BeeHive Run Station
Rotarians at the ready, ElizabethTatman first in line, H20 in cup, cup in hand, hand outstretched, athlete arrives, grabs one cup, spills most, throws it over his head, second cup water towards mouth, drinks a bit, throws the cup away, on to Ged Hetherington for flat pepsi or Mike Edwards for Gatorade, then a gel pack, another water and………. gone.
The initial elite athletes fizz through the feed station, grabbing what they could, with many “mortal” athletes some way behind by now. A slow trickle of athletes grew to a steady flow and then later in the day back to a slow trickle, with our last athlete coming through the station at 5.15pm. Still 23 miles to go and only 5 ¾ hours left to complete the time, as every athlete has to be finished by 11.00pm.
Preparation on the day began around 10.00am with delivery of our goodie pallet and water truck. This year we only had one run through so logistics were easier than in previous years.
The well oiled teams from the Rotary Club of Horwich and the Rotary Club of Ratcliffe laid out tables loaded with water, flat pepsi, stirred to perfection, Gatorade mixed and gel packs, with more water at the end, all supplied in certain order so the athlete know where to go
That’s the theory, but each drink was given in a Gatorade paper cup !!
The reason : Sponsorship deal with Ironman.
Each person on the station was hoarse by the end of the day shouting out their drink as athlete we confused by the same cup.
But wouldn’t you after a 2.6 miles swim and then spending four to six hours cycling around in circles for 112 miles, knowing you’ve got the bulk of a marathon ahead of you ?
At times we had 10 people on the front line handling food and fluids, with four to six mixing and keeping the front line supplied.
The Mayor of Horwich, Councillor Peter Baxendale, was on “Gatorade” duty for almost two hours. Others came from the Rotary Club of Bolton Lever and the Rotary Club of Middleton. Thank you ever so much for your support.
Comfort breaks were easier this time around as the athletes only ran through the station once, so no bananas and no Ritz biscuits for us !!
As time went by the athletes didn’t run through, they jogged, then walked through, they stopped for a chat and even felt like having a pint in the Bee Hive.
The winner, Aaron Farlow, finished in 8 hours 24 minutes 33 seconds, coming through our station at 12.15pm.
The team cleared all the road of cups and gooey gels, with a few sore backs the following morning ! The day was a blur in the end, very enjoyable for all, great friendships strengthened, with new ones made.
Rotary can raise its own profile by great involvement in these types of events and possibly attract new members to clubs within District 1280 in the bargain.
We’ve got another year to plan, the date announced today as July 22nd. 2012.
From my own point of view I would like to thank all Rotarians, Inner Wheel Ladies, family and new friends, especially our Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Bolton Lever, Rotary Club of Bolton Daybreak and the Rotary Club of Middleton for “lending a hand”.
It was a great day, even the weather was fine, three years in a row !!
Next year…….that may be a different story.
Rotarian Geoffrey Pearson.