EVAC Track and field results

Last night I was roped into going along as the results person for the Eastern Veterans Athletic Club track and field events at Corby.

I didn’t know a whole lot about the events, not being old enough to score (age 35 for a female and 40 for a male) but this year our club was co-hosting an event with Corby AC over at the Rockingham Triangle in Corby as we do not have our own track in Wellingborough.  The club captains pleaded with me to help out and score so I agreed to do so – thinking that it would take my mind off of my taper for the Grim 70 on Friday.

Me sorting results at Rockingham Triangle in Corby

I turned up a little before 6:30pm, laptop in arms.  Earlier that day I had received via email a recording spreadsheet and declaration sheets of who was competing in which event from three of the five clubs that were attending.  The email recording spreadsheet was the most complicated thing I have ever seen, including twelve different workbooks and almost every cell containing a formula.  I struggled to work out what I was expected to enter where…and that is coming from an ICT teacher!  I had received instructions over the phone earlier that day to find membership numbers for each entrant (which I found on a different spreadsheet tab) and enter them into the spreadsheet declaration tab for each competing team.  I did this for the three clubs that had sent me their forms, but could not do this for the two teams which were yet to announce their competitors.  Luckily I received their sheets not long after arriving so quickly searched for and typed in membership numbers in the correct places before results started to trickle in.

Women wore letters on their bibs and men wore numbers.  Each referring to their age and club.

Nene Valley Harriers = 1/A
Peterborough AC = 2/B
Corby AC = 3/C
Wellingborough & District AC = 5/E
Huntingdonshire AC = 6/F

There were three age categories for the majority of events.  35-49, 50-59, 60+.  If a competitor was in the first age category they would have just one letter/number printed on their bib, the middle age category would have two and the oldest category would have three printed.  So, our Vet 60 lady had EEE printed on her bib.

Ladies team at EVACThis meant that some people would be displaying the same bib number/letter if they were competing for the same club and of the same age category but entered in different events.  Not being familiar with EVAC, not knowing a huge amount about track and field events and not having anyone show me how the scoring worked on the spreadsheet, this confused me for quite some time!

2k walk eventThe first event was the most confusing of all.  Each club could enter two competitors of each gender and of any age into the 2k walk.  Category A and category B – essentially two races held at once.  Category A was the faster entrant and entrants were already selected on the spreadsheet before the event.  Males and females competed together and then I received the results sheet up in my place in the top scoring box with a bunch of numbers and letters scribbled alongside times.  I had to split males from female runners and then had to establish if I needed to change category A and B entrants around on the declaration spreadsheet workbook (if the person supposed to be scoring for category A was in fact slower than their teammate) and record their times on separate sections of the spreadsheet.  It was so confusing!

2000m at EVAC

For the longer events, like the 2k walk and the 2000m they put together both men and women, although I then needed to split the results up on the spreadsheet afterwards.  Sometimes it was unnecessarily confusing.

Score sheet at EVAC

In the above photo of the 2000m race results sheet there is a number 99 and a number 115 – these are ‘guest’ competitors and non-scorers.  Either they already had someone competing for their age group in their club at that event, or they were too young to be able to compete but would want to enter anyway and would still want to receive times.  This messed the spreadsheet up as points were automatically allocated to competitors you gave a position to so the formulas all had to be overwritten.  Again, good job I was an ICT teacher.  I know plenty of people that would have struggled much more than I did here!

Several people came and changed competitors on their sheets throughout the evening and one guy came to state that he had not been included in the original hand written walk results – requiring a big faff of changing the results sheet around to include him.  One person had added herself to the wrong declaration sheet and several competitors came to pull through the results sheets to find out their times.  Very frustrating when I was desperately trying to get myself organised with all the results coming in at different times!

I thought I wouldn’t have a lot to do in the nearly three hours I was there but in actual fact I didn’t get a chance to watch many of the events at all.  I did manage to glance up just as the men were running their relay though.  I was especially interested in this after having had a go myself at the school sports day a few weeks back.  They were so fast.  Having been used to running long – nice and steady since becoming a runner, watching others run over the 100m distance before passing on to the next person at such amazing speeds was literally breath taking.  I couldn’t draw my eyes away until the end of the race.  Our guys came second, although held the lead right down until the last runner of the four.

EVAC at CorbyThe results weren’t all confusing.  The jump and throw events had results sheets which listed the name of each person and also their position and distances/heights.  They hadn’t recorded any no-scorers and these sheets were super easy to follow.EVAC throw resultsI would help out again, but having done it once now and knowing the sort of problems I encountered, I would ensure that I had answers to all questions before being left alone in the box with no outside help!

Have you ever taken part in any track or field events?
Have you been part of a race which has had an alternative way of scoring/placing competitors?

What I’m loving right now

My Summer holidays are already four days in and right now I am loving…

…being able to mix and match my salads at lunch.

Pesto, ham, mozzarella and tomato salad

On Friday our new fridge freezer arrived and it has been amazing being able to have fresh fruit and dairy once more.  I was getting fed up of daily visits to the shop for milk and there was one evening last week where all I really craved was a cheese salad sandwich but I had to make do with butterless toast instead.  A poor substitute!

Salad items in the fridgeI’ve been having my fill of fresh fruit and vegetables ever since.

…having the internet back!

You don’t realise just how much you rely on the internet until you don’t have it any more.  For me it wasn’t just about entertainment (blogs/social media/netflix…) but also vital admin house things like transferring money or finding the phone number for our solicitor.

I’ve had the internet back for all of a couple of hours so far and have already caught up with so much during that time.  My recent daily ritual has been to either fill my laptop bag with all my fully-charged electronic devices and take the fifteen minute walk to McDonalds, where I would sit in the corner of the restaurant and nurse a milkshake until my laptop battery ran out.  Or I would sit out on the grass a little way in front of our row of houses where there was a BT WiFi hotspot.  (Not preferable when wet though!)

A friend sent me this earlier today and this was totally me last week!  Haha!

McDonalds free wifi image

…being able to run during the day and not having to schedule my run in at a precise time when our (now joint) car was free and when I wasn’t rushing off elsewhere.  I ran Thursday at club as I normally would have done in the evening, but on Friday it was during the middle of the morning and again yesterday.  There’s something nice about not having to rush out to get somewhere for a certain time and not being on a time limit for when you must return.

…having a project to work towards.

Peeling off the bright red wallpaper in the new houseAs I mentioned the other day, most of the rooms in our house are either bright red, yellow or orange.  Some are even a mixture of all three colours!  Red, orange and yellow are not really the colours we would have chosen for our house and it could really do with a freshen up – lots of the layout of the house needs adapting, both the kitchen and bathroom will need redoing completely and we have a long-term plan to extend into the garage as well.  Upstairs in the bedrooms the main issue is simply the colours or peeling wallpaper, so we are tackling this first of all and whenever I’ve had a spare half hour (or seven!) this week I’ve been stripping wallpaper or pulling away dado rails.

Peeling off the bright red wallpaper in the new houseOf the four bedrooms one of them now has the majority of the wallpaper removed and another has had a first coat of paint applied.  We’re getting there slowly but I like that again there is no rush but that I can complete it a little bit at a time.

…snuggles with my Bella cat.

Bella cat is all snuggly

Bella has been super snuggly since we moved and I only have to sit or lay down for a second and she has jumped up onto my lap or my back for a cuddle.

Bella snuggle asleep…she’s pretty cute though!


Chocolate anniversary cakeMy Mother-in-law made Dan and I a cake for our upcoming anniversary which she brought round on Sunday afternoon and I’ve enjoyed a little slice each day since!

Chocolate anniversary cakeWhat are you loving lately?
Is your house filled with bright colours or have you stuck to more neutral tones?

Running talk

On Saturday morning I headed to Northampton parkrun.  The evening before I had been in two minds to mix things up and try out a new parkrun course but the free WiFi hotspot outside our house wasn’t playing ball and so without directions I thought it probably best to stick to what I knew!

I wasn’t sure how to pace the parkrun.  Standing on the start line a few minutes before it was due to begin I was still debating just what to do.  Should I run a really easy pace and cruise round to the finish?…Should I run at a steady pace?…Or should I pace to heart rate as I would if I was aiming for a PB?  With Grim 70 this coming Friday I really didn’t know what to do for the best, and then I glanced up to see my friend from work had placed herself just in front of me on the start line so I offered to run with her instead.  Sometimes it’s nice not to have to make all the decisions yourself! 😛

Lindsay hadn’t run for a few weeks and just wanted someone to keep her going round so we set off at a steady 10:30mm-ish pace.  I could comfortably chat away yet encourage Lindsay round the course.

Running with Lindsay at Northampton parkrunI’m not quite so sure Lindsay saw it as very encouraging though, or comfortable!  I let her have two walk breaks but made her run the rest of the way!Running with Lindsay at Northampton parkrunWe made it to the finish line in 34:15.  I was in 268th position and 93rd lady over the line.Running with Lindsay at Northampton parkrunShe must have a little trust in me though as she has asked me to come up with a plan for her to help her to get to the 10k distance.  Her only prerequisite was that the plan didn’t involve skipping!  I’ve stressed to her that I’m not qualified to put anything together, but have come up with a rough guideline for her which includes 3 main running sessions each week.  One incorporating some hills, one slow and easy run building up to the distance and one parkrun each week to be run as a tempo run.  On the other days I’ve added in walks, core work, swimming and workout DVDs to try and build her strength up to cover longer distances.  I quite enjoyed coming up with a plan for somebody else actually.

The weather was lovely on Saturday morning – nice and cool.  It was similar on Sunday morning when I left the house at 7:45am to go and marshal at our club race; the Welly 5.  However it didn’t stay that way and all marshals and runners ended up absolutely soaked and shivering by the end of the race!

By the end of the morning I was sporting three t-shirts on top of each other underneath a jacket – trying to keep warm and dry!  The Wellingborough 5 t-shirt I received for marshaling was nice though – I headed out for a run in it this morning and the medium fit perfectly.

Wellingborough 5 t-shirt(Excuse the headless pic!  I find photographing myself impossible with my phone!)

For the race on Sunday I was out marshaling on the front road with two other runners from our club.  Our job was forever changing; Firstly, we stopped cars turning into the Old Grammarians (OGs) HQ itself – pointing drivers to the car park on the other side of the road instead.  Then we held back runners until the road was shut for the race start.  This was followed by manning the edges of the road and ensuring no excited spectators got in the way of the runners, and then lastly we turned to face the other direction ready for runners to head back towards the OGs so that we could steer them in the right direction.  This is my usual marshaling spot and has been for the past two years, although there are usually just two of us.  I used the extra marshal to my advantage though and this year I took photos of both the race start and also runners heading to the finish line – with the aim of photographing everyone out on the course.  Our local parkrun has recently had a photographer at the runs most weeks and it’s been really nice to look through the photographs afterwards.  (Usually anyway.  There are some questionable faces I’m pulling in some of my photographs!)  Turns out another runner from the club, Gary, had the same idea and so there were lots and lots of pictures from the race all over social media yesterday afternoon.

Winner of the Wellingborough 5 mile road race 2015This guy is the eventual winner of the race.  This is 1/3 mile past the start line and you can see the massive lead he already has on the rest of the field!  He went on to win in 24:43 – more than two minutes ahead of the guy in second place, and running sub 5minute miles for the whole race.  Mental.

After the race I had a long chat with a couple of the guys also running Grim on Friday.  There will be three from our club running the 40 mile distance and three of us running the 70 miles.  I am the only one who has run the 70 before, and Kev, who pulled at mile 40 last year has decided to run the 40 with his wife as preparation for his 100 mile race the following weekend.  Seriously amazing!  Between us we made a collective decision to take much more than we will need as it’s better to have too much than not enough.  Gary’s family will be popping in during the day to see how we are getting on and Dan will stop by after work.  I’m sure that either will pick up anything that any of us feel we need by this point and bring along.  Last year Dan received a desperate phone call begging for chocolate milk and oranges which he delivered to me at the 40 mile point!  It was great chatting about the upcoming race though and it got me all excited for what is to come later in the week.

I arrived home from the race (soaking wet!) to my parents-in-law who had stopped by to drop in a bed for our spare room and to look round our new house.  They had made us an early anniversary cake and also brought Bella a present of a gift bag filled with four different packs of Dreamies.  Bella could not get her head in that bag quick enough!

Bella going for the DreamiesWe gave her a few and then Dan put the bags up high in the kitchen.  Apparently not high enough though as Bella managed to scramble up and get one of the bags onto the floor overnight.  This morning Dan came up to show me the Dreamies treat bag that he had found on the floor ripped to shreds.  Bella by this point had let herself into the bathroom and was licking the tap in the bath.  Dan thought she might well be feeling quite high from so many Dreamies in such a short space of time!  Luckily there have been no ill effects and she is currently curled up on my lap as I type this but the remaining three bags of treats have been hidden away out of sight.  It’s like having a naughty child in the house!

How do you manage to take pictures of yourself for your blog?!  Someone please teach me!
Do your animals go crazy for treats?  Bella will do anything for a handful of Dreamies!
Do you tend to overpack for races?

Plans for the Summer

My Summer holiday began today and it did not come soon enough!  I have been on count down for the last fortnight at school, just waiting for the end of term!

Every year since my first as a teacher I have filled my Summer holidays with fun things.  Six weeks sounds like a really long time but most years there aren’t many days where I don’t have something planned out to do or somebody to see.

Last Summer was spent preparing for my wedding and then jetting off on honeymoon.  I can’t believe that in a fortnight Dan and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary!  This year really has gone so quickly.

Dan and Me on our wedding day in front of the horse and carriage

For our anniversary, Dan and I are spending a night away in Stafford – our uni town and where we first met.  We’re hoping to head to some of the bars where we headed on our first dates and visit some of the places that we did all those years ago back in 2007 when we first got together.  We’re only going for one evening – partly to save money and partly because we don’t want to leave Bella in the new house for too long, even if someone was to come round and check on her.
I am sure that she will love it here when she has fully settled, – we would not have made the decision to move if we thought that she wouldn’t like it.  On advice from others we have decided to keep her in for the best part of a month before letting her outside to explore and I don’t want to unsettle her further by us spending several days away.  She has begun to settle already and although she hasn’t cried to go outside, she enjoys spending her time on the windowsills…

Bella on the windowsill

…and exploring underneath the back of the kitchen units…

Bella exploring under the kitchen cupboards

…hopefully soon to be stripped out!

A lot of my Summer will be spent working on the house, mainly over the next few weeks.  I’ve packed away DVDs, books and ornaments into boxes in the garage for the time being so that I can really get stuck into wallpaper peeling and paint stripping this week, without a multitude of boxes in the way.  It is so lovely to sit down and be able to type this blog post on my laptop at the dining room table with lots of space around me in the room.

Working on my laptop in the dining room

Bella has enjoyed me being at home today and has joined me in the dining room this afternoon as the sun came through the window.  I can see this becoming a regular thing over the holiday!

Bella relaxing in the sun in the dining room

Next Friday is the Grim Reaper 70 mile ultramarathon.  I ran the event last year, although a lot more people attended than are looking to do so this year.  Runners received race day details via email earlier in the week and it appears that just 28 runners have entered, with only 8 of those being female entrants.  A couple of friends at club have asked me just lately if I am ready for the event.  I think I am.  I’m not nervous.  Although my mileage has been nowhere near as high as it was at this point last year, I have been running strong just lately, and knowing that I have completed the event before is a big mental boost as well.  I feel much more experienced when it comes to knowing how to tackle longer distance events this time round.  And, if it all goes to pot on race day I won’t beat myself up.  I know that I am capable of the distance and have proven so before.  I’ve had a good season so far this year, ticking off a few PBs and I would like to see if I can achieve another over 70 miles.  But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

Grim Reaper poster

Something else I can’t wait for is being able to get back in the kitchen.  Our old kitchen was really tiny, so it’s been lovely having a large kitchen to prance around in over the past few days.

The kitchen in our new house

It needs a complete re-model though as things just haven’t been thought about very practically at all.

Poorly designed kitchen cupboard doors

This set of drawers behind the door really annoys me.  Not only has it not been laid flush to the wall (as it was too long) but the glass door between the dining room and kitchen is free to bang against the cupboard knob handles – potentially smashing them if too much force is applied!  You have to first shut the door to the dining room fully before you can open the kitchen cupboard door to see what is inside.

Unfortunately, as the most expensive item on our to-do-list I don’t think the kitchen will be completed over the Summer holidays, but at least I will be able to start cooking again.  It was getting rather old living off of Co-op snacks and leftovers.  I’ve got lots of Pinterest recipes I want to try out!

I would also like to spend more time on the blog over the Summer.  The design has been bugging me for ages and there are so many little mistakes that need tweaking.  It really annoys me every time I visit AHM but I just haven’t had the time to be able to sit there and fiddle with the design until I have it looking the way I want.  We still don’t have the internet at home at the moment (currently looking like it will be next Tuesday now before we do have it) but the large grassy area along our road and just infront of our house falls in a BT WiFi hotspot which I discovered last night, so I can at least write and read blogs on my tablet again now.   It’s probably a good job that our house isn’t 50m further over, as otherwise I would be distracted by the internet when I’ve actually still got quite a lot to do, but it is nice that I can access it now if I need to.  I took my laptop out earlier to bring up my ‘new post’ page before returning indoors to write this post and then I shall head back outside to publish it.  I don’t fancy sitting outside on my laptop squinting in the sun for an hour!

What plans do you have for over the Summer?