FLM runners and supporters

It was wonderful to see so many of you - on both sides of the railings - yesterday at mile 17. And Ashley and I would love to know what you thought of how it worked out.
Things like:
- could you find us?
- did you see Leggy's wonderful '800/400/200m to go' signs?
Did they help you to find us?
- was it a good idea to have allocations to support teams?
- any other ideas that would make it even better next year?

One thing I don't really want to change is our site at mile 17: we seem to be fairly well established there, and it's great for supporters (especially small ones) to have the station next door.
Anyway, post your thoughts here...


  • - could you find us?

    No - Missed you and had to run back from mile 17. Saw the URWFRC sign, then group 9 sign, thought they must be counting down but by the mile marker realized I was wrong.

    - did you see Leggy's wonderful '800/400/200m to go' signs?

    Yes, but didn't twig. I am a bit thick you know.

    Did they help you to find us?

    Were I not stupid, they would have.

    - was it a good idea to have allocations to support teams?

    Definatley yes, this was superb and added to team spirit.

    - any other ideas that would make it even better next year?

    I'll have a think.
  • did see leggys sign, and your pics on the site helped too
    But saw team 9, and assumed the numbers counted down from there so missed peeps

    Not sure about teams and us runners being so specific about what we wanted
    seemed quie stressful for you supporters as well
    even though i benefited from the sloe gin

    big hugs and thankyou

  • I dropped off 2 gels and a drink with RichK and TR at the Expo. It was precicley what I had wanted, it meant that I could pick up what I wanted at just the right time.

    Suerly it would be more confusing without teams ? Also, now we have all see it this way round it will be easier to spot next year.
  • SezzSezz ✭✭✭
    The signs at 800m, 400m and 200m were great. They started to lift my spirits even before I got to the supporters.

    Allocations was good idea - before event we had threads going for each team, with some light-hearted rivalry, and it meant I could go straight to my wonderful team who were well prepared with things we'd requested, like nurofen for moi.

    Very well organised Meerkat, not sure I can think of anything to improve it.
  • I did see the area and what a sight for sore eyes.
    I didnt actually see Team 4 despite someone shouting further down the course for team 4 members. I hope you didnt think i was ignoring you. I was just hot and confused by then and looking frantically for my husband
    Hubby never made it there after being called all over the place by my family and standing at an earlier point not realising he had missed me so was still waiting at 13 when i was at 17 He didnt want to move in case he missed us again DOH.We were very slow and late though
    The location was great though and the bag of goodies I was handed by one of the kids was such a godsend.

    Thank you so much. that tiny bag carried me through to mile 22-23
  • Fantastic support from all teams!

    Like others have said, I only saw 'Team 9' sign and assumed that they were counting down, and if it hadn't have been for Rich shouting out for me I would have missed the drink swop that had been arranged, although I would have gone back for it.

    It doesn't take much to confuse me after running 17 miles though :)

    Special thanks meerkat for all your hard work and organisation.
  • Great minds, trin

    does this mean team 9 had the biggest sign?
  • I mssed you. I dont know what happened. I am so sorry, after all you did.
  • Although I didn't actually grab anything, just the thought of you people at 17m gave me a great incentive for the approaching miles.

    I did see the 800m to etc signs, and having seen the photos on your website was able to drift over to the left and shout at RichK.

    Thankyou everyone for all the organisation and support on the day.

    If I am not running, I'll certainly volunteer to help out next year!
  • I saw the '800/400/200m to go' signs, but I was confused by the Group 9 sign. I didn't see Group 2, and nobody saw me as far as I am aware, so it didn't work out for me. My legs were too tired to start running back to look, or even to slow down!
  • The only improvement I can suggest is that you need literally hundreds of balloons to stand out more from a distance.

    Otherwise it was all fab!
  • Saw the signs, but was glad that I'd been with you (briefly) last year so I knew exactly where you'd be - if other runners were in the same befuddled state as I was I can well understand how some missed you. I seem to remember looking for a load of balloons that weren't there (or if they were I couldn't see them).

    The only other thing is that you were just after a water station, and in crossing to the left of the road to get over to you all I found myself feebly skipping around loads of discarded bottles (at precisely the moment the cameraman was clicking away!). A few yards more up the road might have made things a bit safer for clumsy types like me.

    But these very minor things aside, I was well chuffed with the reception, and couldn't believe the difference it made to how I was feeling. I had a lot of fun with the team thread over the last week as well.

    Thanks again!

  • I think the reason team 9's sign stood out was that it was attached to a pole and hence high in the air and also very visible from the road. Also the 9 was in a huge font which makes it even easier to spot.

    We could do the same for all the signs next year?

    From a supporters point of view I bought way too many jelly babies and will be eating jelly baby sandwiches for the rest of the month.

    We did seem to go through a phase of handing out sweeties. None of the front runners wanted stuff because stopping would have reduced their chance of a pb.
    Surprisingly none of the tail-enders wanted sweeties either. There was just a crowd in the middle of the pack that seemed to want them.

    So so sum up, we should have team numbers on poles. Perhaps also let the runners know whether they will be in ascending or descending order?
  • Ooops! Meant to say I bought way too many jelly babies.
  • Sam that is an excellent idea, BD also said much the same thing.

    It was a joy to support, I felt priveledged to hug so many sweaty peeps:-)

    Teams worked well, we didn't see all of the team 5 runnnerds, it was vey hard to spot peeps in the masses, this links back well to Sam's idea of big signs. Hopefully making it easier for runners to spot their teams.

    To coin a phrase
    I'll be back:-))

  • I saw the 200m to go sign, which was excellent. It was a great idea to allocate teams. Maybe next year each team should have a big sign with their number on it, so the runners can see easily where their supporters are.

    And you're all complete stars for coming out to support us.
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    It was great to know we had specific runners to look out for. However, maybe we should have made said runners aware that they could come to any of us for jelly babies, bananas and hugs if they missed their own team?
  • hello

    I was looking out having seen the sign for Mudchutes, and I suddenly realised that I was looking at signs that said Team 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 - heard someone (possibly Meerkat say 'Go Gar' or similar - but by the time it registered I was at Team 7 where I scanned the faces of my lovely teamsters and shouted hysterically, 'It's Gar' and kept going.

    The reason I didn't stop was because I'd already waited for 15 minutes at the side of the road while my running partner queued for loos and went in (3 times!), and she was already struggling so we were going very slowly, and I was afraid that if we stopped,she would find it really hard to get going again.

    In the end I had to leave her behind at 22 miles because she was moving so slowly that I had to keep stopping for her to catch up.

    Meant my finish time was disappointing as not what I was capable of.

    But back to the point: it would have been easier to take it all in if you were maybe spread out a bit more?

    But hell, next year, count me in as a supporter.
  • Sam - I think you're right. Leggy's sign was high up, and with all the crowds, it stood out. I can see a job for him next year...
    Sluggy - yes, agree. We should be more explicit about saying that if you miss your team, any of us will dispense hugs etc.
  • TopSecTopSec ✭✭✭

    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

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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??
  • 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.

  • Hmmm. So is the consensus that the first support team should be number 10, rather than number 1??
  • Hi

    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.
  • 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
    THANK YOU!!!!
  • 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?
  • 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.
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