FLM runners and supporters

Your thoughts about support this year and next..

21 to 40 of 154 messages
18/04/2005 at 20:51

It was great, I saw the signs as I was heading towards you and saw the big 9 sign then realised they were counting down. Managed to find my team 7 - thanks folks for your support and the mini mars bar!

Thought it was a great 'service' and I really appreciated it, it was nice to know there was 'somebody' there for me at mile 17.

Thanks Meldy and team 7

18/04/2005 at 20:54
I didn't sign up for support but found everyone ok and it was great to get the cheers. Thanks for organising this it was brill! Didn't see the countdown signs just spotted everyone kind of by chance - must have the signs. Balloons would do the job.

Well done the supporters.
18/04/2005 at 21:07
Brilliant organisation Meer.

I agree that we need to keep balloons and signs above head height so that runners can see them. I took 70 balloons to Mudchute, but they were dispersed so lost some impact; I think they would have been better in one group, high enough for all to see (and we could easily put up loads more, especially if someone can produce a stepladder... :-)

Maybe we could look at using the same format of signs for each group number as were used for the countdown; people noticed those, and I really liked the idea.

The water stop has been in the same place for two years now, and I suspect they will keep that area because of the open space. If we keep the same position immediately south of Mudchute station then we can let runners know that we're immediately after the water stop - normal landmarks are harder to see when you're hot and in a crowd.
M...eldy    pirate
18/04/2005 at 21:09
we kind of invented a new sport as spectators .... avoiding being hit by flying water bottles and the r*nners found it difficult I though after an hour or so to get near us or risk twisting an ankle!
M...eldy    pirate
18/04/2005 at 21:10
ooh and as an afterthought, if we were a few hundred yards down the road, runners would have an even better chance of spotting us from the brow of the hill??
18/04/2005 at 21:14
I was knackered coming towards mile 17 so I was looking out for the cheering point early as an excuse to have my first stop of the race. I didn't see the countdown signs but I spotted the banner and knew approximately what to look for anyway as I'd seen Meerkats website and the pre-race pictures. So well done everyone involved.

18/04/2005 at 21:21
Hmmm. So is the consensus that the first support team should be number 10, rather than number 1??
18/04/2005 at 22:23

I cannot fault the support teams in any way at all. I knew where to look for you and found team 10 without any problems. A huge thank you to everyone, knowing you would be there kept me going. thank you.
18/04/2005 at 22:27
I think anyone who dared criticse this lot should be lined up and shot! Just knowing you were there and knew what we were going through meant so much!Just a smile and a bag of sweeties was SUCH a boost
18/04/2005 at 22:36
I came, I saw, I fell into team 5 needing water. They might not have realised it was me but I knew exactly where they were.

You couldn't have made it easier for me - except that water bottles but that wasn't your fault.

Fabulous and if I don't get in next year I want to be a supporter - is there a ballot to get in. When do the applications have to be in an what is the fee?
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
18/04/2005 at 22:36
My spirits for the whole race were lifted by knowing you lot would be there at mile 17 and from mile 12 it really kept me going.

I can say in all honesty if really kept me going and if it had not been for having that mental target and support I would have not achieved the time I did.

It was easy to find though I was familiar with the area having supported last year (though its a good job I read your instructions on how to find it as I would not of apreciated the change of route would have took the runners the opposite direction).

Didnt see the No3 board but just latched onto the first friendly face I say (Jj & Oxymoron)...

From what I know from supporting last year the organisation is terrific and not a small job to coordinate the teams of runners, supporters etc.

Its always going to be difficult for weary runners and those not familar with the area to find the support section especially as many people will be playing mind games and going through the wall at that point. Didnt know the 200, 400, 800 markers were there but thats a great idea. You put a good effort into advertising the location.

How about a arch of blue balloons accross the road lol?

Well done Meerkat and all those supporting, your worth your weight in Jellybabies.
18/04/2005 at 22:37
Thanks meerkat and all of you supporters for a wonderful effort!

My feedback:
- I certainly didn't see the 200m/400m etc signs. I wasn't looking, though, because I'd already spotted the balloons.
- I think the choice of location is perfect (from a runner's point of view).
- I did find you effortlessly (well, except for the 17 miles to get there). Thanks to meerkat for the venue photies on her site, which did make it very easy to know where you were.
- I think the different teams are an excellent idea. I didn't need a team allocation because I hadn't left anything to be handed to me but it did feel good to know I had my own dedicated band of supporters.
- I didn't spot any team signs, not even the infamous number 9! That's probably because I wasn't looking; I hadn't intended to stop so didn't need to know where my specific team was.

This was one of the highlights of my race. 26 miles is a long way and it was good to know I had some certain friendly faces to look forward to along the way. It really is impossible to measure how much help and comfort that was.
18/04/2005 at 22:39
yes i agree
the sloe gin was marvellous

but it was seeing you all
which is why i didnt really mind about teams
18/04/2005 at 22:48
Hi everybody
I think you did an amazing job. I was terrified I was going to miss you after all the preparation you'd done so I was scanning the roadside feverishly from the begining of mile 16. Somehow I missed the 800, 400,etc signs but spotted the ballons easily.I did overshoot Team 3 and had to retrace, mainly because I'd got it into my head that you'd all be beyond the crossing point. But it was worth it for the much needed leg massage..and those jelly babies were the best I've ever tasted...Thanks, you wonderful lot.
19/04/2005 at 00:09
What ballons ?
I knew from last year roughly where you would be, and I did see some A4? A5? size Runners world signs on posts which confirmed you nearby so I made sure I was to the left as I approached you.

From mile 15 my back was hurting and I had decided that I would stop for a couple of minutes but when I got to you, I couldn't see number 8 and before I realised, I had gone past you all but not before a great cheer which was fantastic ( thank you again !!! ) from those of you who recognised me.
100yards further on, I remembered that I had intended to stop and that I needed to rest my back so I stopped anyway but too late to come back.

So, main point to me, is that numbers should be clearer and in order - ascending or descending.

19/04/2005 at 01:53
Ultra Meerkat. From last year I know only too well the job done by you and all the supporters at mile 17 is a race and live safer. For those who are having a good race they may decide to carry on and not stop but for those who are having a bad time, especially early on in the race the mere thought that someone is there for you is enough to keep you going not just up to mile 17 but for the next few miles afterwards.

Ive already PM you with regards to having the same size and style Team markers or flags, we did discuss this after 2003 but at the time decided it was unsafe due to not having anywhere safe to secure the flag poles to. However from 2004 and this year by using the railings for support I think we can do it.

Also noted are that we need more balloons. With this in mind and a year to plan it I will go back to the original printer and get a requote. If the balloons can then be attached to each flag pole then maybe this will help.

Legless I think it was who placed the pre stand markers up fantastic idea.

With the change in course I wasn't sure were we would be in relation to landmarks. Knowing now we are just before Mile 17 and in the fall out zone of the Mile 17 water station is a great help for us to advertise in the future.

I also agree with the comments that the only downside with the location is that we are too close to the water station and this this may have been a little off putting and frankly dangerous to our runners to approach us, that said I also think that anyone who did want to stop for a cuddle did so if runners are warned of the problem in advance maybe it won't be such a problem.
19/04/2005 at 06:11
The team 9 sign was a great idea, thanks Legless. However, we did have to keep re-attaching it to the railings as it tended to slip and wave around, especially when it started to get windy. We would need to be very careful if we decided that all teams should have these next year.
19/04/2005 at 06:36

I saw the RW signs and the 9 sign and looked out for more signs but did not see any.

I was going into meltdown at that stage and the world around me was becoming a strange place so I'm afraid I missed my support group. Sorry for the wasted effort in preparing my drink.

Yes a great idea and at just the right place in the race. Gives you something to aim for before the 20 mile point.
19/04/2005 at 07:01
Thinking aloud here:

Compared to what it could have been like, it didn't strike me as that windy on Sunday - I reckon we need to be careful with high up signs. Having said that, even though a lot of the teams did have large numbers up, they obviously didn't stick out enough. I guess if you're running you just don't want to be looking at the side fence all the time.

I don't see any advantage to organising the teams in reverse order, but perhaps we need to make it more clear where the RW support point starts so peeps can start looking out more closely. Several peeps seem to be saying that they spotted the nine which was pretty much the back end of support - so a sign of that height at the front of our area sounds useful to me, and then perhaps lower signs on the fence itself will be easier to pick up. Too many high signs every few yards through the area may well just get in the way unless they're really high! Something high up at the start IMO is essential though.

Would colours be easier than numbers to pick out?

Someone mentioned yesterday about another support point at mile 23. In a way I like this idea, but how do we do it? Split the supporters (seems a shame), have people move from one to another (would be hard as mile 23 tends to get busy, even though the connections are good. Plus some comments have been that the last few miles were okay, it was the miles between seeing us at mile 17 and when the crowds really start at 22-23 that was the worst. How about mile 20?
19/04/2005 at 08:02
Briiliant guys...even if I only managed to shout at you all and couldn't locate Meldy and group in the haze I knew you were there.

The count down signs were great, saw group 9 sign easily.

I just appreicate all the hard work that goes into the preparation, after all you don't have to do it.Thank you all x

Mile 20 would be good...I was struggling there, although my club were manning water station 14 and were out supporting by the time I came back through 21ish, any support at that stage is truely welcome.

What we need is a great open space, massage area, drinks area!!! ;-)
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