It’s fair to say the weather was not kind… a bit of a theme with FOPL events during 2019. However, undeterred, a small team of marshals walked the route during the morning to make sure both routes were clearly marked.
Shortly after midday, Santa’s Grotto began to be assembled in the library car-park. This was a significant challenge owing to the weather – heavy rain and those surprise gusts of wind that catch you unawares threatened to blow the gazebo sorry grotto up to Hanwood! However several heavy weights and some rope saved the day: Santa was safe and ready to meet and greet the runners and walkers.
All was ready inside the library; the signing in desk, the first-aiders from St John Ambulance, the refreshment team – all we needed was some participants.
And they came, from Pontesbury and further afield even when the rain was lashing down: some in fancy dress, some in running shorts, most wrapped up warmly against the elements, but all ready and willing to put their best foot/feet forward and complete the course.
Santa rang the starting bell at 2.00pm exactly and everyone set off. Our team of marshals were already in position around the routes and via mobile phone calls we were able to track the runners’ and walkers’ progress – the runners made excellent time with the first two home well within the half hour – Mr Lowe-Werrell (Head at Mary Webb School) and Year 10 student Archie Dean who was just a few seconds faster than his head-teacher. Other runners followed in quick succession, including a couple of canine companions. The first team was made up of ex Mary Webb students and then the younger entrants and the walkers arrived.
Mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies went down very well in the library while participants shared their experiences (and sheltered from another short, sharp downpour!). The grotto stayed in place throughout and the wind and rain disappeared just in time for the prizes and medals to be awarded outside.
Despite slightly fewer runners and walkers than in previous years, the event was a great success. A real sense of community festive spirit was in evidence and well over £200.00 was made.
Thanks to everyone who helped before and during the event – especially those who got a bit wet and cold! And so what happens in 2020? We will have a new library base in the Pavilion on Hall Bank – shall we have a new Santa Fun Run route? What do you think?
Janet Walsh ( Committee Member)