Claremont in Lockdown(ish), July into August

As society continues to take small steps back towards the world as it was before coronavirus, it seems to me that we are living in a strange half-world somewhere between lockdown and normality. This certainly applies to Claremont. Monday evening club runs started again on 20th July, though not as we knew them before. We are meeting in Exhibition Park as Sports Central is still closed, and groups are limited to 6 with sign-up via a spreadsheet and social distancing rules in place. Members have been meeting more informally for Wednesday intervals and other runs, though we are about to put Wednesdays on a more formal footing.

We have continued to amuse ourselves with virtual runs and challenges. In the team competitions, the ladies have thrashed the men twice – in running as far as you can in 39 minutes and scoring scrabble points by making running-related words from street signs. So we thought that we should mix the teams up for the latest challenge and have played seniors (over 45s) versus veterans (over 45s) in a game of pub cricket. The veterans won comfortably!

In a less competitive frame, we have had a bit of home schooling – some of us tried out our map-reading skills to complete local orienteering courses, and had a history lesson by collecting blue plaques on a run.

We also had the summer handicap at the end of July with a zoom social and quiz afterwards. This time runners had a choice of a 5K course of their choosing or running the real, slightly shorter, course over the Town Moor hills – most people stayed on the flat! There were two quizzes that tested our ability to recognise our fellow Claremonters – one from the waist down and the other from childhood photos. It is fair to say that some were better at it than others, but I think everyone enjoyed it.

Perhaps the biggest and best event of July was the house to house relay, superbly organised by Alice. After a slightly wet start, we were blessed with glorious weather over the weekend which no doubt helped. The feedback from the event has been so positive that we are considering making this an annual event – watch this space!

Away from running, Kenny has not yet exhausted his supply of corny jokes and continues to give us an eclectic mix of music to brighten our day; Janet is our resident nature-lover and Jamie is promising another thrilling mystery – can’t wait!

Tom Tinsley -