The Golden day of Ordnance Survey runners
Guest article by Rob Finch
The Civil Service 10km Championships is a highlight of the year for many of us runners at the Ordnance Survey. The OS may have lost its official Civil Service status a couple of years as we became a Gov Co, but we are still eligible to compete against other governmental departments. These include runners from departments like the HMRC, MOD, DEFRA etc. To take part individuals must be members of the Civil Service Sports Council (see here for info: http://osrunners.uk/about/cssc-civil-service-sports-council/)
There was excited chatter on the minibus as we departed from OSHQ. It felt like we were on a school trip out and there was expectation of the day ahead. We were off to the City, to run, to drink beer & eat burgers!
The course is a convoluted 2.5km loop around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (so 4 laps in total). It has a couple of tight turns and may be slightly long, so isn’t conducive to quick times or PBs. It was also a windy day, so all talk turned to the main goal of the day and that was team success. After a Bronze men’s team medal last year and a very close 4th place for the women’s team, we knew we could challenge for medals again. Karen fired up the girls in a team huddle before the start. The key message for everyone was to race person to person, if you could catch and overtake one more person then it could help the team.
The mass of OS runners formed at the start. Everyone took their place, eyed up the competition and whispered last minute motivational messages. How could we do? … We were off! The leaders sped ahead, and everyone settled into their own rhythms and pace for the day. The first part of the lap is an out and back and this allowed everyone to cheer everyone on as we ran past each other. We could also follow the progress of the race and count back the positions. Shaun. Jon. James. Mark, Paul and Harry running together. Dean. Nicole leading. Karen. Rach. It was looking good!
There were some amazing individual performances, some great debuts competing at the Civil Service Champs, a few podium finishers (see below) and several PBs. Wednesday was a record turnout of 31 OS runners and our large group and the distinct club vests meant we stood out. The goal of the day was to run and race together as a team. This was clearly evident throughout the day, small OS groups running together (working together in the wind), loud shouts of support throughout the course and a large team huddle forming on the final bend to cheer everyone in. We gathered for the prize giving as a group, knowing we’d secured a few medals but with a few pleasant surprises! Notably unexpected, were the Vets individual and team medals (including a medal birthday present for club stalwart Matt P). We then retired to a local brewery for a celebratory drink and some food.
There were 4 men and 3 women to score for each team and it’s not a cliché to say that everyone helped the team’s performance. The strength and depth of our runners helped both teams to win. DWP had strong runners at the front and could have won, but we had more runners packing the top of the field.
Well done to everyone that ran! A big thank you to Naomi for organising us all and arranging the transport and social after, not the easiest of tasks!
- 2nd woman – Nicole Frith
- 3rd Man – Shaun Brown
- 1st M35 – Jon Sharkey
- 1st F35 – Karen Connell
- 1st M70 – Mick Anglim
- 1st Men’s Team – Shaun Brown, Jon Sharkey, James Clarke, Harry Odell
- 1st Women’s Team – Nicole Frith, Karen Connell, Rachael Evans
- 1st Men’s 35-49 Team – Jon Sharkey, Paul Ashley, Matt Pillinger
Full results here: http://www.sportsystems.co.uk/ss/results/Capital%20Challenge/3698