David Moir reports from this season’s first Track & Field fixture at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.
Quite a few firsts for me with this meeting. The biggest was that I asked the committee if we could agree to host a fixture and upon receiving their approval I then realised it looked like I had agree to do just that. How hard could that be then, surely the officials just turned up and sorted everything out for you? Erm well not really, a quick read of the “how to organise a track meeting” document soon had me in a bit of a state of panic. OK let’s just work through it and sort out first aid, 5 main officials and their minions, packed lunches for the officials, a results recorder, an announcer etc. then book the track. I’d left the last thing a little late assuming that the chances of our home track Churchill at Monkseaton being booked on the day were pretty small, this I found was completely wrong and that came back to haunt me later on. Anyhow I’ll not bore you all with the details, but after a lot of working things out and some very well received advice from a couple of the officials (in particular Doug Maxwell from Tynedale and Phil Cowell from Jarrow) I sorted everything I could and had to book the meeting into Monkton at Jarrow. I e-mailed all the clubs and officials several times just to make sure everyone knew where we were but even upto the very last minute people were still assuming it was Monkseaton. I hope everyone who should have been there, found us at Jarrow, and I didn’t hear of anyone going to the wrong place.
Thankfully Mal Gibson had agreed to be track manager for the men (and Lisa Walker for the women), so at least I didn’t have to worry about no shows and filling events myself.
So my usual designated driver DD picked me up at 10:00 and I’d convinced him to act as results recorder so I’d had that sorted out as a bonus. On getting there, the officials turned up in dribs and drabs, all seemed to know what they were doing and then their lunches turned up so that was also sorted. Our Chairman Chris Robson then turned up and got in position behind the mic to act as our announcer for the day. All seemed to be going really well, and looked like my worries were unfounded, just needed to get some people to turn up and do some events now.
Hammer was first and Dan Thirwell our new long throws expert started us off in style by winning it for the men with Heaton’s stalwart track attendee George Routledge backing him up in the B event. Only Jenny Friend from Heaton threw in the ladies event taking full points in the A event, and if we had a second thrower, we would have had full points in the B event as well, but it wasn’t to be. Further throwers were Marc Fenwick (a win in the discus) Micky, Sara, Jeanette (Heaton), Kerry and Kym all earning us valuable points.
My first event of the day was the long jump, not got anything on Power of 10 so that was a PB, but came last. After my first jump, the official told me to move 6 inches back from my mark, my response of what mark caused a bit of hilarity, but I was serious. I just started my run up from where Craig Hodgson from Heaton started his, and he kept moving, so there wasn’t much planning going on. Craig did further jumps as did Anthony Bagley and Joe Turner had a go at the high jump, but couldn’t make the qualifying height (the only event you have to attain a specific standard) after punishing his legs steeple chasing earlier. We then had Kym, Judith Archibold from Heaton, with Judith giving good account of herself for most of the jumps. We didn’t have B athletes for all the events, so again points lost.
The full results are out and available so I won’t go into every individual performance but the men had A & B athletes in just every event with the exception of the hurdles (and pole vault that no athletes took part in). I ran the 400 hurdles but no B runner and there was only one runner from Blaydon brave enough to do the high hurdles so got maximum points for just finishing, but he gave good account of himself anyway. The ladies also pretty much filled their declaration sheet with some very brave performances, missing out on points in the B race for the hurdles and a couple of B athletes for the jumps, but we were probably more successful in filling events than the other clubs.
I ended up running the 100 & 200 & 1500 also doing the long jump for the first time ever, 400 hurdles and filling the teams for the relay events at the end of the day. As always, I really enjoyed it all, didn’t do too well at some events and I’m sure other people could do a much better job of the sprints than I managed, so it would be nice to see a few more new faces at the next one.
Big thanks to the officials who just took over and kept things running brilliantly, the track guys (Ged Tubman I hope you enjoyed your beers that night), the South Shields Volunteer life guards for providing first aid cover (even though I’m pleased to say we didn’t need it), Ruth from D-Lite for the packed lunches, Mal and Lisa for managing the teams, Roppa for keeping the info flowing over the PA, the other clubs and all our athletes (sorry I know I haven’t named everyone) for turning up and giving it your all, and particular thanks to DD who asked me for help to sort a software glitch on the day and just got a vacant look, then got handed my mobile and told to ring a bigger boy!!
I’d like as much feedback as I can on the comments bit of this article, particularly from any newbies who either turned up to support or had a go at things for the very first time (just like me!)
Full results to follow soon.