• York Rotary

Running the Marathon - Baggage Store

Mike Hay reports...

Like the 10K, this is always a most satisfying event to support, for at least two reasons. Firstly because of the appreciative comments of the runners, who are always very positive with their thanks, and secondly because of the satisfaction in storing the baggage systematically and (most importantly!) being able to find the relevant item quickly before passing it back to a usually very tired participant. This time was no exception, and the teams worked very well and very hard to provide what we feel was a first-class service.

Having to be on site at York University on October 17th at Heslington by 7.00am on a wet October morning was, perhaps, a downside, especially when some of us found it rather hard to find our allocated car park in the total darkness prevailing at that point, but that was overcome, and “a well-drilled team sprang into action”. Well, “sprang” is perhaps over-stating it – the day is inevitably a mixture of frantic activity and “hanging about”.

Nothing much happens until about 7.45am, after which a trickle of luggage begins, becoming a steady stream and finally a deluge around 9.15am. By 9.30 all is quiet, but there is then the task of storing the luggage that we didn’t have time to deal with (a lot of it!), then carefully checking the order of the items, rearranging as necessary, then making sure all the numbered labels are visible.

There is then a long lull, since the first returning runner doesn’t appear until well after 12 noon. The “morning shift” remain until at least 1.00pm, to help with returning the baggage and also to reassure ourselves that our luggage arrangement is robust.

At that point, if not earlier, the “afternoon shift” arrive to take over, with total faith (perhaps) that the morning lot have done their job well. I wasn’t there in the afternoon, but I’m told that, apart from a couple of misplaced items, all was well. By about 5.00pm all is done and everyone goes home with a warm glow of satisfaction and probably the intention of a warm glow of something more concrete once in the house!

It would be nice to be able to devise a shift system which reduced the amount of inactive time, but on the other hand it does give us time to have fellowship with each other while carrying out a worthwhile task – which is surely what Rotary is about. Well done, everyone, and thanks!

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