FLM runners and supporters



  • 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.
  • yes i agree
    the sloe gin was marvellous

    but it was seeing you all
    which is why i didnt really mind about teams
  • RaquelRaquel ✭✭✭
    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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    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.
  • Hi

    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.
  • 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?
  • 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!!! ;-)
  • Dips - that's what we had in 2003 until the water station nicked our site and we moved up the road!
  • Mererkat, quite apart from being thrilled to see and recognise you (I shouted your "name" and you saw me! Great moment!! ) the whole mile 17 support group kept me going mentally for miles and I looked forward to it for miles - I even had evberything written on my (by then defunct) pace band as I was coming round. I spotted the 800m etc signs but would say that because the "world" of Runners World on the logo is small I just read it as "runners 800m" and it took a while for my sweaty brain to register! Maybe next year , put "Forum runners 800m" and the logo or "meerkat's Runners 800m" etc?

    I knew the area so had no trouble spotting you lot and the volume and noise was fantastic even though I was way behind time. Team 8 were fab (lindy esp who told me I was looking ok and to keep going, and I think AJH who sunscreened me up, which was a godsend - definitely bring sun cream next year guys!) but all of you were briliant.

    Thank you so so much and can I put my name down as a supporter next year please?

    Alex xx
  • I saw the group ahead - good clear signs and very exciting when I realised you were there. BUT then I got there and there was no one there for me and no jaffa cakes. Slightly disappointing but good to see you all there anyway and well done!
  • Rebecca - I think you may not have been allocated to a support team?? Although we were very happy to welcome any forumite.
  • Hi guys

    I was really looking forward to seeing team 6 as I was struggling from 15 miles,the jelly babies they gave me really gave me a lift and kept me going to mile 20 and then I knew I would finish. The heat was really making me tired but I found my team ok.

    Many many thanks guys - you're brill

    ta, tiny
  • Wonderful as ever... Great to have a whole bunch of people giving me a cheer, The jelly babies were spot on.... and of course my favourite moment meeting my partner in pavlova moments !!!
  • WaboWabo ✭✭✭
    Saw the countdown, saw loads of lovely smiling faces, heard peeps shouting at us, you saw us,lovely lady lucan had minstrels with our names on the bags!!!!!
    I can't tell you what it meant to us cos we were having a bad day, too hot, sue got time of month, I twisted my ankle at mile 14..
    Then we saw you guys, had also seen my lovely daughter at 15, further form you we saw my running club buddies and form 20 miles to the end sue and I were singing and partying and having a ball!!!
    It was all great, well organised and superb!!!!

    all teams are stars!!!!!!!!
    possunt quia posse videntur - we can because we know we can 
  • It was great to see team 9 - eventually - I did manage to run straight past them and had to turn round and dodge my way back. But they were bril!! Wouldn't have managed without them.
  • probably different for me as I knew EXACTLY where you guys were going to be having supported there in 2004..........so all I had to do was slow down and look for Petal and wave at everyone else.............(and throw a bottle at Jon as planned)

    I only saw the 200m to go sign (which felt like 400m!)........didn't see anything else but I guess I wasn't really looking.........

    location was probably not helped by one of the big charities nicking a spot just before - so they had loads of colour to distract...............which is an idea - loads of blue balloons - and I mean LOADS.............

    for me - not sure if the teams are of any help as I know so many of you already but it is nice to see smiling, friendly faces to give a boost............

    thanks everyone
  • OHMG petal was at mile 17 supporting as well and I didn't meet her?????? We were just sooo busy! Petal did you have those mad, but lovely, sunglasses on? Was that you?

    FB was lovely to see you in the flesh at last even though we didn't get to chat, hope you had a run!
  • no complaints here. i was so looking forward to mile 17 and knew you'd all be on the left-hand side so i moved over there as it approached. then i saw all the signs telling me i was getting near. then i didn't see any signs and started to panic a bit until i saw the diamond with "Team 7." i felt pretty good but wasn't prepared for how dazed and confused i'd be, so it took me a while and had to ask "Team 7?!" and then "It's Lucrece!" at which point you all erupted in cheers. it was also great to see some unexpected faces there. i'm still sorry i missed meldy!

    i kind of wish i would have stuck around a bit longer and yes, my only problem was trying to climb over all those water bottles.

    hoping rich got that picture of me hugging XFR!

    thanks again, meerkat. what a great project manager you are!
  • Fantastic support and well organised - well done to all the helpers and especially to Meerkat.

    I didn't officially sign up as I was pretty self-sufficient, but I still had to stop to say a very quick hello to so many pals.

    Brilliant work Peeps !

    Mwah !
  • Yeah but you ignored me at the Expo on Saturday afternoon Cougie !
  • Well this was my 3rd year at mile 18/17 and yet again I had a great time. Jst a few thoughts then...

    I really think we should find a new spot. As one of the early teams we were right on the bend right next to the water station and it was really difficult to see the runners coming and extremely difficult for the runners to get to us for all the discared bottles. The location is good but thats why Vittel have nabbed it. I think a spot further dowm the road near the mile marker would maybe better. Another thought is a place on the route where support is thin and greatly needed.

    I think the teams idea is great but I did miss meeting the other supporters this year. Saying that, it is more important that the runners are looked after than me getting hugs from my mates :-)

    Well done al the runners for doing a great job on a hot day. Roll on 2008 and I will get my go :-)
  • Saw the signs which really spured me on .The support & encouragement was fantastic.Thanks very much ultra for sorting it & thanks to all on team 4 for helping me!
  • I guess I signed up for this too late (last thursday) as with hindsight I was never allocated to a team. Being a first timer I wasn't too sure how this was meant to work.

    I saw the approaching signs but found that there didn't seem to be a focal point. So I just kept on moving.

    I think it's a great idea as I really could have donw with a few jelly babies having used up my gels. Next time I will be better prepared! Thanks again for the support.

  • Oh Josie BIG apology - I sent in my report stating josie Bop was the originator of the support teams - should have read Josie Jump sorry. I will contact Sean and see if he can change it.

    Being located where we were worked well last year and was easy to see because we were on the outside of the curve of the road and before the water station. With the changed course this year we are now on the inside of the curve which is why so many probably missed Team 10 as it was completely hidden. If we stay at the same location then maybe we need to consider changing side of the road.

    Regards flag poles I did play with some ideas back in 2003 after comments then but the idea of using light weight poles that clip together didn't work and I think this was born out by Team 9 as the wind picked up. I used 2.2m lengths of wood this year and that seemed stable enough.

    Coloured teams is ok but then you also run into the problem with ten colours. Maybe colours or shapes. Also I wondered about varying the hieght of the flags with say the first one being low rising over say team 1-5 then low for 6 rising to 10 - or the other way around.

    A number of us took lots of photos from different aspects and we can perhaps compare these and maybe doa little Photoshop editing to see what works best.

    Wherever we decide to locate I also think that early markers is good. Being near a landmark like just after the 17 mile water station or just after the mile 17 mile marker is good.

    For maximum visability though I think that we need to be on a curve. In 2003 we were on the wrong side of the curve - 2004 right 2005 wrong (because the course direction was changed!).

    Either way having us at mile 17 is a must. It was selected because thats where people are hitting the wall. For me last year knowing you were at mile 17 genuinely got me round after 20 I was in the home straight and by then the finish line was the motivation... also the crowds were getting louder. The other point worth remembering about mile 17 is that it is one of the only areas that has some grass and a safe area for supporters children to run around and spread thier legs a little. (some loos would be nice though!)
  • Dave - I ignored you at the Expo ?? When ? Where was I and why didn't you hit me ?
  • StephenV we have approx 150 forumites registered with support groups, and we dish out over 700 bags of sweets.

    Also if you have a name on your shirt you will more than likely get a shout from one of us. Since most of the supporters have run FLM at some point (hence why we start the support teams) we know how important it is to have a friendly face waiting for you... For the future even if you are not in a support group if you stop shout your name you will get a hug from someone!
  • cougie can i hit you?
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    You really should move to a different spot next year.

    The BBC missed you completely - they cut away to a graphic! I mean, how bad was that!

    At the mile markers, they were showing the leaders to get the splits, so........
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