2020 has, easy to say, been a challenging year for us all. Whilst appreciating the severe hardships and, in some cases tragic events this year had brought to some people, I thought I’d share the somewhat trivial concerns of being a race organiser!
I’d like to point out, I am most certainly in no way comparing this to what others have or may have experienced this year. ’20 has effected us all in a variety of ways, and without even getting into how the year has impacted my personal family life, I’d like to give a race director’s viewpoint!
Clearly as a runner myself its been a frustrating year for competing. I’ve managed to race twice. An epic ultra adventure early in the year on the amazing Pendle Way In A Day (highly recommended – enter here)
My second race was the post lockdown, beginning of the easement Hel n Back. This was organised excellently given the restrictions by Helensburgh AC.
Neither race went particularly well in terms of a relative comparison to 2019.
In between those two events I should have been race director/lead organiser to an ultra marathon, a marathon and several races of smaller distance. When I point out smaller distance, I by no means lessen the achievement and training put in by participating runners.
New to race organising, but already creating happy customers, TRB were considered the ‘heirs’ to not one but three amazing and prestigious events for 2020.
The long standing Dick Wedlock Memorial Race, along with it’s former event director of over 25 years joined our fold for an event in May.
Parallel discussion saw us land the amazing, and somewhat hidden gem, of the Mull of Galloway Trail Marathon. We eagerly look forward to hosting this event. The beauty of that coastline and local area should not be underestimated.
Somewhat a late surprise, we managed to rescue the Clydestride Ultramarathon from an uncertain transition from former race director ‘Mrs Mac’. Once again we look forward to hosting this event in 2021. Who knows, maybe Mrs Mac will still be around at the finish line to hand out a hug or two!
South By Five
Most recently, TRB are due to host the second South By Five series. Unfortunately, given the current circumstances this is the latest one to hit the recycle bin.
Whilst Scottish Athletics are happy for events to proceed, albeit with appropriate CV19 regulations in place. Other regulatory bodies are less proactive in encouraging a return to outdoor exercise.
South By Five was amazing in its inaugural year. Indeed it was new territory for TRB. And the feedback was amazing. As much as we enjoyed organising the mud and hills, you, the runners loved taking part.
As race director, I personally looked forward to bringing the series back for a second edition. A sentiment shared by the TRB team and family who grew with us and the event series. We hope to bring you the second edition early next year – when its wet and muddy!
Upping the distance
In the midst of the 2019 Sx5 series, we dipped our toes into a longer distance event. Jumping from 5k straight to marathon, we introduced the Trossachs Trail Marathon.
We’re happy to announce that entries for the 2020 ‘Hogmanay Marathon’ will open in the not too distant future. We’ll be using TRB’s very own entry system – we’re just ironing out a couple of creases before we roll that out to you. (Interested race directors should drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whilst CV19 has played havoc to our 2020 programme, we’ve quietly plodded away in the background, leaving us, hopefully, in a strong position to bring you a host of TRB events when we’re able both in Scotland and England. Dan has been busy down in Lancashire laying the groundworks for some new events, which we hope will encourage the growth of TRB both locally within Lancashire, and nationally as we put in excellent events runners are willing to travel for! We’re aiming high!
Anyone who follows my Strava account, mostly during the early lockdown period before I lost my mojo, will have maybe picked up some clues to future Glasgow-ish events.
I’m now introducing my ever faithful sidekick to some of these future routes. Walking them with her as part of her rehabilitation from hip replacement surgery allows me once again to enjoy the trails. Michelle’s absence from the trails along with me has been a large part of my missing mojo. She is my mojo! Michelle, Jim and I back running on a trail together will be the best thing 2021 will bring to me.
Her perspective on race routes is different from mine. Michelle’s input will mean some tweaks. This will improve the experience for runners once we’re allowed to have you racing with us again.
The ‘unprecedented times’ (how many times has that expression been used) we’re experiencing has led to a upsurge in virtual events. Many runners who 12 months ago, would be making disparaging comments about virtual events on social media, now found themselves trawling the web looking for the next ‘race’.
I myself am someone who was not a big fan. Still aren’t! However, it’s not all about me!
Throughout the year we put on some simple one mile events with the Virtual Migo Mile, and the Virtual Old Tram Mile. The Dick Wedlock Memorial Race also went virtual, albeit with some opposition. Despite that, as another successful event, we managed to raise some good funds for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Families Association.
In fact, all of the TRB virtual events have been in aid of good causes.
The Virtual Clydestride 4.0 Miles saw us raise in excess of £800 with over 200 participants helping support an amazing charity, Pyjama Fairies.
Some recent market research by myself showed a waning desire for virtual events. Then the long predicted, ‘second wave’ hit, and far from getting closer to actual racing we’re heading into further restrictions.
We may therefore have further virtual events lined up…
As you can clearly see, we have been busy.
We’re soon to introduce TRB RunFit to Glasgow. Top performance coach, Colin Thomas, will join us to lead sessions aimed specifically at runners with the aim of improving their overall fitness and readiness for when actual racing returns..
Keep your eye on the TRB social media channels for further information on that exciting news.