Report from Peter McGouran:
Well, this is a new one for me – sending in a race report that I didn’t compete it.
The race in question is the British Transplant Games (BTG) Donor Run, held at Leeds Dock on Saturday night at 6:30.
A little bit of background. The BTG are held every year to celebrate the ‘Gift of Life’. Every competitor has had a life giving organ transplant. Heart, liver, lungs, kidney etc. But not hair transplant, Richard Hamer! It covers 17 sports, from the usual – cycling, squash, badminton, athletics, golf, etc to the bizarre – sports stacking! (Google it, it’s harder than it looks.)
One of the events is the ‘mini marathon’, a 5k/3k road race for men/women. In recent years, the race incorporated the Donor Run to celebrate all those people, living and dead, who donate vital organs so that others could live. It is particularly poignant to Hannah Lupton, who’s Gavin donated 7 organs. She would have loved to be part of the celebrations but unfortunately came down with the dreaded Covid and couldn’t compete. But she was there in spirt.
Now, the Run is special. There’s no chipped timing, in fact no timing at all. Nor was there anyone taking finishing places. It is purely a celebration. And boy did they celebrate. There must have been over a 1000 taking part. All shapes and sizes. I saw a dinosaur, a Mr Blobby, a banana, an old guy on a self propelled scooter, and my Renal Consultant in a purple tutu! Hannah would have blended right in.
But to get down to the nitty gritty. It was 2 laps for the 5k, with zero hills. It would have been perfect for a PB, except for all the walkers, bananas, etc they had to negotiate on the second lap. 5 runners from OAC took part, Gordon Turley, Matt Podd, Ursula McGouran, Beth O’Neil and Maddie Delucchi Vincent. Now, I did say it was a run, but they couldn’t help themselves – they had to race it!
Gordon came home 1st for Otley in 24:12, Matt next in about 25:00ish, Ursula 25:45:, then Beth (no time, she didn’t wear a watch Doh!) and finally Maddie in 29:29. Maddie enjoyed it so much that she wanted to do an extra lap. All impressive times given the congestion.
So a great evening was had by all. Matt summed it up “Gobsmacked by the amount of folk doing it. Heart warming”.
It truly was a celebration. I saw a few tears as people crossed the line. You don’t get that on a Park Run!