I'm writing this listening to the wind and rain lashing against the window, a far cry from our long hot summer which is now just a distant memory. I hope everyone is managing to keep keep training & competing despite the weather, it's good for your athletic performances in the long run (honest!).
On the subject of winter running, please remember that it's a good idea to wear high visibility clothing and carry a torch if you are running on the road after dark. High visibility and bright clothing is mandatory on any autumn/winter road runs organised by the club - the coach in charge of the session will not let you participate if you are not suitably equipped. This is covered in the "Code of Conduct for Road Running", available on the website (login required). The monthly Jimmy James handicap also requires participants to carry a suitable torch.
This Code of Conduct has recently been updated to allow our older juniors (16 and over) to participate in road sessions with the seniors, allowing for the necessary safeguards. A number of our juniors have already taken advantage of this, joining in with Jas Dhanda's Thursday evening sessions.
A massive thank you to everyone who helped at any of our recent races, the Priory Relays and the Surrey Men's X-C League fixture at the start of November and the Border League X-C last weekend. We have had nothing but compliments about all 3 races, so well done everyone!
Our next race is the Holly Run on Sunday 16th December, where we are expecting to have over 400 runners across the 8 races. The benefits to the club include raising our profile in the local community, helping us to identify prospective new members, providing competitive opportunity for local runners and raising funds for the club. This is only possible with a large number of marshals and other roles. I know there are positions (10 or more in both morning and afternoon sessions) that have not yet been filled, so if you have not already volunteered, please contact Nat Wilson (see e-mail version of this update for the e-mail address) as soon as possible to offer your help.
Still on the subject of volunteering, Donna (Barrington-Smith) has recently written about her experiences since she first volunteered as an official over 10 years ago. The full write-up is on the website (no login required this time), but to give you a short flavour:
"When you’re watching your child regularly enjoy the variety and competitiveness of athletics, and you’re travelling many weekends from a track one week, to a cross country course another, then you’re asked if you’d help the athletics club to be in a position to join an athletic league as they have to provide ‘officials’ – what do you say?
Of course you say yes! And so RPAC joined the Lily B league for the first time... And I, somehow, became an UKA Technical Timekeeper. ...."
The same page also includes a short article from Liz Clark about volunteering at the Vitality London 10k. It is our intent to add further write-ups about other roles within the club - if you want to contribute please let me know!
I'm pleased to be able to announce that Clare Pryor has agreed to resume her role organising the club social events, even though she is not on the committee. If you have any suggestions for social events (for juniors or seniors) or are willing to help organise an event, please contact Clare (see e-mail version of this update for her e-mail address). Thank you Clare!
Clare is already hard at work sorting out the details of the annual Awards Evening, which is provisionally booked for Saturday 19th January 2019. Watch this space for further details as soon as they become available.
For the seniors, Ian Edmonds is organising the annual "Turkey Trot" in conjunction with the Polesdon Lacey 10k on Sunday 23rd December. Full details are on the website calendar and will be published on the Facebook Group.
Former member and super-vet Kevin Archer recently e-mailed Nat to give an update on his results this year, including a silver medal in the M65 1500m at the World Masters Championship in Malaga, in a time of 4:50.98. See here for the full text. A great shame that Kevin moved away from the area, so had to leave the club, he would be giving Mike Pocock & Paul Chandler a run for their money in our age group championships!
It simply remains for me to wish everyone a Merry Christmas / Season's Greetings, and to hope that everyone has a successful and injury-free 2019! I l hope to see many of you at the Holly Run on 16th December.