So long 2020!
Well. Where do we start with this one? I think we can all agree that 2020 has not been the year any of us hoped for, nor ever expected!
Our aim in life is to always find the silver lining to every obstacle (without trivialising the hardships these obstacles cause), and with that in mind here is our review of the year.
The year started with a Lemony Snicket style series of events, which led to Jon and Laura taking the plunge and taking on Rivelin Running Events (and changing its name!). It wasn’t the start to the year we had planned, however in hindsight it has been a fantastic move for both us and the sort of events we want to put on.
While we both had experience of taking part in and organising events, it was the first time we were out on our own and it was a massive, sometimes stressful, mostly exciting learning curve. We have had the support of a bunch of great people throughout, so this absolutely isn’t just a two person show.
Then, of course, came the Covid-19 pandemic, an event that has caused a profound shift in the way we all go about our lives. We, along with everything else, stopped everything we were doing for a while, and waited to see what would follow. Obviously we are aware that we don’t exactly run an essential service, however we worried and planned and back up planned just like the rest of the world!
Plenty of the events we had planned haven’t happened this year due to coronavirus, although looking back this is probably one of those silver linings we mentioned earlier, as a full roster of races might just have overwhelmed us in our first year as we have learnt and juggled our real jobs and family life and the rest of it.
When it became clear that this wasn’t going away any time soon we took some of events, namely the Canal Canter and Bradfield Bash, virtual. This was a mixed success – those that ran the routes enjoyed them and we had some good feedback, however we have agreed that our happy place is being there in person and seeing you all race, so we have decided that we will stick to races where we can see actual real people and have some sociable banter :)
So let’s whizz through the section of the year where nothing happened and get to the good stuff! In August and September we managed to hold two actual races (Dig Deep and Ladybower 50) with actual people and actual medals and prizes and it was AMAZING! We put everything in place that we reasonably could to keep everyone safe, and we had such a great time and great response that it was absolutely worth all the extra work and planning. We hope staggered starts aren’t here forever, but we are so glad we could use them to put on at least some races.
We were also hoping to get an in-person race for the last Bradfield Bash of the year, but with Covid cases on the increase and restrictions tightening we had to make the call to leave it as a virtual time trial. We love doing these events but we want to do our bit to make sure humanity is still here to take part in them for the foreseeable future!
We are hopeful for 2021, and as such have opened entries to all the races with provisional dates, pandemic and local authorities allowing. We have another blog on the way looking forward to 2021, but that’s for another time :)
The final, and most important thing we need to say, is a massive THANK YOU to so so so many people!
THANK YOU to every single runner who has entered one of our races this year, and been patient while we worked out whether it could actually go ahead, and how to do it safely, and listened to our instructions and has given us the feedback that makes our hearts full. We absolutely could not do this without your backing, and it means so much to both of us.
THANK YOU to every person who has turned up to marshal at one or more of our races, you are the foundation of what we do and an essential part of everything. Also, you are a great bunch of human beings :) Special mentions have to go to the likes of David, Julie, Leanne, Hazel, Gary, Andy, Andrew, Neal, Dave P, and others who turn up (whether we ask them to or not) and stand in the cold all day for us, fetch and carry, tend to sore runners, look after our kids and make sure we have had something to eat!
THANK YOU to the small businesses that have supported us with prizes and help in what is an especially tough time to be a small business. The guys at Bradfield Brewery, the Dorothy Pax, and Chris at Events360 have gone above and beyond, and we really hope you will help us in supporting them by spreading the word and buying beer from them (delete as appropriate).
We wish you all the best for Christmas, whatever that looks like this year, and we can’t wait to see your smiling, sweaty, muddy faces in 2021.
Laura & Jon