39"
Age Group Winners
1st 15-20 Male Nick Perry, Bromley & Blackheath Harriers 40'00"
1st 40+ Male Pat Maher, Unattached 38'29"
1st 50+ Male Tony Durey, Dartford Harriers 40'10
1st 60+ Male Terry Avey, Brighton Phoenix 45' 06"
1st 15-20 Female Kirsten Herpe, Unattached 54'09"
1st 35+ Female Sally Kyle, Dartford Road runners 45'15"
1st 45+ Female Jackie Clarke, Unattached 48'23"
1st 55+ Female Sue Spong, Havering90Joggers 48'33"
1st affiliated male team Dartford Harriers
1st affiliated female team Bromley & Blackheath Harriers
1st unaffiliated team 2 Fast 2 Furious
Local Resident Winners
1st BR5 male Simon Fox 40'10"
1st BR5 female Sui Kee Searle 50'48"
Full results can be found at http://www.chipresults.co.uk/
A BIT OF SCIENCE (A STRANGE WAY OF SAYING THANK YOU)
I am sure that most of you have heard about the 'Fire Triangle'? No? well to have fire you need three things. Fuel, Oxygen & Heat. Take any one of these away and you won't be having a fire.
Well with the Petts Wood 10k, we have our own little triangle of Runners, Sponsors & Petts Wood Runners. Take one of these away and we would be struggling to have an event.
Firstly, Thank You to all the runners. Of the 800 odd registered, 671 turned up and completed the event. A sterling effort!
Secondly Thank You to all our Sponsors and contributors who not only enable us to put on this event, but also enable us to raise more funds for the Harris HospisCare charity.
Thirdly, Thank You to all of the Petts Wood Runners that helped put on this event. At the last count there were over 120 PWRs that contributed in some way!
SO TO CONCLUDE
I think I can vouch for all the Petts Wood Runners volunteers that despite the conditions we all thoroughly enjoyed it and it is apparent from the wonderful feedback that we have received; most of the runners did also. In fact some of the PWRs enjoyed it so much, some were seen staggering around Petts Wood High Street Sunday evening having toasted a job well done.
We are aware that a few improvements can be made, and with it being our first 'wet' event we have learnt a few lessons. But I can assure you we will strive to put on a better event next year. As I write this there are only 361 days until the next Petts Wood 10k. See you then.
I had a few friends running in this year's event and I have been accused of having a cushy job of sitting under an umbrella taking photos.
Quick plug: Pictures can be viewed and purchased from www.snappyraces.co.uk Only £2.49 (yes that is correct, I haven't missed a 1 off the front) with at least 50% going to Harris HospisCare.
I would just like to publicly defend my good character (ahem) and refute this accusation. I would like to point out that I had been working in the rain for about 3.5 hours before I took refuge (and the umbrella was predominantly to protect the camera equipment). So I was A) soaked to the skin and B) blooming freezing having to sit there for 1.5 hours without moving much more than my right index finger.
So, ner! Very mature I know ;-)
This race report has been brought to you in association with a bottle of London Pride. No animals were harmed in the writing of this report.
PWR 10k Race Starter Announced
If you are a resident in the Bromley area, there is a good chance you would have seen 'The Running Man'. This gentleman can regualry be seen whatever the weather wearing only, shoes shorts and sunglasses. He has been running like this for over 25 years (not non-stop). He even has his own Facebook Fan Page with other 5000 likes!
Well, this local celebrity has kindly agreed to start our race on October 13th. The question is, will he be wearing a t-shirt?
The only way to find out is to either register for the event (see the Petts Wood 10k page) or come along and support!
In the News
The Petts Wood 10k is featured in an article on the News Shopper website
Click here to see the article