Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sergeant Major

It was the Orpington Road Runners annual 10km race today and I had volunteered my services as a marshall on the course. Who better to organise us but a lady who apparently in real life is a Head Teacher in a school and we were all happy to spoken to like a bunch of naughty school children and be micro-managed. The Teacher escorted us to our positions and told to point and cheer the runners as they passed, who were we to argue.

Unbeknown to all I had about 1kg of chewy sweets and Jelly Babies stashed in my back pack to hand out primarily to my other club members who were running but this plan went to the 4 winds as all the other runners dived in grabbing handfuls of sweeties :-)

There I stood at the top of the hill, barking orders for the runners to stop walking, or to hurry up, or to get going... I heard one guy shout "You sound like my old Sergeant Major" to which I shouted "Get a move on laddy or I will bounce and trounce you across the parade square" to which he winked, laughed and scooted off, the connection not lost on him.

I then had to run down the hill, faster than some of the racers, then against the flow, still shouting support to the get to the turn around point, in fact having to see some of the runners for 3 to 4 times to continue barking orders and encouragement.

I had to laugh at some feedback on Runner's World on the race:

"...The organisation was great as usual and the marshalls very supportive especially the sergeant major shouting to keep going!!..."

Great fun, I love being a marshall at these runs


  1. It's great being a marshall, I know I enjoyed my time on our 10k, and so looking forward to marshalling again :-)

  2. I enjoy marshalling although I've had some bad moments with impatient drivers. Supporting the runners make up for it.