So a few weeks ago, Lee turned to me and said "I want to do a run where people can come along and join us somewhere along the Greensand Way. Maybe get people from Twitter to join us, like a tweetup but with running. A twunup?".
So I said, "Ok!" (What else would you say?!)
We searched around the idea of doing it on a Saturday or Sunday, and found Sunday 8th April was the soonest suitable day. As Sunday 8th April is Easter Sunday... the possibilities for fun suddenly increased!
"Let's do a raffle as well!"
"Let's do an Easter Egg HUNT as well!"
"And we could lay a flour trail like a hash!
"And get it in the press!"
"And end up at a pub!"
So there you have it.
On Easter Sunday 2012 we did a flour trail, a four mile run, an Easter Egg hunt, and a fundraising raffle, with the hashtag #EasterRunday, all from the Merry Harriers in Hambledon, near Godalming.
Lee and I set the trail at 9am wearing bunny ears, dropping four miles of flour over the footpaths around Hambledon, and setting "Egg Checks". I think we even saw the Easter Bunny a couple of times putting eggs round the egg checks...
|The elusive Easter Bunny hopping along near the Greensand Way|
|A possible accomplice of the Easter Bunny spotted on the Greensand Way|
|Smolk-ing! Smiling with your yolk! Go @amerbob!|
At 10.45am the local press photographer arrived and gathered us together for a very silly photo (with a lot of people having some hastily-fumbled-together pink bunny ears thrust upon them) in front of the pub.
We then embarked upon a quick warmup led by Emma to stop us getting injured on the run:
|Lift those ears and shake those cotton tails! Some dynamic stretching by the Easter Runday group|
- don't step in doody
- don't run into roads
- don't run into barbed wire
- err... that's it.
And they were off! The walkers had already set off, but were caught up by the Front Running B*****ds, who sped off into the distance but managed to hold back when picking the eggs up - apparently they didn't want to be weighed down by the chocolate.
The fast-ish runners and joggers followed up at a good pace behind, with squeals of delight at the discovery of the chocolate eggs. The sun came out... we were running in bunny ears... there was an egg gallivanting about... it was BRILLIANT!
|All smiles on the Greensand Way Easter Runday|
But then... disaster struck!
Dave got lost!
The flour disappeared!
The FRBs were left scratching their heads!
Someone had carefully removed all signs and sights of the flour for one stretch of the trail - not a mark was left behind.
Who would do that? We'll never know.
Lee sprinted up ahead (laden down with a full rucksack but no spare flour) and helped the FRBs re-lay the trail with wooden stick arrows, pioneering style! Later we added some choccie eggs to the arrows, to make sure the trail was clear again...
|Part orienteering, part running, and part posing on the Greensand Way Easter Runday.|
We got back to the pub bang on 12.30pm and the hot beef sandwich success of the last time we were at the Merry Harriers spread round the whole group - almost everyone had one!
The star prize, a unique Siddy Langley vase, donated very kindly by McAllister Thomas Fine Art (details about the artist here: http://www.spinnakersgallery.co.uk/index.php/CV/Siddy-Langley.html), went to a family in the pub sitting down to Easter Sunday dinner which was wonderful, they were so happy.
|"Here, I got you this" - the beautiful Siddy Langley vase presented to a family already with their hands full!|
Unfortunately that was the best photo we have of the vase being presented - if the winners possibly have a good photo of the prize in situ we'd love to post it on this blog!
Everyone was so happy with their prizes. Our favourite to give away - aside from all the generously donated prizes from local companies - was a "Greensand Way Survival Pack" - filled with everything you need to keep on running! The pack included Jelly Babies, Doritos, talcum powder, 3 bottles of Sports Drink (Lucozade, For Goodness Shake and a bottle of ale), blister plasters, and some bath smellies for afterwards. A last minute addition to this prize was a free sports massage kindly donated by Emma Berry! Unfortunately I didn't win this, nor did Dave, Dan or Lee... but maybe we'll see the winner overtaking us on the Greensand Way soon...
The day went swimmingly (runningly?) and was a wonderful success. We got to meet some local people who've been supporting us but we hadn't actually met - Amy (of egg and @amerbob fame!) and Lesley Beeton (@Shackleford_LB) too, who brought her husband Ian and friend Len who are Waverley Harriers and took great pleasure in being the FRBs on the day! A big big thank you to Amy and Lesley who have blogged about us before and it was just fantastic to finally meet you!
We were also joined by a whole host of our mates who had helped to get the message out about the run and came along gamely - even with bunny ears plonked on their heads - you are all stars and your support is appreciated so much!
It was especially exciting to meet Helen and Alice who had heard about the run on Eagle Radio - another great local service! Thank you for joining us and coming along, it was great to meet you.
Later in the pub some more friends joined us (somehow they weren't feeling energetic enough for a Sunday morning run?!) including the lovely and talented Jacquie Lawson, and her partner Malcolm (whose ear I chewed off talking about all things rugby!)
All in all, a fantastic day, helped by so many to be a success. And it was a success. The total raised by everyone who bought a ticket, donated a prize, or ran with us has ended up being....
The next challenge for us Greensand Way-ers is this weekend's Kent training run. Another 55 miles, this time all completely new! What could possibly go wrong?! That's going to be a blog and a half....
|Caught in the act! Shh... you never saw us...|
(see you next year?)