Runners Bulletin June 2021
Updated: Jun 10
The Sportstiks Brentwood Half Marathon is back in 2022
After a year off we are back for our 40th half marathon and fun run event on Sunday 20th March and we are well on our way with the planning and organising. We will keep you updated with monthly email news bulletins but please visit our website and follow us on social media to stay up to date and find out more.
Thank You to the Rotary Club of Brentwood a Becket
Since 1982 the Brentwood Half Marathon and Fun Run has been organised solely by members of the Rotary Club of Brentwood a Becket. The purpose of the event has always been to raise money for charities and good causes. To that end, they have succeeded in raising over £1.2m directly from the event and a further estimated £2.6m by runners themselves - approximately £3.8m in total!
Three men in particular have put in an incredible amount of work and commitment every single year to ensure that the event has run like clockwork. As they approach their twilight years they knew they needed to expand the organising team to share the load and begin to step back. The new organising team includes the Brentwood Running Club, Brentwood Theatre and St Francis Hospice. We'll introduce you to our new team in future newsletters but this month we're going to look back at our 3 main men.
Bob Davey, Race Director
(pictured below with Anne Bender from the Rotary).
In the planning stages Bob's role includes booking medical support, managing road closures and health and safety strategies. On race day he's in charge of setting up and clearing the routes and organising the start line area of the event
"The Brentwood Half Marathon is really all my fault!
In 1980/81 I ran in several local fun runs and could see what a potent money raising exercise they were. The Brentwood a Becket Rotary Club was newly formed and looking for fund raising ideas.They seized the opportunity and started in 1982 with a 9-mile fun run which by 1984 had become the Half Marathon and 3-mile fun run.
I was responsible for planning and setting up the course and this has been my main interest ever since. When I think back to the early days we were really “flying on a wing and a prayer”.
Nothing like today with our traffic management company, road closures, very professional marshals and specialist medical teams.
All part of a very well organised event, although in a changing world we are very aware of the need to keep up to date.
I took over as Race Director about 10 years ago which is a much broader based role although I stlll look after the course."
Tony's role in the planning includes managing insurance and sponsorship for the event and organising volunteer marshalls. On race day he's in charge of water delivery on the course and the organising of the finish area including all the aspects at Becket Keys School such as secure baggage, medal distribution,portaloos and the meet & greet area.
"I first became involved with the Brentwood Half Marathon at the very beginning ~ 39 years ago!
In that time we are all very proud that the event has raised in the region of £3.75million for local, national and international charities.
From a personal perspective it is amazing how technology has improved the way that the event is organised. I can remember when pen pushing on paper was the order of the day. Timekeeping was by stopwatch. Water was from a barrel. Everyone had to be registered on the day. Last minute entry desk had queues s mile long!
All the improvements we have instigated over the years have made it into the event it is today.
Long may it continue"
Richard's role in the planning includes the managing all the entries and orgainising the time keeping system. He also runs all the IT such as the website and emails notifications. On race day Richard runs the information desk managing all the last minute runner queries and issues. Times have certainly changed from the manual entry system and recording finish times with stop watches and tape recorders.
"My first involvement in the event was 38 years ago. It was around the time of the first PC’s and Ford, Dunton had a specific room for several computers to be used by everyone. In those days they were not extensively used as most computing was done on large mainframe machines. They could however be used for small databases and organise entries in either surname or race number order. A huge step forward in those days. I spent many a long evening over many years manually entering postal entries into the database. When PC’s became for common at home, I was able to put together a small team to handle the entries.
For many years we allowed race day entries and had a bank of computers in the sports hall frantically typing in the entries so they were ready to receive the results. Before chip timing, results were all manually entered during all night sessions after the event (we had to meet press deadlines of Tuesday morning). We had Brentwood School sixth formers with stop watches writing down times against positions and others speaking into cassette tape machines with race number against position. So we could after many hours work sort out race number, position and time. One year we had a disaster on the timing front with times for the first 200 only, so I had to make up the times for everyone else. How times have changed. From being the most work intensive part of the event organisation it is now almost fully automated and infinitely more accurate."
Join the Club
Every year they are of course supported by other members of the Rotary Club of Brentwood a Becket. The Rotary are always looking to expand their membership. If you're intersted in being involved in community events that support charities and good causes please get in touch. Visit their website or find them on Facebook