Tuesday, 23 September 2008

101 ways to hack off a race organiser

I thought I was finished with RAW for the year, but this post has been a couple of weeks in the making.

You might have read my previous post giving my version of events of that weekend early in September. Well the following account details a series of communications between the race organiser and myself.
No names have been changed to protect the innocent, but heads may roll.....
So, Sept 9th Subversive Runner decides to email the race organiser to thank her for putting on the race and to say how enjoyable it was, all good so far. The problems started for me when she was then advised to read his blog and MINE for good measure. Now while I was not critical of the race (far from it) I did refer to said RO as "the lassie wi a folded bit of paper" not the most complimentary, I know. She read the blogs and seemed to take them in the manner intended.
I however felt that as a fellow local authority leisure trust employee I should maybe set the record straight.

This is a shortened version of our communication-

MM- Wanted to apologise if you were offended by any of my comments, the ultra community are a bit of a warped bunch. We really enjoyed the race. Well done!

RO- Cant speak now.... still too upset !!!!

MM- If I spread the word of RAW at Perth ultrafest will you forgive me?

RO-Hmmmmmm..... maybe?

MM- Sorry, didn't make it to Perth, but SR was spreading the word in Ashtead. Which he should be, it was he who got me in your bad books.

RO- You did it all by yourself!! ha ha . Will you be running next year?

MM- U havin a laugh, Me? Run? don't think so. I would like to come to the presentation though. I think it would be nice to see.

RO- But you're BARRED!!


You will see that RO is a woman of few words. I don't think she likes me very much. But if she is reading this. Please Miss RO, may I come to the presentation? Pretty please.


Saturday, 20 September 2008

He can organise a P***up in a Brewery

What about this then...

Get the troops together for a few beers, free beers at that, a BBQ and a good bleather.
Sounds good so far, until you factor in that Mrs Mac had her bloody car and was unable to partake of said free beer. Doh!
Not to worry a never ending supply of Diet Coke was on hand to make me feel sociable.
And sociable it was.

I've said before how I/we don't get the chance to meet people properly on WHW weekend, well this was the perfect opportunity to engage in the banter with eejits, sorry runners, that are friends I've just not met yet.

And so to my new friends, a gent called Jim. A former member of Strathaven Climbing club, who was either impressed or surprised that I know professor Rice. Not a man unfamiliar to most WHW'ers. Jolly nice chat about the benefits of living in Newtonmore.

A lovely lady by the name of Eilish with whom I had a discussion on whether her 11 year old son should kiss his 12 and a half year old girlfriend before she gets braces !!! who'd have thought it.

Then a 1/3 of my RAW compatriots, it was rather quiet as some of the others were otherwise engaged, mee maw mee maw. I have photographic evidence QB...... but banter was had none the less.

And the infamous Jim Drummond who protested his innocence about swearing at me at Auchtertyre this year.

I met lots of really nice people, and driving was not a problem. I think however I have manged to get roped into another little outing that will see some of the extended RAW family get together sometime in October yee haa. Dino and I in the back of Darios motor, drinking Gin and pretending to do backup (again) LOL.

Friday saw the end of my Da's first cycle of chemo. Well he actually got home on Thursday evening, major happy bunny. It took me all my time to convince him that no, he was not fit enough to head up to Bridge of Allan for a swift one as there were two problems with that scenario. 1. he has to avoid confined spaces with lots of people (and it was confined, I'm sure someone moved me by my bottom!!) and 2. He has lost his sense of taste to the ale would be wasted on him.

A good end to a strange week, did it all actually happen.


Sunday, 14 September 2008

Metta Bhavna

Being a Marshall or backup requires little or no training. On occasion it requires some time in the boozer to get you up to speed with the drinking capabilities of your charges.

No running is required for the duties requested of me but I do like to try.

I like most find that chucking my runners on and getting out in the fresh air helps to clear my head and stave off the madness which is chasing me. This week a nasty cold has kept me indoors (apart from Monday when Irene W ran the back legs off me) which will explain why I had a wee wobble yesterday. The madness is catching up!

This week I have been gladdened to find that kindness and thoughtfulness can be found in the most unlikely places. My Da is being admitted to hospital tomorrow to start his chemo. He hit out with a cracker yesterday, "my a**e is makin buttons" he said when asked how he was feeling about his impending hospital visit. Anyway the goodness... yesterday he sent me a copy of an email he received from Nagpur in India. A place he visits annually on behalf of the FWBO charity. They held a training session and mass meditation to send him Metta Bhavna (loving kindness) cue rivers of tears...... Mrs Mac was a shambles. Add to this the news that my friends mum in Ireland almost burnt the chapel down with the amount of candles she lit. I am thankful to know there are people out there keeping us in their thoughts regardless of distance in years or miles. TY

So if I cant run, music is my therapy. Usually really loud, heavy drum & guitar music. My Ma & Da have passed on some strange musical tastes to the young impressionable Mrs Mac. I share a favorite song with my Dad. Take a minute, sit quietly and listen to this beautiful song.

And finally, I read some really interesting things this week on the WHW forum. The thread entitled "why do we do it" has given me some joy. I particularly enjoyed DQ response "i don't want to be a fat b*******d" but my favorite has to be Fiona's, its deep but I like it. I think it applies to many things, not just Ultras, " if you have to ask the question you wont understand the answer" luv it!!
Hasta la vista,

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Zammo says.....Just Say No

As mentioned elsewhere on this blog I have a slight problem.
I am a sucker for volunteering for stuff that I know little or on occasion, nothing about.

Someone must have had a word in Mr Murdo Macdonalds shell like coz he seems to caught wind of my affliction. Cut to the night before RAW, a lighthearted discussion of race organisation and learning from experiences. How good it would be to have a big plate of stovies at the end of an ultra. Much better than pasta "coz that 'll turn to mush". Then, I hear my own voice, "what about a plate of scotch broth..... mmmm that would be lovely" and the deed was done. Mr Macdonald was in there like a dug eatin stew. Next thing I know I've got my diary out and I'm penciling in 25/04/09. I will add the Fling to my list.

While I've been away at RAW some fellow strathaven striders have been out there doing some great things. Tom Wilson (whw) and his old muckcer Alan (Doc) Young are cycling LE-JOG. From what I can gather they are doing the first few days with out motorised back-up, and they lost the itinerary before the start. They will be joined later in the week by John (the coach) McGillvary with his motor. I learned last night from Irene W that they are raising money for a prostate cancer charity and ACT. Irene received a call yesterday from a local lady who offered to double what they raised. Well done guys, enjoy your trip.

Also the infamous Mr&Mrs Smith who embarked on their first 1/2 marathon and 10k respectively, on Sunday. The Smiths had signed up some time ago, but when my dad was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer recently, they decided to try and raise some money. They set a £300 target, which was promptly reached in the first night. The running total is around £1500. Guys I am so proud of you!!

If you ran the WHW this year my Da weighed you at Auchtertyre, he has an Osteogenicsarcoma in his shoulder. A cancer usually found in children and young people and on long bones. He is getting lots of mileage out of this, cracking on that he's been telling us for years he's only 19!!! (hes actually 56). Treatment starts on Monday. Im sure he will be there June 09, scales at the ready, now that he knows how to work them lol.


Sunday, 7 September 2008

Rite up Re RAW

Following a late arrival to the Friday evening rendezvous point it went down hill from there.

Messers Waterman, Hooper and Hamilton tested a new form of ultra preparation with varying degrees of success. 10 pints and an hours kip will not suit everyone, do not accept race advice from any of these individuals. To do so may cause you permanent injury or at least a very sore head in the morning.

The day started well as Teams Hamilton & McVey were transported to the start in an orderly manner. Directions delivered in nearly military fashion by DQ. Much to the annoyance of the lead driver.

Arrival at the muster point to be met with a distinct lack of people. Registration was a relaxed affair with names being ticked off on a folded bit of paper from the lassies pocket. Soon enough the area was filled with familiar WHW family members. Numbers duly distributed and a short walk to the loch for a motivational speech from a "wummin wi chains roon her neck"

They're off.... 21 runners followed thereafter by 40 odd walkers.

Most folk opted for a self supported 44 mile trot. But in time honoured fashion Mark Hamilton opted for a substantial team to pander to his every whim. Said support was dispatched and with local knowledge took the short drive to Muirkirk to source tea and chocolate. A quick stop off to have the first look at Team Hamilton saw all runners through safely and close together. Couple of Londoners were looking slightly worse for wear but chirppy enough. First meeting with the ever present RAYNET and then off to the next stop. Water, sports drink oranges and chocolate were on offer at the next checkpoint, the wonkey bridge.

The lovely (ahem) village of Sorn was the first real feeding station for messers Hamilton, Waterman and Hooper, to be referred to hence forth as Hawdit Dawdit and Bawjaws. Scoff was scoffed and off over the bridge to Catrine.

Catrine swiftly bypassed, and on to Failford for a spot of lunch for the support crew. A nice portion of fish n chips for Dino and a shady bowl of wallpaper paste (soup) for LL. Just a cup of tea for Mr MacDonald. Disaster was averted as Chris our new RAYNET BFF was ordered to give us a shout as out runners approached. Bawjaws stopped for a mo stuffed his face and skipped off up the hill. Followed sometime later by Hawdit and Dawdit who followed the face sutffing lead but couldnt quite manage a skip, more of a hobble. Enthused by words of support akin to "get your sorry a**e up that b****y hill ya pair a numpties" they seemed fairly happy. Support were feeling a little sleepy following lunch, but as they are a hardcore pair manged to stave off any thoughts of a wee nap.

By now Bawjaws was giving it laldy and as requested was getting the job done to facilitate a speedy start to the evenings festivities. So much so that he reached the checkpoint at Annbank a fraction before said support. No worries as our RAYNET friends were on hand to offer necessary pandering if required. By this stage the gap between Bawjaws and Hawdit and Dawdit and widened and support were forced to make a decision between attending to Bawjaws at the finish or our Londoners. A conflab between LL & Dino and the decision was taken and we headed back to Annbank to meet our runners. DQ would need to cope without adulation for the moment.

Unfortunately route markers and accurate mileage was not a feature of this run and when Hawdit was advised that there was somewhere between 10 and 14 miles of running still outstanding LL nearly got her head knocked off!! So, only our airborne chap remaining and eventually a call was patched through to ascertain if an emerg evac was required. A tired but cheery chappy said he was fine to continue and obtain water from our RAYNET contact.

And off to the finish we sped.

Bawjaws by this stage was foaming at the mouth in anticipation of a bottle of ale. LL engaged her teeth and the bottle top was swiftly removed. One happy runner.

Some time later in strolled Hawdit, followd soon after by Dawdit. It has to be said that although delayed Bawjaws did receive a hearty reception from the whole team as he accompanied our final runner on the last stretch of the way.

All in all a good days work. Lots of laughs, and some good prep work done for WHW 2009. Dario will be pleased.
Cut to 9.30pm in the Bank in Prestwick a band of merry WHWers dissect the days proceedings and enjoy a congratulatory sniffter or 3.

A fantastic weekend, very little sleep and a whole load of new friends.

Thanks for the memories troops.