Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Highland Fling : Runner to Marshal Transformation

In the middle of last night I awoke with the simple but profound realization that I love running more than racing, and racing in the Highland Fling this weekend was just going to exacerbate my foot injury and delay the day what I can get back enjoying the freedom of injury free running. 

The Fling is an awesome event and one I've been wholly focused on for the last five months so making a decision to pull out is a hard one.  I really, really wanted to be out there on Saturday, but my realization is that I want even more to be out everyday on the hills, be it in an event, training for an event, or just for the plain joy of running in the beautiful countryside.  Having been sidelined by various injuries and illness over the last 6 weeks has brought into focus how frustrating it is to be injured, the physical pain of injury is far less than the loss of not being out there running and the frustration of not making progress in training for a big event.  The thought of making myself more injured on this occasion just doesn't seem to justify what I might gain in single days running, even when day is out on the beautiful West Highland Way with great likelminded company.

While my subconscious made the decision last night I couldn't quite bring myself to officially withdraw till the end of the working day, so just after 5pm I sent off an email to race organize John Duncan.  Minutes later I picked up the phone to John, who politely inquired about my withdraw and then seamlessly moved onto asking if I was now available to help out with Marshalling...

Over dinner I explained my withdraw and the idea of Marshalling on the Fling to my three girls and each one came up with a different plausible excuse I should have used to get out of Marshalling :-)  I'm not sure they have quite grasped the idea that volunteering to help in events is both crucial to the smooth running of events and it's rewarding seeing others safely on their way.

So.. now I'm a longer running in the Highland Fling, but I'm still part of it. Current plan is for me to be stationed at Drymen directing runners off the road and right into the field that takes you up to the check-point.

Sure there is part of me that will be wishing I was passing through as a runner at 7:55am and bang on my splits on route to a PB, but this year it wasn't to be.  There are plenty more days of running and more great races this year for me to look forward to so I won't be dwelling on might have been.  Instead I'll be there to point runners in the right direction and soak up the atmosphere and inspiration that can be gained by witnessing nearly 600 runners embarking of something that most people would consider impossible - two marathons on rugged terrain in one day, that's just plain awesome!

Good luck to all those running on Saturday, see you at Drymen!

1 comment:

  1. Good decision, and well done on volunteering for marshalling. Also, it looks like John Duncan knows exactly what he's doing if he manages to snag extra volunteers in such a slick fashion ;-)