The Thoughts of President Mo (12)
Hi, you may or may not have noticed that there was no newsletter last week that was because I was the only person to submit anything. Grahame & I decided that it wasn’t worth sending out it out with just one article & you therefore may find some of my words below slightly out of date as it was written over a week ago.
If we want the newsletter to continue we need more content, I know many of you are doing ‘virtual’ challenges & other interesting things during these strange times so please make the effort to send something to Grahame at email@example.com so other members know what you have been up to.
Hello, it’s me again & my brain is still ticking over & finding a few thoughts. Another week on & ‘Lockdown’ is apparently easing from next weekend, although confusingly many people seem to think that it is ok already to have mass street parties & crowd on to beaches with little regard for social distancing & no respect for officials & police who are only trying to do their job & keep people safe. There are to be no more daily government briefings, I think the PM & his crew were getting fed up with all those questions & without the scientific advisers backing them up it was hard work. I think the new buzz words are ‘Be Sensible’ however we all know we still have to ‘Wash our Hands’ although I’ve not heard it said lately.
In athletics we know things are far from normal, New York & Boston marathons have now been cancelled as well as many events both domestically & world-wide, the London marathon organisers are still trying to make up their minds whether to go ahead in October, in fairness to athletes that decision should be made sooner rather than later. The situation in the club is that we are only able to hold training sessions with 5 athletes to one coach or leader, which is not great for club morale or recruitment. All the summer races have disappeared & we have no idea if the winter session will go ahead. Most of us are still doing our own safe & social distanced training but it is hard to keep motivated without races to aim for.
Keeping on the subject of athletics, it occurred to me that for the first time in over 30 years that my summer had not been dominated by the MWRRL, either as an athlete or a team manager, in some ways it was a relief not to have the pressure of trying to get teams out on the other hand I missed the team camaraderie. I thought it might be an idea to say a little bit about the beginning of the league so I rummaged in the garage to see if I could find any old results & read through old training diaries (yes I’ve still got diaries going back to 1981 – I’m a bit of a nerd!) – Anyway it was a project that keep me occupied for an afternoon & out of John’s way.
The league began as the Cheshunt Building Society MWRRL after the road running boom in the 1980’s, Barnet were one of the original 6 teams involved, the others (I think from my memory & the info I found) were Orion, Fairlands Valley Striders, Royston Runners, Garden City Joggers & Trent Park Trotters. The first race was at Stevenage in 1986, the notes in my diary say ‘up & down cycle paths & new 10k PB 46.20 (I’d almost forgotten that I used to be able to run that fast – the following year I was 40s faster on the same course). The other races that year were at Trent Park, Barnet (from the old clubhouse in New Barnet & up Beech Hill), WGC & Chingford. Kirsty was the star of the ladies team in those days & was always our first lady home & sometimes won the race, we had a limited number of active ladies at the time but always did our best to try to get out a team, the men were usual keen but it often depended on their commitments on the track, something that the ‘new wave’ road-running clubs didn’t do.
The popularity of the league soon became apparent & the original teams were soon joined by Bishop Stortford RC, Hertford & Ware (later to amalgamate with Verlea to become Herts Phoenix), Lea Valley Runners (later became Broxbourne), St Albans Striders & North Herts RR. By 1990 the league had 2 divisions & an end of season mob-match, our John Atkinson was race results secretary for many years, Dave Copeman was treasurer in the early days & then again in more recent times, I was chair of the league for a number of years so the club has had a number of close connections with the committee over the years. In recent years the league has expanded & possibly become too big, especially as for a number of reasons it is becoming more difficult to put on races.
However the MWRRL has many memories & a special place in my heart & if any of my recollections are incorrect I’m sure one of our long-time members will let me know. Here’s to next year & promotion, hopefully.
My thoughts are with you all. Stay Safe until we meet again.