5.45 alarm call. Up. At ’em. Load the car for the family. Grab breakfast.
Get back. Cycle to venue. Open up.
Meet fellow helpers. Work out kids course. Plant stakes. Run tape.
Walk course with commisaire. Make adjustments on fly.
Start kids races. Aid with lap scoring. Ring bell lap. Wave finishing flag.
Present prizes. Go to senior course. Help commentator.
Attend to broken course tape. Remove errant posts.
Aid with lap scoring. Ring bell lap. Wave finishing flag.
Present senior prizes. Clear up bits of course. Pack vans.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to race at our first cross race of the season. It seems I’ll be out a while longer while the medical people perform more explorations and work on my wrecked shoulder and arm. Helping the rest of the club is a tremendous consolation however and as always it was a privilege to be part of a cog in a much bigger machine. It was particularly enjoyable for also being a family affair with both Mrs N and Ms N in action.
For the record, our season opener was a classic; great weather, great course, great racing and the highest numbers yet for an opening Welsh Cross league meet (144 in the senior field), with Johnny Pugh taking the senior men’s win in a thrilling finish with Steven James, Ruby Miller took the ladies and Andrew Parry claimed the vets. Our club also had a successful day with podium places and a smattering of wins across the categories. Inspirational stuff. I’ve set my sights on a mid-season return and will now be moving heaven and earth to achieve it.
Image: Donald Gray gets the modern art treatment (original photo Sam Beckett, WW1 trench warfare style art filter by me). Many thanks to Llanishen High School for the tremendous venue.