Can clap and point – will I get to volunteer at the TenTenTen?


I did way too much faffing re this one this year.  I’ve done the TenTenTen twice before, and I do really like it, buuuuuuuuuut, for various reasons I didn’t get my proverbial arse into gear in time to enter for this one.  Partly, I wasn’t sure that I’d be around; partly I’m a bit skint and watching the pennies at the moment; and partly it seems a bit decadent to pay for a race on trails that I run all the time anyway (though that logic is actually stupid, because in many ways it’s way more fun scampering over familiar routes – doh).  Also, I thought, based on previous experience chances are I’d get away with making a last-minute entry nearer the time.  Not so.


The event was sold out by 12th September or thereabouts, which I’ve decided is actually good news, as it means there is an appetite for such events in the Sheffield ‘running community’ if there is such a thing (I think there is).  The consequence is, that although it may be temporarily disappointing to have missed out on entering this year, on the plus side at least I wasn’t made to book a hotel for four people before being allowed to look and see if there were still any places available –  and also chances are it will remain a regular fixture in the Sheffield running calendar, so I can always run it again next year – just need to be a bit quicker off the starting blocks next time…  (see what I did there?)


So, if you don’t know already, the Sheffield TenTenTen is, according to the website blah de blah:

What is the Sheffield TENTENTEN?

It’s an exciting and creative multi-terrain trail 10k,  attracting over 1000 runners each year the event is well supported and has a fantastic atmosphere. The first edition was on the 10th October 2010, hence the funny name, and has stuck ever since.

 Who is it for?:  This is an all-inclusive event, anyone from 4 upwards can compete in the 2.5k Fun Run, and 15 upwards for the 10k. All abilities are represented, many have started their running journey at this event. The range is wide we have even had international standard representation (see course record). Then there is the rest of the family, bring them along to soak up the atmosphere and support.

The course has been created with a twist of creativity and innovation. It’s not your regular road race, it is run on grass, road, paved paths and woodland trails. It’s a really nice mix, and introduces novices to the world of trail running gently. The course does have a few lumps and bumps, twists and turns, and all adds to the fun.

 We hope to see you on Sunday the 9th of October 2016 in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield

The only thing really not to like about this event (apart from potential for near biblical weather, torrential rain has been ferocious for at least one run in previous years), is the fact that it is a two lap course.  As someone who is destined perpetually to be lapped by faster runners this can be demoralising as they romp past me to the finish and I’m only approaching mid-way – not even that at the Percy Pud, but that is an out and back route so a bit different perhaps…  On the other hand, this fact did lead to the capturing of what I consider to be my favourite ever run photo – I fear I may not be able to find it.  However, imagine in your mind’s eye a female runner quite literally dropping her jaw in disgust and horror as she realises the guy running past her looking like a living god, is sprinting to the finish whilst she has yet to make the half way point.  We’ve all felt this on being lapped, well, us slower runners anyway, but rarely has it been made so outwardly manifest and the exact moment of realisation caught in all its naked emotion on camera.  Award winning snap in my view.  It shows just how high the emotional temperature can be when you are out there busting a gut at the TenTenTen.  Whether the fact that this photo pleases me would console the runner in question I know not, but it still makes me laugh every time I see it.  I’m going to have a look for it now, can’t remember if it was 2015 or 2014 race.  Hmmmm.

OK, so looking at the photos was a bad idea, because now I am properly jealous of the runners, and also it was a massive time vampire as there are hundreds of photos to browse.   Couldn’t even find the photo.  Oh well, you’ll just have to imagine the picture for yourself…. CORRECTION.  Fantastic news,  no you don’t! I have found it!  Such is my tenacity and dedication to authenticity in this blog I’ve just wasted an hour of my life sat on my sofa picture surfing looking for this, but it’s paid off.  Plus, I got to watch some of the paralympics too, so multi-tasking really, not slacking at all, practically a work out.  So, here it is, yep, I can report it does indeed still make me laugh!  Although, maybe I’m reading the shot wrong, could it be this trio in pink were just very surprised at finding themselves lapping the frontrunner guy?  Just saying we maybe shouldn’t assume.  It was 2014 by the way, just so you know.


Nevertheless, all is not lost.  Fear Of Missing Out can yet be averted.  Today I emailed the TenTenTen team to request that I go on the waiting list for a place, and failing that I am up for marshaling.  I think it would be a hoot to volunteer actually.  I have explained in my email enquiry that I am very good at pointing and shooing runners in any particular direction, and also at clapping.  As a runner, I think these are the most important requirements for a marshal at an event.  If there are more complex demands, then I may require training, or at least a pre-race briefing, but I daresay they have dealt with amateurs before.  This could be me, looking busy and important.

I hope they don’t want me to lead on the bike, that would be hard puffing up those hills.  Mind you, the cyclist might not be a volunteer marshal actually. He’s not got a hi-viz on has he?  Maybe that’s just taking race-craft to extremes, not sure the rules say anything in writing about use of a bike en route.   OK, I’ve checked, he was definitely chancing it.  Here is a photo of the official lead cyclist, hi-viz you see, that’s the clincher, so now we know.


What is it they say, don’t try to run faster, run smarter.  Something like that anyway.  My ideal volunteering position would require no responsibility beyond pointing and clapping (which I’d enjoy) but failing that, any role requiring a clip board would be good.  However, I’m pretty flexible, will take on whatever is required.

The new logo is good by the way, I prefer it to previous years.  Nice and autumnal.  So, we’ll see.  I am happy to leave the nature of my participation in the 2016 TenTenTen event to chance.  Whether I am to run, or not to run, whether I am in fact to  volunteer/marshal instead it will be fun.  My only real fear is that I’ll find volunteering is way better than actually running.  That is, it will have all the fun of running (social, out in the great outdoors,opportunity to eat cake afterwards) without the unpleasant running bit.  Such a realisation might jeapordise my future enthusiasm for running.  That would be the thin end of the wedge with respect to bringing about a waning in my pursuit of fitness as well as potentially the beginning of the end of my actively running career before it’s even started.    Oh well, risk worth taking.  I wonder if volunteers get a T-shirt, that would be good. Don’t mind so much about the bling, I feel you should actually run to qualify for that.  But a T-shirt would be nice…

Right, off to practise clapping and directional pointing, you need good upper arm strength to keep that up for a whole 10k I’m sure.  It’s hard enough at a parkrun!  I wonder if you are allowed to shout ‘Go Smiley’ if you are volunteering, or if that is considered too partisan?  Maybe if I shouted it at all runners not just members of the Smiley Paces running club that would be OK?  I’ll ask at the briefing…  I think you are OK to dispense hugs though, down to individual judgement.  I’m quite excited now, it’s going to be fab!  Bring.  It.  On.

Sheffield TenTenTen Facebook page has loads of photo albums by the way if you want to have a browse.  They do ask that we all  ‘Please use these pics as you wish and consider donating a small amount to Weston Park Hospital 🙂′ which I think is fair enough, they are fab pictures are they not?

I thank you.

For all my posts about the tententen follow this link. To read my account of the 2015 Ten Ten Ten see here.

Categories: 10km, off road | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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