With all the snow of the last couple of weeks I’d started to wonder why on earth I’d volunteered for my usual marshalling spot on the Riverbank Rollick but today’s lovely weather made me glad I had.
I stand at a gateway just after Mile 4, halfway round the race, where runners come along the bank of the Severn. Once we’ve marked the course (bamboos and tape, plus a couple of arrows) all I can do for a while is admire the view and watch the birds (a couple of brown speckly ones, some big black ones and some ducks or geese). Once the runners appear it’s simply a matter of making sure they go the right way: through the gate and follow the riverbank. Up to now I’ve not had anyone go to far wrong and it’s more a matter of reminding them that the gate is open than anything else.
Two walkers asked me about the race. “Well, it starts……. just push the gate…………….. it starts in Thornbury……. the gate’s open……………… it starts in Thornbury at the Mundy Playing Fields …………… just give the gate a shove…………” and so on until we had a gap in the runners big enough to let me give them a rough idea of the route.
A lot of the runners thanked me for marshalling. It’s always appreciated though not expected and it’s been particularly welcome in previous years when the weather hasn’t been so kind. Then the last runners arrive with the sweepers and we can collect the markers and go back to Race HQ for cups of tea and excellent home-made cakes, with donations to the Palliative Care Unit at Frenchay Hospital.
I hope all the runners enjoyed it. See you next year but don’t eat all the cakes before I get back!