This is the unofficial site of the Ham Hill Hash House Harriers, run by Martin "Mixy" Chaffey and will be the new home of various photos and bits and pieces...
And now, the end is near and so I face the final curtain… or at least the final Sunday e-mail of my tenure as Secretary of the Yeovil Town Road Running Club.
In absence of any volunteers for the Sunday e-mail, these will now cease (I am still willing to help any of you who are willing to take on this role, or the preparation of press releases). In the absence of a weekly e-mail, do look at the website – this will be the first point of call for all breaking news and Nigel does a cracking job in keeping it up to date. Nigel would be grateful if information could be sent to him rather than having to search for stuff, so if there is anything that you want putting on the website, do send him the text. Similarly I will no longer be doing press releases on a weekly basis so send your results instead to Nigel – preferably with a link to race website for results and details of the other Yeovil runners taking part (not all runners are necessarily shown as Yeovil, so do tell him if there are others).
Deb Neal is taking the Membership Secretary role on and I have passed her the renewal forms that I have already received. Please do tell Deb (or me by replying to this e-mail) if you are not wanting to rejoin as this will save her chasing you!
The new Membership forms are on the website and we ask for all members to complete a form this year so that Deb can make sure all of your information is correctly held.
It is the AGM on Tuesday night – after a 5km Chairman’s Handicap run over the same course as the 5km the other night. Please do come along to the meeting, which takes place in the Football Club – with sausage and chips provided. The Committee will be elected on the night and there is always room for more willing volunteers to help out! In seriousness, it is an opportunity for you to have a say in how the Club runs and what can be done in the coming year.
Please bear with me here, as I am going to bring my last Sunday mail to an end with a bit of reminiscence.
Having joined the Club in 1998, I joined a fledgling committee as Secretary the following year when the previous committee stood down en masse and the future of the Club was in some doubt. Our new committee included Phil MacQuaid, who is remaining on the committee, and others such as Pete Darton and Dee Worth who are still with the Club, and our new broom decided to change the way the Club worked. With membership down to as low as 25 members back then, I think we have done a pretty good job over the years – the Club membership list handed to Deb last week listed 285 members and several more have sent in their forms ready to join in the new Club year.
We have gone from a good running club to an excellent Club – the running is also important, but I think you will agree that it is not the be all and end all! If you have not been to France with the Argentan trip yet, or joined a pub run such as the Midsummer Dream or the Blackdown Beauty (watch out for that one coming up!), then do go – likewise come on the Thursday night pub runs for a bit more of a social run in a different place each week. On the racing side, we have forged a good reputation, with the other Clubs who can only look on with envy when we have a team of 20 or 30 runners turn up for an event like the Monty or the Forde Abbey 10km. I know it may be petty, but I love it when there are Western Gazette photos of a race where there are 4 or 5 Wells runners, 4 or 5 Crewkerne runners .. and 25 Yeovil! It has been good to encourage as many of our members to take part in races as possible – I know from experience that we’re not all racing snakes at the front of the field, but again this Club is good in that we may have a couple of runners in the first 10, a couple of runners in the last 10 – but there are no egos here and we’ll all go a beer together afterwards (or fish & chips – Egdon Easy is 28th May and look out for the Maiden Castle Loop!)
Club nights have gone from strength to strength and whilst this brings with it its own problems, it’s a nice problem to have – how to organise groups that accommodate everyone when 60 runners turn up on a Tuesday; when I joined, there was one group, and it was a case of trying to keep up! Something we as a club pride ourselves on is not leaving anyone behind. However, to keep things going, it does need more people to put their hand up and help by leading groups – there are several of us who are willing to mentor Run Leaders to help give the confidence to take a group on (as I have proved over the years, knowing where you are going or the ability to read a map are desirable but not essential qualities to have! All you need is a bit of confidence to take the group where you want to go!). Phil is doing a cracking job organising run groups but needs volunteer leaders each week. (I understand that about 25 people went to the Run Leaders meeting but not many of them have gone on to become run leaders on a Tuesday – if there is anything I can do to help sway you into doing so, please have a word with me on the run one night…)
The Club’s own events have a good reputation and this is in no small part to the help given by all of the members – it’s good to know that we’ll have enough people offer to marshal at the race days. The Committee will be looking for race directors or helpers for organising next year’s races – as well as things like getting sponsorship – so do offer to give any help that you can; many hands make light work!
If you’ve not got bored by now, and you are still reading this e-mail, this should imply that you are computer literate – if you do a run, perhaps think of sending Matt Driver a report for the newsletter and your results to Nigel for the website. As mentioned at the start of this e-mail, there are still openings for a press release officer – ever wanted to see your name in print in the Western Gazette? You write it, you can give your own performance whatever positive spin you want to! The Club has had a good presence in the local press over the years and it would be good for that to continue – if not a report, then do send photos to Nigel and the press so that the Green and White continues to feature – likewise you can put your own photos on to the Club website (I sent the upload details back along and these are available from Nigel or me).
I have already started to collate the Christmas Photos for the Christmas meal so you can also send any good photos to me – otherwise you’ll be stuck with those taken by me and Rich Dodge!
Over the years, I have worked on the committee with some cracking people and the current crop of committee members are excellent and some of the ideas discussed at last week’s meeting for things the Club can do sounded really exciting – but please remember that it is your Club and if there is any way in which you can help out, the committee will be more than happy to hear from you! If you fancy having a go at leading a pub run or organising a team to go to a race, then let them know. Likewise I know that Nick is keen for people to suggest different run sessions – I will be setting a hash run on the Club night next week (17th May) to run alongside the usual Club groups and would be grateful if one or two of you would come on that!
I’ll sign off by thanking all of my friends in the Club for their help and support whilst I have been Secretary – I shall miss my evening computer sessions reading through the race results and e-mails to collate the press releases and Sunday e-mails, but am sure that I’ll find something else to do when the Strictly Come Dancing starts up again!
See you all at the Club on Tuesday – and of course when you all come marshalling on Wednesday at the 5km!!
In addition, there was a final send off e-mail to the local press:
Please find attached the Yeovil Town Road Running Club press release. Whilst I have been sending you press releases on behalf of the Club for the past twelve years, I am actually stepping down as Club Secretary at the Club AGM and so you will be receiving information from someone else in the future – once I’ve found a willing “volunteer”! (having said that, I will continue preparing reports on the Club’s own races until such time as a replacement is found).
Can I just thank you on behalf of the Club for printing the releases during my tenure – it is very much appreciated and many of the members that we now have mention that the local press coverage of the Club’s activities is what attracted them to the Club.
In the absence of the weekly press releases, if you ever want any details about the Club or articles on running generally, please do contact me – the local running scene is a vibrant one and all the local clubs are reporting large increases in numbers (Yeovil Town has increased from 105 members in 2006 to 140 in 2008, and then up to 214 in 2010 to its current membership of just under 300 members!) and every week there are races organised across the region that do not get perhaps the recognition that they perhaps deserve (and, dare I say it, perhaps not the coverage it would get if 300 footballers were turning out somewhere!). I know for instance that there are still places available for the Ninesprings races on 12th June if you fancied running round for research purposes…!
(Actually on that point, the Club has a beginner group which would make a good story, and we also organise Hash runs that would be suitable for any journalist who can run (even only a little) a bit – they are gentle, fun affairs of about 4 miles, with a jelly baby and beer stop on the way round! Let me know if you have anyone that might fancy joining us – or whether an article on either would be considered).
Many thanks again.