Sunday the 26th of January saw the coming together of 2 clubs to put on one great event, the Swift-tees & NYMAC relays.
Rosanne Lightfoot, Swift-tees, had an idea about creating an event to raise funds for a local charity, raise awareness of Mental Health, particularly in Men and to bring the 2 clubs closer together. It was also to support 2 people in particular.
Paul Christon a long standing member of NYMAC and now a Swift, with his wife Shelly, is battling a brain tumour. Not letting this slow him down any more than he has to Paul has continued running and can still be seen regularly at parkrun and Swifts on a Wednesday evening.
In July 2019, while battling cancer, Paul completed a Coast-to-Coast cycle ride in a day.
Paul experienced a bout of poor mental health when he was younger and now works for Middlesbrough and Stockton MIND. Paul selected MIND as his charity for the bike ride and raised over £2,800 for them through the ride.
David Ainsley, another long standing NYMAC member, recently lost his son Craig to suicide. Craig was married with 3 young children and will be greatly missed by his family and everyone who knew him. David will be running Cardiff Half-Marathon on October 4th 2020, which is Craig’s birthday.
So on a breezy Sunday afternoon we all met at the Habinteg Centre by Hemlington lake, the home of Swift-tees.
The format of the event was a relay race, with the team mix being a Swift-tees member teaming up with a Nymac member.
A faster runner randomly paired with a not so fast runner.
The race distance for each team was for the quicker of the pair to run a full lap of the lake (1.2 miles) to then hand over to the slower runner of the pair who would run a shorter lap of the lake (1 mile), with each runner completing 2 laps. For the final lap the quicker runner was encouraged to run with the slower runner to support them on their lap and meaning that they could cross the line together.
While the teams were being paired up we were kept busy with a pub quiz, which was meant to be fun but saw a high level of dubious activity, upside down reading and answer swapping.
Then we all got to meet our partners and have a quick chat before heading out to the lakeside.
There were a few debates in the teams about who should run the larger and who should run the smaller lap but once all of that was sorted we were ready to go.
The Start/Finish line at the lake offered a good vantage point for a few different spots on the course so we were all eagerly trying to spot our partners as they ran their laps. There was a bit of ‘friendly” banter with the marshals when they spotted some of the slower lap runners who they believed should have been on the larger lap but it was all good fun.
Paul Stocks was first to handover to Tracey Horton and after that it all got a bit frantic to try to keep track.
David Ainsley was paired with Paul and Shelly Christon, who ran the smaller leg together. David changed from his NYMAC vest in to his son’s Vegan Runners vest for his second leg.
There was plenty of encouragement all round the last lap and it was great to see the both members of the team run in to the finish together.
The race was designed to be a fun event were the aim of the day was on taking part and making some new friends, as most of the pairs did not know each other before the start of the day.
As the emphasis was on fun the prizes were awarded to 1st, 10th & 20th place.
1st – Jacob Turner – Charlie Lightfoot
10th – Sean Micklewright – Jack McGarrity
20th – Anne Robson – Angela Turnbull
Wooden Spoon – Mark Edwards – Elizabeth Ferguson
Full results are here.
Not to rest on his laurels, by just walking away the wooden spoon, the quiz was also won by Mark Edwards, with his team consisting of Anne & Jim Robson, Geraldine Crawford and Maria Clemmit. Personally I think they should have been DQ’ed for flouting the rule of 4 people to a team!
As this was in the home of the Swifts then obviously the day ended with tea and cake.
A huge Thank You has to be said to all who took part to make it such a great afternoon. The organisers, timing team, quizmasters, kitchen crew, cake bakers, marshals, photographers, supporters and those that turned up to run.
So that was the event, it was really good fun, everyone enjoyed it and it certainly looks like it will return.
Donations are still coming in but we will let you know the total raised when we have it.
Event photos can be found here.