• News from Jonathon

Virtual Running Club

Hello to everyone at ERC.  This is the first time I’ve written our article without it being published in the Advertiser. No explanation needed at the moment but, of course, we all hope that as with everything else, the town’s paper will be able to take to the streets again, as it were, as soon as it deemed safe.

In the meantime, the ERC website managed by Doug Pearce, is available to all. We’re somewhat limited with new information, race results and the like but there are a few things to mention during this difficult time for everyone. Firstly, your ERC committee has been meeting using the ‘Zoom’ conference app. It certainly seems strange to peer into people’s offices, sitting rooms or kitchens whilst we’re discussing the agenda, as opposed to being round the table at ‘The George’ with a drink to hand. At least none of the committee have been in the bath at the wrong time….so far! As you’ll know from communications from our Chairman Mike Bishop and Secretary Mike Williams, the committee are obviously following both England Athletics and the Govt.’s lead on this lockdown. Any updates will, of course, be sent to you.  We are aiming to hold a virtual AGM this month and as long as the organisation (people and technical) goes ahead in practice, we look forward to completing a shorter version of the AGM but covering salient points and allowing members to participate and/or being updated via email and here on our website. So, no official training, no races and no social interaction at the Galtres. Unusual times aren’t they? Something none of us have experienced before and hopefully we can all get back to normal soon. However, as most of you will know because you’re taking part, but also for the few who might read this and haven’t or couldn’t opt in for any reason, the club has been, perhaps, more active than ever. I said ‘perhaps’ but actually it should be changed to ‘definitely’ more active.  Apart from some of our members who tend to complete a ‘Hardmoors’ before breakfast (Marie, Cath H-W, Neil) to name a few, or cycle 100 miles in the Moors as a warm up (Shaun), or an ‘Ironman’ for training (Emma Atk).....  I jest but you get the picture with all members doing what they individually enjoy doing. Examples above or the regulars at Tapas or 7 pm Tuesdays. Club evenings naturally and Park Runs. And races?  It all seems so strange that we can’t report on another PB, or this year's YDRRL, or the ups and downs of the Club Championship. Anyway, more active locally for sure over the last six or so weeks.  A massive “thankyou” must go to Colin, as our ‘Competition Secretary’, for being instrumental in organising the recent ‘Challenges’ which have taken the places of all the above (training, races etc). Challenge 1: took the form of an individual ‘Marathon Challenge’ over 14 days to allow members to run as little or much as they wanted and add their miles up to run the Marathon.  It began on the first day of BST and had a great response with members finding new local routes to vary the ks. Wonderful photos too. According to “Colin’s highlights”, 60 members ran at least 1 Marathon distance. 10 managed 2 Marathons, 2 completed 3 and 2 topped out at just over 4 Marathons. Total miles were 2,782 with over 510 individual runs. Amazing response from everyone who took part and after a few days’ rest we embarked on “Challenge 2: Virtual run to Hamburg”. If anyone didn’t know Michael Strabel (you may have joined the club recently), he was an extremely well liked ERC member when he lived with his family in Easingwold. After a number of years with us, Michael was asked by his company to relocate back to Germany. The idea to run from Easingwold to Michael’s house was born and due to the distance and having just finished an individual challenge, teams were selected to mark this one as a relay. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this second challenge upped the competitive ante even more. Facebook and WhatsApp groups were immediately set up by each of the five teams, named after areas of Easingwold. I gather that some teams’ communications were more or less active than others with a lot of social banter as well as running updates crossing the local airwaves.  As each team got closer to Hamburg, tactics certainly started to come into play with early starts actioned to gain time advantage, maths to work out how many ks were needed to get ahead or stay in touch. So much for some quiet social running during this period just to maintain a bit of fitness! Well done to Team Uppleby for arriving at Michael’s first with Claypenny just a stone’s throw behind. And with Crabmill, Millfield and Tanpit all completing the race on time and the same day, as Colin mentioned in his email summary: “Huge scenes of an ERC party at Michael’s. Looks like the celebrations will go on for some time”. This was such a fun challenge. The teams were chosen based on the previous Marathon challenge distances making them as balanced as possible, allowing for a better race.  Not just the running, finding new places to run in each member’s locale, but also the social and communicative aspects of this challenge came to the fore. So many of us have mentioned that rather than just knowing and chatting to our usual Thursday evening 10k groupings, it’s been really nice to get to know other ERC members through the WhatsApp groups, perhaps passing others on your runs/cycles and I’m sure you’ll agree during this enforced period that the activities and collective nature of our club have been a real positive. We even made the local paper in Germany! This has been posted on the ERC FB page so if you speak German, dig in. And if not, enjoy the photo! We’re now onto ‘Challenge 3’, the multi disciplinary selective over 15 days, again in our teams.  More on this one next time, but in the meantime, best of luck to all teams. Enjoy the activities, taking photos, checking out new on and off road routes. Of course we all hope to get back to ‘normal’ asap but until that time, keep and run/cycle/crosstrain etc safe. Finally, a word of thanks again to everyone for chipping in with a donation as an optional ‘entry fee’ to our challenges. Colin will no doubt update us via email and/or perhaps at the online AGM, but I believe something over £600 has been raised for a local caring charity in Easingwold. And from all ERC members I’m sure we extend our thanks to all who are currently working and supporting others. Whether you are a key worker and/or looking after family, friends or neighbours, crack on, enjoy the ERC challenges and we’ll catch up next time.

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