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Sunday, 6 September 2015

349: The Warsaw Business Run

Having taken part, as a runner, in two runs this year - one in Warsaw and one in Ramsey - I felt it was time for me to put something back into the community so I volunteered to help out (despite the warnings of my old troop sergeant a million years ago never to volunteer for anything).
I was given a bit of a tricky job. It was a relay race with teams of five people each running 3.84 km. I was at the handover point funnelling people who had finished their leg of the race towards the finish area. In theory an easy job and at the beginning so it proved: everybody that had been round once had a /1 on the end of their race number. They handed over their baton to the next person in their team (who wasn't always where they were expected to be so there was a bit of milling around). My job was to keep a path clear for the fresh runners as they went whizzing by. It was OK in the beginning: /1 to the right (they looked knackered and had no baton) and /2 to the left (looking fresh and baton in hand) and don't get caught in their slipstream. After a couple of laps with some faster teams overtaking the slower ones it was no longer possible just to tell by the number on the shirt. For instance /3 and /4 runners were coming in to finish as /2 and /3 runners were just starting out. And on the last lap it was no longer possible to filter to the left those who had a baton in their hand as /5 people could be either finishing and keeping their baton until the end or perhaps just starting. Still, I think I made a reasonable fist of it. I was standing, as a mobile funneller, for just over 2 hours so was ready to hand in my badge at the end and go for a sit down and make a start on my free rat pack.
There were thousands of people taking part, and hundreds of volunteers - as you will see from one of the photos. In conclusion, the event went well and the organisers are to be commended. I turned up at 7 a.m. as requested and, after registering, was dismissed until 9 so sloped off for a second breakfast at the first McD I found open that early on a Sunday morning. Walking around central Warsaw so early in the morning I was quite surprised by the number of people on the street. Here are a couple of photos. From the number of people wearing "media" badges and "getting in the way" I would guess the race will be on Polish TV and in all the local and national papers.
This building is the subject of much debate in Warsaw. It was a gift from the people of Russia back in Communist days.
Many people want to demolish it. Many want to leave it standing as a poignant reminder. Much like the monument to the first Duke of Sutherland on the top of the hill behind Golspie. 

A tented city. For a moment I thought I was back in Umm Qasr - but that's another story for another time.

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