It’s been an odd old year in the running world, hasn’t it? Event companies have been hit hard by the inability to put on races. Andy Palmer talks through his thoughts on the Covid pandemic
“Got nowhere to run to, babyMartha Reeves and the Vandellas singing about the Covid pandemic with this classic hit from 1965
Nowhere to hide
It’s not love I’m a-running from”
2020 was a funny old year, but you know this. Your world was on hold; working, schooling and everything else has been turned upside down by the virus. ‘Unprecedented’ was the word of 2020
Now, I’m a glass half-full kind of guy; we were optimistic. The government said Covid would have gone by September 2020. We were then optimistic the government knew what they were doing. We presumed they had a grip on things. I don’t think they did.
At the end of March 2020, we pretty much shut down White Star Running. Everyone was furloughed, except Julie and Jo who managed WSR and White Star Clothing behind the scenes. Gemma managed to get some part-time work. She moved back in with her parents, spent some quality time with them and with her sister – who now has two kids, so Gemma was being Mega Auntie. I walked a lot, recced a load of routes, watched a lot of Netflix and drank too much.
I am ancient enough to remember the foot and mouth crisis in the early part of the century. The countryside shut down for weeks. I had squirreled away a small rainy-day fund, expecting a crisis like this to hit again. But for a few weeks… not months. It’s been a struggle, as you can imagine. We’ve had 2 years’ worth of bills and 1 year’s worth of income. We’ve had some support from government, but it’s just plugging a gap. We have sold some clothing; we did three fabulous virtual races. I will never be able to listen to Tom Jones’ Delilah without smiling/grimacing and thinking of badly dressed people singing to cows in a field!
We will recover, eventually, and I would like to thank everyone who helped us get through it all.
This 12-month period has given us all an enforced break. We’ve not stopped since 2012 when we first started. We’ve taken stock and worked on getting the clothing line going – thanks to Dani Dixon Design getting us some super designs for our gear.
I realised over lockdown how much I love what we do.
The running community and trail running events bring a lot of people together. It doesn’t matter what car you drive, what you do for a living, what shoes you wear – blue ones are the best obviously. What does matter is the running thing. A hill and your ability to get up it is a great leveller. I’ve missed events. I’ve missed the company. People come from all over the UK and Europe to our races – like I said the great leveller.
Social media, for all its ills, has been a great source of inspiration and help over these strange months. Anyway, onwards and upwards eh?
IF the government doesn’t reintroduce anymore lockdowns in 2021, we have a bumper year ahead. We’ve had lots of time to plan new races, improve events, get medals designed and basically plan a super awesome race season.
So, what’s new?
Summer Larmer is new – can’t wait for this one. Larmer is summer is a beaut.
Winter Larmer – was Spring Larmer – so that’s new. December chills and Santa tutus
Cranborne Races – were meant to be new last year… but hey, new this year instead!
The Invader returns with a new and, we hope forever, home in Longburton near Sherborne
GHM returns with no changes; we hope in all its glory
The Ox Races are back, but with a slight date shift, and the Ox Of Two Halfs, which should have been a one-off in 2020 is on the calendar again!
The Dark Series at Moors Valley, and new pair of races in December also in the dark, will all be opening for entry late summer
The Crafty Fox marathon, half marathon and new Cub 5.5-miler – the marathon has one big loop now and it’s a toughie
Weekend at the Races in all its Unicorn madness for a Bank Holiday weekend of fun
Can’t decide what to enter, check out what makes us different. Enough lockdowns; let’s start running again.