Supporting the community
Last week a few members of the running club were out of running gear for once and presenting a cheque for £860 to the Easingwold District Community Care Association (EDCCA). The charity is a registered one in the town which “seeks to improve the quality of life in the local community and help those in need”. A very worthwhile sentiment indeed, especially at the moment when so many people will have been affected by the current situation. “Those in need” of help in our community are always there of course as life always gives us its ups and downs. However, since the lockdown and even now as it has eased somewhat, “quality of life”, which of course means something different to all of us, has undoubtedly affected our community as with everywhere else. I mentioned last time how, as a running club, we’ve been able to keep going throughout. Initially doing our one hour of exercise on our own, slowly being able to meet and run in pairs and now groups of six and so on. This has been such an important part of our quality of life. So, meeting up with EDCCA and handing over a cheque was something we were really pleased to be able to do. The money came from voluntary donations from our members over the months of us all taking part in our “lockdown challenges”. Colin Fletcher, ERC competition secretary, and three of the four ‘Captains’ of the challenge teams, Liz Chambers, Pam Johnson and Shaun Lawson are pictured last Thursday 20th August. The fourth team Captain (oops, clear throat!) got his diary muddled up! As with other running and sporting clubs around the country, we’ve made it a priority to keep going over the past five or so months. The vast majority of ERC’s members have taken part in the challenges which have been varied and fun and definitely encouraged us to lace up our running shoes, perhaps even more than usual. It’s probably the team thing. Being part of one of the four teams. Not wanting to let the team down and certainly wanting to do our best to try to win each challenge. Challenges 3 to 6 have been an eclectic bunch. Based around training regimes, we’ve been doing long runs up to about half marathon distance, ‘Park Run’ 5ks,’Progression’ runs over about 10ks with each k getting faster, ‘Hill’ training, running at a threshold pace and more. To add some variety to the challenges, teams were also asked to add ‘Themes’, just for the fun of it. So, one run included taking a selfie at each pub you passed. Another, wearing a certain coloured top. Taking a photo with your team’s multi-coloured logo on a piece of paper. We had points added and deducted for originality, uploading theme songs for our day’s running, our technical ability (or lack of it) collating photos for team collages. And then just when the team Captains were pulling their collective hair out trying to coordinate all of this, along with the adjudicator Colin, we had to take a weekend off the challenge at the time and put together a relay team to take part in the ‘virtual’ Cleveland way Relay. Look, I’m making this out to be a ‘chore’ of some sort. Don’t get me wrong though, at times, the team Whatsapp groups, as well as the Adjudicator and Captains’ one, nearly went into meltdown. In a good way! Looking back on the lockdown challenges months of frenetic activity, I can only feel…. Sweaty…. Well, yes, but seriously proud in what we achieved. Colin’s and our (Captains) organisation was really good I believe and the miles we ran taking part, the music we listened to, the photos we took, the collages we made….. Oh, and I forgot to mention the virtual ‘LeJog’ (Land’s End to John O’Groats) along the way. Another superb team relay. We finished the sixth and last challenge to date a week or so ago. The 5k challenge. Sincerely well done to all our members who took part and have supported the club throughout the last five months. So, what now? We’re not back to normal yet but we’re on the way, slowly. We’re meeting in our groups of 6 in Easingwold and surrounding areas on our usual Thursday club night. Members have commented on the great opportunity this has actually given us to run in tighter numbers based on ability and also being able to visit and find new routes. The Tuesday training sessions continue at 6 and 7 p.m. respectively and some members are also meeting at these times nearer to home in other small groups. Some of you reading this might belong to the club, some might be runners or take part in other sports and some might just be interested in catching up with what one of Easingwold’s clubs is getting up to. Regardless of all of the above, ERC wishes everyone during our phased ‘coming out’ of the lockdown period, the best of health, mentally and physically. For ERC, running is part of something which improves our quality of life. EDCCA aims to help the community in its quality of life and many charities have also suffered themselves during this pandemic. Well done to our members for supporting in a small way.