Run, walk, spectate, support, inspire, encourage and volunteer – the Potters Trotters were everywhere at the 2016 Potters ‘Arf.
The journey to race day began in March, when our club runs started to include training focused on the half marathon that we really have to be involved in – we almost share the same name, after all. We’ve practised the up and downs from Anchor Road to Abbey Lane, we’ve worked out the best way to climb Heartbreak Hill, we’ve navigated the Potteries Way from every direction and run down Lichfield Street and up Victoria Road more times than we can remember, just to be ready for race day. We took advice from race director Ken Rushton, who came along to our pre-race club social night to share words of wisdom, hints and tips to help everyone survive the Potters ‘Arf.
We gathered on the morning of the race to offer last minute words of encouragement and share bin bags to keep us dry on the walk to the start. From the club, there were 16 runners taking part in relay teams brilliantly organised by Janet – the Bluebell Girls, the Dancing Daffodils, the Blooming Roses and the First Marigolds (with all of this team being 65 or over). One of our members completed the event with the walkers and 11 runners did half marathon distance. Here’s what they thought of it:
- Ali: as a beginner runner I'd never thought that I'd be smiling and running at the same time! Thank you Potters Trotters ladies for all the support. I was really considering not doing it but the support and advice got me around.
- Jackie: really enjoyed today! And Strava says I had a sprint finish so thanks Ruth and Sarah. Proud to be a Potter… Having a good team behind me helped me finish my leg of the relay.
- Lauren: really enjoyable race today at Potters Arf! Thanks for the words of encouragement along the way, and the cheers from some of you pink ladies just before Heartbreak Hill really gave me the final boost to the finish line! Well done everyone who took part!
- Sarah: after 4 days rest I can get up and down the stairs on my own!
- Kate: just found my photos - there's one of me looking like it was hard work in Longton & then a great one at the point where I looked up at the finish & realised my time wasn't too bad after all!!!
- Ruth: I loved being part of it. Hope everyone's thawed out now. Such strange weather today! I'm enjoying a bottle of beer in the bath.
- Liz: thank you lovely ladies for your support and encouragement today. In particular Sarah, Alison and Liz who ran with me. You were all awesome xxx
- Michelle: it was great to be part of Potters Trotters
- Charlotte: proud to be a Potters Trotter. Well done ladies! It doesn't get any easier! A gruelling course but fab!!
- Mel: Thoroughly enjoyed the day running with my pink pals! Fantastic support all the way round the route.
- Marion: I've done the relay in the past but this time round I loved being a Marigold and Lindsey was great company. Well done every single one of us . Full potters arf or relay, bring on next year!!!!!
- Alison: I've ran the half and said I wouldn't do it again. But being part of the relay I thoroughly enjoyed it. Myself and Joan even had a sprint finish. Thanks all you lovely pink ladies for your kind words at the finish. Xx
And at the end of it, we celebrated our achievements together, some vowing never again and others aiming to take part for the first time next year, inspired by the efforts of their club mates. Hopefully, we’ll be back in even greater numbers in 2017. After all, it wouldn’t be the Potters ‘Arf without the Potters Trotters.