Historically (almost) Correct

Well, it’s been going a few years now, John…’ Ted said, stepping up to the leaner. ‘Do you remember back in December ‘82 when a group of local harriers tried out the course?’
‘I remember why Brian Philips picked the second weekend in February’ John added taking a sip, ‘the driest day of the year, since records began. It has certainly proved itself, only two wet Saturdays since, Ted.’
‘Those drink bottles have proved a hit – I think we are still using some of the originals… can’t get them like that anymore’ Ted remonstrated. ‘It’s a big job filling them, gauging how many and how hot it’s going to get.’
‘We had about 250 for the first event and haven’t looked back’ John said.
‘Well you have certainly been in for the long haul John – 25 years in a row.’
‘It’s the camaraderie Ted – so easy to do when everyone around you is enjoying themselves.’

‘The tent was a big plus – helluva job putting it up all those years ago, trying to get enough numbers, trying to beat the wind. Remember Grant going for a ride on one of the poles, Bill getting a gash to the head!’

‘When Dennis took over in ‘87, we had a core committee, everyone got stuck in, it was like crossover jobs. We had our job Ted, the flags went up like clockwork’ John said, as he headed for the bar.

‘Now you have extra help’ Colin added, as he moved to the leaner, ‘the Valentine’s Day ones are a bit more work.’

‘People think it’s a hard course’ John put in as he returned, ‘look at the times from Eddie Gray, Phil Costley and the likes – machines! A bit like me eh! It’s all downhill, I can’t understand why everyone just doesn’t sprint? Mind you, looking at the scenery, there’s no other course like it. You get a bus trip up, and jog back with like-minded people.’

‘What I love about it John, is all the volunteers on the drink stations – some of them have been there from day one. We have more stations than most mainly because of the humidity and heat. One year, the army ran in their fatigues, and I bet they were tired.’

‘Coming into town is my favourite part Ted, past all the crowds, and then into the chute, a great feeling – and I’ve even won spot prizes!’

‘I’ve been to a few of the after-matches’ Colin added, ‘glad I didn’t run, I’d still be lying on the ground.’

‘You wouldn’t have had your photo taken then, or picked up your certificate on the day, like everyone else!’ Ted said mockingly.

‘No, you need someone to do the work Ted, you’re no spring chicken.’

‘Well at least I’ve got some medals to prove where I was each five years, you must have a couple John?’

‘People look forward to the anniversary ones and I’m no different, Ted.’

‘Remember those smorgasbords that Bowie Watson started, people still talk about them, then we had Melissa for a few years, before we had all these grazing stalls.’

‘-What do you mean grazing, Ted?’

‘Well you know, people can now eat what they want when they want, a much better idea, and the locals can put up a stall.’

‘What’s impressed me’ Colin added, ‘is the way the square gets cleaned up very quickly, it’s like a big hoover comes in, but we know it’s the locals that do it.’

‘-the toilets get hammered.’ John laughed, ‘Remember when we had the bush ones up the gorge, tarpaulins and buckets. Buck did a great job for all those years.’

‘Well, I’d better be on my way guys’ Ted said, ‘Maureen’s expecting me.’

‘Nice reminiscing with you Ted, if Marilyn lets me I’ll be available next year for the flags.’

‘Count me in too’ Colin added. ‘You’ll need someone to stop you putting them up upside down.’