THE first rule of my running club, Kingstone Runners, is to boo other members who leave for other local clubs.
‘Boo! Boo!’ we shout whenever we see the former club mate wearing the blue colours of Barnsley Athletic Club, or the orange of Barnsley Harriers, or the white of Penistone.
Under normal circumstances I would never ever boo anyone. It’s just not very sporting, or actually very nice. But this! Leaving our lovely Kingstone Runners for another club, well, I was all too happy to join in. In fact, I joined in with passion.
‘Boo! Boo! How could you?’
When one friend left I was still chanting ‘boo’ six months after he’d left.
It was all in good fun. I’m not sure the friends I was booing enjoyed it half as much as me, but they deserved it. I’m mean, leaving Kingstone. How could they?
But what goes around comes around.
This month, Chris and I decided that we would leave too. It has not been an easy decision, but one we had to make. We’re joining Barnsley Athletic Club.
We’re only going because I’d like to compete in a few events (road relays, track league) that Kingstone doesn’t offer. In an attempt to get my legs moving a bit faster, I’ve also been doing a fair bit of track training with AC members on Tuesday and Thursday nights. And my good friend Melvin Wallace has been pestering me to join for ages!
Now we’ve resigned from Kingstone I’m preparing myself for the ‘Boo!’ chants. After all, leaving Kingstone! I deserve it.
Kingstone is a wonderful club. I’ve been a member for four years and have enjoyed every minute. I’ve made some fantastic friends. I’ve trained as a leader in running fitness and then as a coach in running fitness. I’ve had lots of laughs and also learned a great deal about local history, canals in particular (thank you, Tim).
I’ve been lucky enough to pick up a few team prizes too. My first ever medal came in the team prize at the Wombwell 5. Then there was the Penistone 10k, Cusworth 10k and a gold medal in the South Yorkshire Road Relay.
How many times have we won the Barnsley Boundary mixed team relay race? We even won the year we got disqualified.
And all the chocolate at the Silkstone Shuffle!
One of my best memories was winning my first individual prize at the Rossington Gallop. My teammates waited ages for the presentation, but cheered the loudest when my name was called. I was so touched by their support, not to mention utterly shocked to come third that I cried (emotional type). I wrote about the race for the Kingstone blog, making my blogging debut.
In 2014, I was determined to win the club championship and was so happy when Chris and I both won.
As well as the laughs and emotional tears, there have also been a few sad tears. When my granddad died of sarcoma, a type of cancer, Kingstone Runners held a charity relay for Sarcoma UK, raising around £400. David Lee ran the London Marathon for them too.
Then when my Nan died, David came with flowers and a card signed by friends from the club. With lovely friends like this, I’m wondering why I’m leaving. As I write this, I can’t help but shed a little tear (emotional type) remembering the past few years.
But although I’m leaving Kingstone, I will still be part of the club. Chris is still managing the championship spreadsheet (he loves a spreadsheet). And I will be doing more coaching sessions. We’re also hoping to join Kingstone for a few social runs too.
So, when you see me in blue, please feel free to ‘Boo,’ but please don’t ‘Boo’ too loudly because I’m an emotional type and I’m very sad to leave.
To all my friends at Kingstone Runners. Thank you! It’s been great!