I do run myself… although have yet to complete a half marathon but I knew a lot of my friends and running group and indeed some my own choir would be running this event and so set about planning to sing at it. Hearing music and/or singing whilst you’re running can be a massive boost, especially if you’re tired, fed up, have blisters or are simply wishing you’d trained a bit harder. Lucie at choir was in charge of contacting the organisers of Ikano’s Robin Hood Half Marathon and they were delighted to have us along.
So, we sing some lovely songs – we really do but quite a few them are slow and I was fairly confident that people running wouldn’t take kindly to slow songs and so I set about creating set lists which would inspire runners to keep running! The obvious one was ‘Thorn in my side’ which goes “run run run run” a lot. I also sped up one song which was sounding like it was dragging. We opted to sing 5 songs on a loop at one location (mile 2) and then a different 5 at the second location (just after mile 11).
The weather forecast was atrocious. I kept waking up in the night listening to the rain thinking that I’d actually rather be running than standing freezing in the rain (and the wind! The wind was vile!) but as dawn broke, the rain clouds moved away and we actually had SUN! Mile 2 saw us in the middle of a nasty cobbled hill – but people were smiling! When they heard the singing and saw us, they ran faster, they laughed, they high-fived, they conducted and some even joined in! We saw friends family and other singers – it was amazing! Loads of runners found the breath to thank us which just made us all the more determined to spur them on.
We then moved to just after mile 11 to catch the runners second time around and the atmosphere was simply great. I really felt that we were making a difference and we sang and shouted and sang some more… for three hours.
Today is the day after and I’ve received so many message from people thanking us for singing, saying we really gave everyone a boost, congratulating us on our song choices. It was such a brilliant thing to be a part of. I think we’ll definitely do it again……. well done to all of my lovely singers and the runners we supported xx