Six of us assembled at Clarence Park in Wakefield on Sunday 3rd April, at the ungodly hour of 08:00 to support Wakefield Hospice with their 16th 10K run. The Wakefield Hospice 10K is a big fixture in the running calendar, attracting seriously good runners, as well as being a major fund raiser for the Wakefield Hospice.
Our role, is as mobile race marshals and our duties this year, differed from previous years. Previous years we have escorted the races wheelchair competitors but this year we were designated to ensure the safety of the tail end competitors, once the road had been re-opened to traffic. Previous years the road had been closed for the entire duration of the race, but due to numerous complaints from local residents (Bah Humbug !!!), the road was only to be closed for an hour maximum, and also the race start brought forward for an hour, to minimise disruption as far as possible. Although the bulk of runners would be finished whilst the road was still closed, a good number of runners (walkers !!!) would still be on the course, hence the requirement for mobile marshals (that's us !!) to ensure their safety.
We left the start area at 08:50 to take up position on the course. The race started at 09:00, led by a police car and it wasn't long before the lead runners came storming past us. The bulk of the runners then passed, followed by the tail police car, and then it was our cue to spring into action to marshal the tail enders.
The winner of the race finished after 30 minutes (that's averaging 13MPH). After about 45 minutes traffic was being progressively allowed onto the road, so we took it in turns to ride the course, park up and observe and make sure the runners/walkers were safe. We were certainly needed as we found a group of competitors, 4 abreast, slow jogging in the middle of the now fully open road, blissfully unaware of traffic coming up behind them !!!!
However, after about an hour and 30 minutes, we had safely escorted all the remaining competitors to the finish line and their own personal glories !!!
When we returned the fun run around Clarence Park was well underway, with numerous runners in fancy dress.
We received thank you's for our efforts from the Police and from Wakefield Hospice over the race tannoy. Following our obligatory team photo, we all headed home. A huge thanks to Steve, Justine, Mark, Lisa, Daz & Chaz for helping to marshal this years race, and for the very early Sunday morning start.
It is great to be able to support our local charity in a non-monetary way, and in a way which is so very useful to them. We have helped the hospice marshal their prestigious 10K race for a good number of years now, and long may it continue. This year's race was hugely successful for the charity, raising around £30,000 and attracting well over a thousand runners.