After a week spent mostly in bed with a rather nasty cold, I was in no state to do my usual 5k Saturday morning walk.
Instead, I decided to volunteer at my local event and offered to be the official photographer. My offer was gratefully accepted so at around half eight I left the dry warm confines of my car to take a few snaps of people getting ready for, taking part in and the aftermath of Babbs Mill parkrun number 48.
It was a miserable day. The rain was lashing down, the sun was yet to shine – it was down right ‘orrible.
This week’s event had been taken over by my old running club, Centurions RC, and their members would be fulfilling most of the volunteer roles.
As the Centurions braved the elements, I wandered around, trying to capture the atmosphere.
To try and keep myself, or more importantly, my camera dry, I resorted to stuffing the handle of my golf umbrella down between my rucksack and me.
It worked quite well if I stayed still but moving around made the umbrella slip lower and lower until I couldn’t see out !
As nine o’clock crept around, I was somewhat concerned that all this effort would have been for the benefit of a handful of hardy runners.
However, at around five-to, a lot of car disgorged their occupants and we ended up with fifty three brave souls toeing the line.
Before the start, I made my way along the course a little to a point where, hopefully, the runners would have thinned out a bit giving me more of a chance to catch each one.
A few minutes after nine, the first runner crossed the bridge where I had stationed myself.
I tried my best to catch everyone but a technical hitch (somehow I managed to switch the focusing to manual) meant that the photos were no, shall we say, optimal.
I waited and snapped away as all fifty odd soggy participants passed me before making my way to the finish to hopefully catch everyone as they approached the end.
The first runner home was back in a tad over eighteen minutes.
The last runner, excluding the tail runners, trotted in a while later.
Strangely, as the last runner crossed the line, the rain stopped.
Being a Centurion event there were lashings of cake and other goodies.
A lot of my photos were not great but they were gratefully received with many likes from facebook.
Late morning, I received a text (and email) from parkrun congratulating my on my efforts.
Towards the bottom of the email it say that I have volunteered on fifty seven separate days but on one of those, I was both photographer and marshal so got two credits that day meaning that I have volunteered fifty eight times – another forty two times for my V100 T-shirt !