Report by Alasdair Wilson-Craw
Fun running by name, running fun by nature
Community Fun Running Event, Town Moor, 22nd August 2012
On a slightly chilly but bright evening on 22nd August over 20 people ranging in age from 6 to 60 took part in a series of running challenges on the tracks and grass of the Newcastle Town Moor. Invigorated by the recent performances of Olympians such as Mo Farah and David Rudisha they tried to emulate or at least get a feeling for speed by running a fast mile time trial around a half mile lap at the south end of the Moor.
After a bit of a rest and comparing notes the distance was reduced for a “freestyle relay”. Teams of up to 6 people took up the challenge of matching the men’s 800m world record. Leg length for each team member was decided amongst the team so some did only 50m while others maybe 300 or 400m. The lead swopped to and fro but finally the Kirtley team came through in first place of the 5 teams, sadly some way from that amazing time of Rudisha’s.
The final running challenge was a 50m x8 shuttle relay for teams of 4. Those not tired out already made up 3 ad hoc teams. A skilled handicapper could not have done better as Janet’s team beat Tom’s by only a second in 69 seconds. The smiles and laughs after the event confirmed how much fun was had despite, or perhaps because of, the effort.
Next door in Exhibition park many of the children and some of the adults had go at throwing Vortex Howlers for distance. These foam rubber implements shaped like a tadpole with extra tail vanes make a wonderful sound when thrown like a javelin. Prizes were awarded for the relay events and the howler throw. One of the children threw over 26m and one of the men showed off with over 50m.
The event set out to be fun and informal* and remarks afterwards proved that Claremont had succeeded in that aim. Several of the runners had done little running or were unattached to a club or group so were signposted to opportunities to run socially or with more purpose. The turnout of 11 Claremont members to help was excellent given that the club is unused to running such an event, only recently,in the last 2 years, extending its activities to public race organisation with the increasingly popular Weetslade cross-country relays held in June.
*The fortnight between the Olympics and Paralympics was used by many sports organisations to give people of all ages the chance to try out their sports. England Athletics was no exception and Claremont Road Runners based in the centre of Newcastle took up their challenge to put on an event with the help of NOTAN (North of Tyne Athletics Network) and Newcastle Parkrun. Help was also received by Adam Greewold, Newcastle’s Parks manager who gave invaluable advice and volunteers of St John’s Ambulance who provided First Aid cover.