Sunday 9th July saw the 3rd running of the Swift-tees – NYMAC relay at Hemlington Lake.
This is a charity event which started in 2020, it was such a success and good fun that it has turned in to an annual event.
The charity this year was Papyrus for the prevention of young suicide.
For a couple of small groups of runners we’ve been sadly touched too many times by suicide, so it was really nice to come together, talk about our lost family and friends and spread the message that there is help, however hard it may be to ask for.
The aim of the day is fun, although after running hard in the sun we had to remind ourselves it was fun.
There were 4 clubs taking part this year, Swift-tees, North York Moors AC, Billingham Running Club and Boro Runners.
Runners are put in to teams loosely based off their 5k time. We had 39 teams this year, which is a new record.
The aim being to have teams that will complete the course in similar times, creating a bit of friendly competition, while also having teams where the runners didn’t already know each other.
It’s all about getting people talking after all.
The race is run as a relay with runner A, on the large lap, handing over to runner B, for the short lap. Runner A then goes again on the large lap before both runners finish together with a short lap.
Anticipation was building as Rosanne read out the Teams and we all got to find out who our running partners were. There were some quick introductions and then we all made our way over to Hemlington Lake, chatting on the way, and it was on to the racing.
There was a definite competitive edge showing through in some of the teams and it was fun watching those teams where there was a clear difference in how seriously the team members were taking things. It’s at this point that I’m, almost, embarrassed to admit that I owe my running partner an apology…
The race itself is great fun to watch. There are a wide range of abilities on show and with the team matching you never quite know who’s going to be in front, so we were all trying to catch glimpses of our partners as they made their way round their lap.
There were 16 marshals on course, a few spectators and some family members so there was plenty of cheering and encouragement for the runners.
The first team home on the day were Jack Harrison & Adele Almond. With teams coming over the line thick and fast shortly after the winners.
This event is about more than winning though and the next 2 plaques went to randomly drawn teams, these being Chris Cahill & Diane Greening and Charlotte & Martin Fryett with Anne Robson.
There is one more trophy which is awarded to the team that crosses the line to finish the race and receive the biggest cheer of the day. This year that went to Andy Love & Jacquie Kelly, who both looked very pleased with their Wooden Spoons.
Back in the Habinteg Centre there were refreshments and a cake sale, which we all tucked in to while taking part in the final competitive bit of the afternoon, the Pub Quiz.
While this is a fun event aimed at meeting new people, bringing them together and getting them talking, we still take some time to remember the reasons why we’re raising money.
In that room of around 120 people we took time to listen to some of our friends, new and old, who have sadly been touched by losing a close family member to suicide.
Phil Cawood – NYMAC
Jan and Paul Baldwin – Swift-tees
David and Dorothy Ainsley – NYMAC
James McGhee – Billingham Running Club
It wasn’t easy for them to speak and it was emotional, so we would like to thank them all for sharing their words with us. The big message from them all was to talk, don’t be embarrassed, afraid or feel foolish. Just talk.
Following the talks we returned to the quiz.
Spurred on by winning the wooden spoons Andy and Jacquie were looking for another spot in the limelight which they managed to get that by winning the quiz. It was a close fought battle though with 2 other teams hot on their heels, drawing in second place just one point behind the winners.
The results of the quiz bring the afternoon to a close, with just one more thing left to do.
Rosanne gets the pleasure of telling us all how much we raised.
For this Years event we managed to raise £847.02 from donations and the cake sale.
Billingham Running Club donated a further £100 and Swifts rounded it up to a £1,000.
Special thanks have to go out to all that makes this event such a success.
Rosanne Lightfoot, for organising and getting people involved.
Paul McGough, for the unenviable task of organising teams.
Sid Rudd and his timing team for producing the results.
Eddie Meehan for writing the quiz.
All of the Marshals who gave up their time so we could run and Kerri Muldowney for organising them.
The bakers, for the delicious cakes we had with our tea. The kitchen staff for all those cups of tea and the washing up.
And finally all you runners who turn up and make the event what it is.
See you next year 🙂