So, where do I start? Do I start by saying thanks to the amazing army of volunteers; the runners and running clubs; the cake bakers; the local trophy and goody bag sponsors; family and friends; the village hall committee and kitchen staff; Sarah from Shop Sarah for her Beastly buggy escort, support and goody bag items; the drummers and the top of town band; the amazing Maenclochog community; Wynnie Cliff for not only being a rock, but also for the 2no 17″ pizzas the night before as well as the other feasts(I didn’t eat them both!); Mr and Mrs Roberts from the North who are just amazing; the fancy dressed; the violinist in the gwaun(whom I didn’t know anything about); the land owners; the weather gods; Caffi’r Sgwar; Safe 2 storage; The Aelwyd and Adran youth groups for decorating the green; the Globe; Cotswolds outdoors Carmarthen; Princess Gate water; Aldi’s; Morrisons; Co-op; helpers and friends who were fetching pre-race ‘stuff’; Mr G (Huw George)the finish line compare who has been suffering with pneumonia(!); Roland and Pat for even contemplating coming to do the race results when Roland has literally come out of hospital after a major hip operation(thanks for lending us the PA system btw); Etts electrical; and the local constabulary for nearly giving me a heart attack when we’d heard that they’d closed off Rosebush quarries to the public literally as the runners started running off up through the village!!! Oh how we laughed too! The people I bundled into the car and dragged up there must have thought what on earth was going on!??? To name them in order would pay disrespect to others.
Like the amazing Little Dave said in his fb post, there isn’t any one thing that makes this event different or special, It’s the whole lot put together that makes runners and volunteers come back for more each year. Yes, it’s a long way to come for some, but is it worth it? Well most of you seem to think so and, and that must say something in its self. I’ve been very, very lucky to have such positive feedback either on social media or by messages, and I’ve still yet to read through it all. To be honest I scared to look! Diolch yn fawr/Thank you very much. It seems as if most of everything has been cleared away quicker than most years, although the Beast room does look very full. Which leaves me wondering why it’s taken me a while to write this post. To be honest, it generally does. It’s probably because my head’s been full of ‘stuff’, pre race and on the day. Is everything in place? Have I left someone’s name of the list because they messaged me and not entered online? Have I got enough of everything? Are all the volunteers happy? Do they know what they’re doing, and where they need to be? And so on, and so on.
I say at my marshals briefing the night before that they the marshals, and not the runners, are my main priorty. Ourea events made me realise this even more. Without happy marshals the race would not be the same. Happy marshals equals happier runners. The marshals are out standing on some remote locations and they need to stay warm, happy, and safe. Runners can keep warm by running(unless that is they injure themselves!) Some time( as a runner), it might be worth volunteering for a race to make you appreciate what it’s like standing there for a few hours. I love marshalling myself, and although it can be cold, very cold, it’s very rewarding. Making someone smile is priceless, and keeping them motivated and to encourage them to keep going is a great feeling.
On a sadder note, I write this on a day that our Northern friend Andy is being buried after losing his battle to cancer recently. One of the first times I met Andy was on the side of the road at Ogwen, North Wales at 5.30am. He and his wife Pam were in their campervan making bacon butties for me and the support team of runners and supporters during my first Big challenge, the Paddy Buckley round in 2010. Last year he and Pam(as well as a few from the North) travelled the many hours to come down just to marshal on the Preseli Beast as they do for many. Thanks Andy.
Now none of this would even get off the ground if it were not for some even more closer to home help. Mrs P- for putting up with my madness, for her artistic and IT skills, for managing the results for the first time and even getting them onto the website that evening, and for your muchios support. Also to our daughter Carolyn, aka Carz the plait race helper, for her admin support in doing the entries and answering emails, fetching ‘stuff’ and generally keeping things in order………including me!
I can’t believe that some of you have already asked what the date will be in 2020!!! I can’t even work out what I’m doing in a month, let alone next year! Some have already worked it out to be the 9th May! So, I guess that’s the date then! Same time, same place, same cake?
Now, apparently there’s a Welsh Dragon that needs taming??? Grrrr! The Beast v Dragon revenge match!
Hugs, The Hat.