- It's written 100% by your Roving Reporter, and telling her story, rather than another Shabba's
- Your Roving Reporter wasn't racing this weekend.
So, what on earth is this report about?
Well this weekend, as a family, we packed up and travelled back to my home city of Liverpool. My husband, Chris was running the Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon, so it made sense to stay with my parents and make a weekend of it.
After being picked up from a family wedding on the Friday (stone cold sober, of course!?!), we headed up North.
On the Saturday, we went for some parkrun tourism at Ormskirk, a new one that's only had 9 parkruns. Really pleasant run, with a hill and some hairpins, with a mix of gravel, trail and concrete paths. Definitely a challenging one!
The real point of this Shabbablog is about the other side of being a Shabba - not the running, the supporting.
From the minute Chris signed up for the RnR Half, there was never a doubt that I would be there to cheer him on, and as time went by, Shabbasister Nikki joined in, and my cousin Mark. I was looking forward to waving my pompoms. (No, I don't really have pompoms!).
Then on the Monday before, the race organisers put a shout out for extra race volunteers, so I gave them a ring, and I was offered a place giving out medals, including a free t-shirt and food!
What could be better.
I could watch Chris, Nikki and Mark finish, give them their medals, but also do that for hundreds of other runners.
The day was gloomy, but the venue at the Albert Dock was lovely as always, and once my cousin Mark arrived, and Shabba Nikki, the nerves (from Chris) started to turn to excitement!
A lot of us had friends and family racing, so were keen to make sure we gave out medals to the people we were their to support.
It was very friendly, and there was a clear split of volunteers - a group of students, and a small group of 'adults', and we very quickly broke into groups, where the students were looking to the 'adults' for organisation. It worked really well, and the rapport in the group was really relaxed and excited.
We then heard the race leader was about 15 minutes away, so we took up out dishing out position, and then it was wonderful chaos.
The local radio station (Radio City) was playing some great tunes, the DJ was doing a great job of shouting out to finishers by names, numbers, charity vests, fancy dress outfits etc...
It was a real pleasure to look at runners in the eye, smile congratulate them, and give them their medal. Some runners were smiling, some were crying, some were so tired they forgot to take a medal. There were very few First Aid cases thankfully.
Then I heard the DJ "And here comes Nikki Tigger running for the National Autistic Society...." And there she was!
After a moment to catch her breath, she gasped out that she's smashed 10 minutes off her PB! I put the medal round her neck and we hugged for what seemed ages. I was crying, Nikki was grinning and bouncing! Her friend caught us on camera.
Then Nikki was back to see Chris across the line.
At about the 2 hour mark, I began to worry. What if his ankle had gone, what if he was injured? I'm so glad Nikki was there so I didn't go slowly round the bend!
Then at approximately 2:10 gun time, Nikki yelled "I can see him!" and there he was!
I've never been so relieved!
Poor Chris, he always get papped just after finishing and looking shattered! But for me, the photos Nikki took sum up the effort and achievement of the day for him and how proud I am of him.
I helped out on medals for the next hour - the time flew.
I loved every minute of it!
My arms ached from the weight of the medals, my legs ached from being on my feet for 4 hours, I lost my voice from saying "well done!", and face ached from making sure every runner was greeted by a smile.
It was awesome.
I was honoured and privileged to give up my time to see those runners home and I'd do it again like a shot.
Support and encouragement is at the heart of the Shabbas, and what I did on Sunday was fulfilling that heart and soul, not just because people I cared about were running, but because every single person who crossed the line deserved to have someone look them in the eye and say "well done! you did it!"