Those in the village who organise the Fun Run wondered why this was the case, so having chatted amongst themselves they approached some people they thought would be like-minded on this matter to ascertain if there was an interest in having one.
Soon some posters appeared around the village mentioning a public meeting in one of the village halls and those who had previously run the Fun Run and lived in the village received an email informing them of the meeting… Neighbourino Pini had seen these, as had Moose, so the three of us all decided to trundle along to offer our support.
The car park at the Elizabeth Hall was approaching full. Looking in to the main hall there was a group of people sitting in a circle, none of which looked to be typical running types judging by their size (says 15 stone of idiot in an unironic manner), then I noticed the signage and realised it was the local branch of ‘fat-fighters’ meeting (“Dust. It's actually very low in fat. You can have as much dust as you like.”)
I thought of the irony of those living in the village looking to lose weight had all driven a mile or less to get to their meeting and clogged-up the car park, as I moved down the corridor to the smallest of the small meeting rooms right at the very end, which was already heaving… All the seats were taken and people were standing around the sides of the room with all the bodies raising the temperature inside to a stifle. Soon the kitchen next to the room was opened and the serving-hatch lifted to fit more people and allow them to see what was happening. Moose, Pini and myself took station in the doorway to the corridor as it had a little bit of a draught and allowed those who wanted to be closer to the action to do so.
As we stood there waiting for the start, Moose took the piss out of Pini and my sartorial choices: Pini had arrived wearing his tee from the Costa Rica marathon and I was wearing my Lakeland 50 shirt - leading to Moose accusing us of ‘bollock waving’ over our choices as he just wore a polo shirt rather than anything marking one of his Iron Man/ ultra marathons or assorted triathlons!
Soon we were joined in the doorway by a guy called Steve wearing a finishers shirt for a triathlon who had also seen the notification of the meeting and was interested to find out how many others in the village were like-minded.
Lou, who had convened the meeting called it to order, and you could tell she was a little overwhelmed by the response from the village. Lou admitted she had expected and hoped a handful of people would attend to get things moving and had never dreamed that she’d be sharing a packed room and more with the 70 plus folks who had crammed-in!
Straight away it was plain to see for Lou that there was definitely an interest in the village to set-up a running club and those of us present all filled-out a sheet of contact details and what we are looking for in one and any assistance we were able/ willing to offer in its formation or running (no pun intended).
After a sweaty hour and a bit in the room, the meeting closed with the idea of a follow-up in the near future to get things moving on a formal basis… In the meantime those of us on Facebook were pointed in the direction of a page that had been set-up for the club and away we went off into the warm dusk… Moose, Pini, Steve and myself opting to walk to the nearest pub for a few beers and a chat outside as the evening was still young.
Fair play to Lou for going out on a voyage in to the unknown by calling the meeting and getting everyone there… It just goes to show how there really was an untapped demand in the village for a running club and who knows what the interest expressed tonight will lead to, even if only half the people there follow-up on their initial attendance.
Watch this space to see what happens.