Every year, at the Desborough 10k my running club takes over most of the marshalling duties. The event takes place at the local farm park West Lodge, a great start/finish area with plenty of parking and toilet facilities (though with every race there is always a queue for the ladies!), hog roast and beers at the end, and the best thing about the 10k is that you get a bottle of wine for finishing AND a medal.
As with last year I opted to be a tail runner, so this is a slight different twist on a usual run report and focuses on the enjoyment of tail running. With tail running, I enjoy still having the opportunity to run the course while encouraging another runner to reach their goal.
In addition to the 10k, there’s a 2k and a 5k fun run that takes place so we hung around to watch some of our friend’s children cross the line. It was the time for us to start lining up where I met another team white member of visor club!
The three of us tail runners took our places at the back, jogging until we met the final runner. The course takes us out around a field, back towards the farm before heading into the countryside. It’s a really nice course with a mixture of grass and roads through the local fields. It’s a two-lap route and on the second lap we had the chance to take in the beautiful sunset. Another bonus of tail running – you’re able to take in and enjoy the surroundings.
The group of us (three tail runners and one runner) completed the first lap in approx. 50 minutes, we lost a tail runner at this point – her first run since coming back from injury. Our lovely runner wanted to give up at this point but we were not letting her! The second lap went by, we were handed sweets, received some nice comments from the marshals (most from my running club), one not so nice comment from the medical motorbike (I do hope it was meant in a different light) and before we knew it we were at the 9k mark.
Our final lady had finished, and she knew it. It was fantastic to watch her complete the final few hundred meters with a friend. All she had achieved, her story and how far she had come. It was such an amazing achievement and it was completely her moment to enjoy.
My favourite things about tail running:
- Encouraging a runner to carry on when all they want to do is stop. We’ve all been there and I love to pass on my own experience.
- The cheers and well done’s from runners lapping – this proves to me the uniqueness of the running community. We don’t care about time or distance, we just want others running.
- Being able to enjoy the route rather than letting it fly past you.
- Watching the last runner’s face as they cross the finish line and knowing I’ve had something to do with it.
So, if you haven’t I’d encourage everyone to try out tail running, whether it’s at your local parkrun or race, take the time to do it. A runner out there will be thankful.