Early morning and a temperature of 2°C didn’t stop an army of Serpie volunteers staging another successful New Year’s Day 10k.
Week in, week out, all year round, Serpies get together. Numerous activities contribute towards making this a great club. There are so many training, racing and socialising opportunities. None of this would be possible without the amazing people in the club who regularly give up their time to volunteer. This generosity led to another successful staging of the annual NYD 10k and 3k.
I arrived at Hyde Park just after 7:30am on that cold but dry morning to find Race Director (David Martin), Race Organiser (Nicola Kaye), Race Referee (Hilary Walker) and John Higgins busy unloading the van. Very soon there was a human conveyor belt passing boxes of water bottles, mugs and chocolates down the line and the van was emptied rapidly. More Serpie helpers arrived and we proceeded to stuff the race bags. With all the team banter, it was easy to forget that it was two degrees Celsius and the bags were done in no time at all.
We took a couple of minutes out to grab teas and coffees and then moved off to our various positions.
I was in the bag drop tent. Because of the cold weather, most of the competitors wanted to hold on to their jackets and bags for as long as possible. This led to a 15 minute stampede just before the race started. However, with brilliant teamwork and John Higgins at the helm, we were able to take everyone’s bag before the 11am start. The process was reversed after the race and I am pleased to report that no bags were lost or misplaced. It was manic fun and a great bonding experience for the team.
Every year the competitors and helpers get a memento. This year it was a beautiful mug designed by Serpie Grace Sim.
As can be seen from the runners’ comments below, the mug was very well received.
After the race presentations and tidy up, the helpers proceeded to the Mitre Pub at Lancaster Gate for some food and warmth.
A lovely time was had by all, but please don’t just take my word for it. Here are some quotes from other volunteers and runners about the day.
David Martin and Nicola Kaye – Race Director/Race Organiser
“The support of all the volunteers made all the difference. There is a great community spirit in the club. We’ve had very good feedback from runners about the great support from marshals.”
Eddie Ware and Natalia Andreyeva – course marshals
“Super fun experience, great to give back to the club.”
Anne Bennett, Eda Korkmaz and Andrew – bag drop
“Bag drop was like doing a jigsaw puzzle backwards: Hugely stressful but great fun.”
Ana Penalver – finish line marshal
“I loved it. It was hard to wake up this morning but I am so glad to have done it. Good fun in pub afterwards.”
Tom Poynton – Safety Officer
“Glad that there were no accidents this year. Loved giving back to the club.”
Kim Boursnell, Miwa Tonaki and Helen Forsey – water station
“Brilliant, best way to spend New Year’s morning. Really enjoyed the festive atmosphere. Great way to meet other members of the club.”
Deb Biswas – lead marshal
“People arrived on time, no welfare issues, no safety calls. Very good day.”
Finally, special thanks to David Martin (Race Director) and Nicola Kaye (Race Organiser) who spent three months planning what turned out to be a very successful event.
If you are new to the club and want to find out about fun ways to volunteer, please go to the volunteering page on the club website.
Kemi Yusuph has been a member of the club for 13 years. She is a very keen ‘back of the pack’ runner.