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Twixmas 2017 is done!

Firstly I would like to do two things.

  1. I apologise for the confusion in the days following the cancellation of the original race. I tried to  reschedule the race as early as possible, only to find out that the planned date had been double booked with a football tournament! Sometimes I try too hard to please everyone and that means mistakes get made! I hope in the end, those that managed to run, enjoyed the event and will look forward to the 2018 event.
  2. I am eternally grateful to everyone for their patience, understanding and support both before and after the rescheduled event. Those that ran it, mostly seemed to enjoy the event.

There was some confusion at the number issue with people turning up who had previously opted to defer their race entry to Twixmas 2018 on the 30th December. We finally got everyone sorted, and nobody went away without an entry and a race number.

Following the race, we came in for some harsh criticism on social media, from a small minority, some of whom didn’t even take part in the race, and who weren’t event entered in the original race! A number of remarks were particulary hurtful, and we felt, inappropriate, like stating that the ‘”most enjoyable part of the Portchester Castle 10k was seeing a speaker fall off a trailer and smash a woman in the face”. Needless to say, that person will NEVER run in any of our races again.

The main instigator of the Facebook campaign against was angry and upset for two reasons.

  1. Earlier on they had cancelled an entry and expected an automatic refund. We have a well publicised policy regarding refunds, as clearly stated in our Terms & Conditions. We also offer a no-quibble refund insurance for £5 meaning that you can get a full refund up to 72 hours before the start of the race.
  2. His second issue was that his time had not been recorded at the finish! Both Michelle and I, together with the race timing operator (separate company), and the chip manufacturer, spent most of Sunday evening and Monday morning, trying to extract the information from the system, sadly to no avail. It then  transpired, when the person sent us a picture of his running shoe, proving he had applied his timing tag, that he had in fact fitted it in complete contradiction of the instructions printed on the tag itself. He had folded it in half, and tucked it under his laces. The likelihood of this, is that the tag will not be read by the timing mat! That is why it says “Do not fold or tuck under laces”

We were then accused of using inferior tags and that they were ‘rubbish’, even though we had no issues with the tags on previous races and no other runners have voiced any concerns following Twixmas.

I have always lived by the philosophy that ‘Not everybody gets it right all the time, its about how you correct the mistakes you make’. I am also a great believer in ‘its not what you ask for, its how you ask for it’.

       

I just wish to finish by saying that if anyone takes part in any of our races, you should know we run the business on our own, from the dining rooms table and do it for fun, and to raise some money for charity. We WILL make mistakes, but we will always try our hardest. I also work full time!

If, in the event you have an issue with any aspect of any of our events, please contact us directly, so we can work with you in resolving the issue. Taking to social media is not the way to get things resolved.

If you are reading this, and have, without notice, had your race entry fee refunded for a future race, you now know the reason.

What a week its been!

At 4.30am on Sunday 31st December, New Years Eve, Twixmas Day, I awoke to the sound of winds blowing a gale, and the clatter of icicle Christmas lights banging against the window. A sense of impending doom came over me, as I came to the realisation that the lying water, and slippery mud that we had encountered the previous day, whilst setting the course, was going to be a whole lot worse!

Off I go, with markers and signs in hand, and a car full of water, to walk the worse parts of the course. What I saw was not a pretty sight. I was suddenly faced with the one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. The course was clearly too dangerous to run, so decision made! The first call is always the most difficult, but I made it, to the timing company, on their way down from Northampton!

With the timing company cancelled, there was no turning back, so it was back home to wake up Michelle and my daughter. Blurry eyed, with adrenalin flowing at high velocity, we set about texting 445 entrants to give them the bad news! A call to Wave105 and a few strategic facebook posts later, the message started to get through!

With that all done, I was now in uncharted territory! Damage limitation being the order of the day! Hanging off the T’s & C’s of no refunds or re-arranged races was not an option. I’ve often heard of races being cancelled with no refunds and have always winced at the thought of how the race organiser can make such a decision!

From the sublime to the ridiculous….. three alternative races, over the course of 7 weeks, with heart surgery bang in the middle!!

Then the trolls come out and start turning the screw! trying to profit from the disaster, caused by storm Dylan or whatever his name was!

“Don’t take it personally” I kept hearing, that’s the trouble, I did, and always will! I’m passionate about what I do, I enjoy seeing people enjoy themselves!

Twixmas 2017 is now done. We are in 2018 now, with lots of exciting events planned, and we have recently started enrolling members in the Rural Running Club!

I’m looking forward, not back, and am eternally grateful to everyone for their comments, yes, even the trolls! you, in particular made me realise that you only represent 0.5% of the people I organise events for, the other 99.5% are supportive and have been helpful and constructive in their comments!

I have always lived by the philosophy of ‘its not about getting it right all the time, its about how you put it right when it goes wrong’.

I am looking forward to seeing you all cross finish lines over the coming months. You make this job the pleasure it is and I hope you always will 🙂

Happy New Year to you all

Don’t forget, “Always Rural, Always Real”

Twixmas Cancellation

Following the cancellation of the Twixmas 10k on the 31st December, due to adverse weather making parts of the course dangerous, we have come up with the following plan.

A full 10k run on the Twixmas course will be run on Sunday 18th February, start time 11am (RR3)

To accommodate those runners who had confirmed entries, and who had not previously withdrawn from the race due to injury, we will also be holding a number of smaller events, of 10k, run on the same Twixmas course. These smaller events however, will not be timed.

These ‘less formal’ 10k runs will take place on the following dates; Sunday 14th January (RR1), Sunday 28th January (RR2).

All the rescheduled events will be open for entries as new events.

All runners must wear a valid Race Number, which will be the race number they were allocated for the race that was cancelled.

ALL finishers in any of the rearranged events, will receive a finishers medal.

As you will appreciate, cancelling an event so close to the start is a massive decision and is not taken lightly.

I would also like to say that we have found some of the comments on social media a little upsetting. We tried our best, given the circumstances, to inform all those affected, as early as possible. We used text messaging, Facebook and local radio to get the message out there. We particularly chose Facebook as it is a very effective platform for disseminating information across wide networks of friends. In this case it served it’s purpose well, with only 5 people actually turning up at the venue, two of which admitted to not having checked their mobile phones! We would like to thank all of you that took the trouble to pass on the news about the cancellation.

Any entrants who wish to make a representation to us about the above, are asked to contact us by email (jeff@ruralrunningevents.com).

 

2018 Programme of Events

Our programme of races for 2018 is now complete. We hope you agree that there is certainly something for everyone.

Our Charity Partner for 2018 is Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association, who will benefit from at least £1 from every entrant in every race!

Twixmas is coming!

On the 31st December, 400 runners will line up for the start of the 3rd Annual Twixmas 10k at Wicor Recreation Ground, Portchester. The race is a full for the 3rd year in a row, with runners travelling from all parts of the UK to take part in what is becoming the ‘must do’ race on the south coast over the festive period.
The course takes runners out along the coastal path, joining the Fareham Easy Access Trail and continues to the Cams Hall, where the runners turn around return along the path, to finish at the home of AFC Portchester.
The race brings down the curtain on what has been a busy year for Portchester based Rural Running, who have this year raised money for both local, and national charities, including Rowans Hospice and Blind Veterans UK, as well as supporting local runners with their own fundraising. In November, 600 runners competed in the Remembrance Day 10k at Fort Nelson, raising money for Forces charities.
Jeff Clark, owner of Rural Running, went on to say ‘without the support of Fareham Borough Council and the local community, none of our races would have taken part. The success of what we do is largely down to the runners, who continue to support us by entering our events. We try to make our events ‘all-inclusive’ by not imposing shut off times, and by making our events fun’.
Looking  back over the past three years, Jeff admitted that things hadn’t always gone to plan!. In April 2016, their Hundred Acres Half Marathon went horribly wrong, when parts of the course was sabotaged, with direction signs being moved prior to the race start, leaving runners stranded in the forest!
Since then, their events have gone from strength to strength, with the majority of races filling up.
Rural Running’s charity partner for 2018 will be Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association.
Full details of Rural Running’s 2018 events can be found on www.ruralrunningevents.com

The Ladies did good for Breast Cancer Care!

A police box, a nun, an elf and very glamorously dressed lady in pink wearing a tiara and a diamond necklace were just some of the outfits on show on the start line for the Portchester Ladies Day 5, organised as a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Care! The sun came out, right on cue, making a glorious summer Sunday morning under the gaze of Portchester Castle.

140 runners set off on a 5k, and a 5 mile course, taking in views across Portsmouth Harbour and Fareham Creek.

First lady home in the 5k was Victoria Ayriss, with Marie Droniou-Bordry. Times were not important for once, this race was all about fun and fundraising! so much so, the boys from Portchester Fire station all turned up wearing their finery and becoming an impromptu ‘selfie station’!!

The event was a huge success and will definitely feature in the Rural Running diary for 2018. We all raised just shy of £1000 for Breast Cancer Care which is fantastic!

Thanks to everyone who contributed by giving up their time and by donating prizes for the raffle!!