Why Southport Mad Dog 10K volunteers deserve medals this weekend
Three and a half thousand runners will pound their way across our seaside resort when the annual Southport Mad Dog 10K run takes place this Sunday (February 9).
Normally it’s those sprinting around the course who earn their post-race honours, after several laps of blood, seat and tears.
But this weekend it will be the small army of volunteers who make the event happen every year who truly deserve medals!
The Met Office has issued a weather warning, named Storm Ciara, which is set to arrive during a weekend of disruptive conditions.
A yellow weather warning is in place from 6pm on Saturday (February 8) until midnight on Sunday and will affect the UK in its entirety.
Mad Dog organisers are monitoring forecasts closely and will be issuing up-to-date advice to race-goers between now and Sunday, but are confident at this stage that the growingly popular event will go ahead as planned.
For that to happen though will require immense dedication by a substantial team of volunteers, led by Race Director Adrian Shandley, as they leave their nice, warm homes for a blustery, wet race course – and all for free.
The 10K run has been organised every year by members of Southport Hesketh Round Table, supported by their families and supporters.
This is their 10th year of organising the event – which this year is themed ‘Jurassic Bark’, as each race takes on a movie theme with a dog-themed pun!
Run on a non-profit basis, the main aim is to ensure runners have a great time on a truly picturesque race course.
Southport Beach, Southport Pier, the Marine Lake, the Promenade, Southport Links Golf Course and Southport Pleasureland are among landmarks runners will pass.
The event is perfect for participants of all types, ages and abilities and includes serious runners, chariot racers, visually impaired runners, recreational runners and even The Crazy Pups Fun Run for youngsters.
Increasingly popular are the amazing runners in fancy dress (£250 prize for the best outfit)!
Incredibly, the organisers don’t take back a penny in race fees, with an incredible £90,000 raised for a variety of local charities over the years.
No wonder the Southport Mad Dog 10K has been named ‘The Best 10K in the UK’ by Runners World magazine at the National Running Awards.
Runners and spectators may expect some wind and some rain this weekend.
But they can also expect: an incredible atmosphere; stunning scenery; great goody bags (packed by volunteers), running shirts and medals; free parking; chip timing; and superb on-course entertainment with live bands and singers!
And the dozens of volunteers? Who are giving up their weekends and their warm homes to head down for free to make sure everyone has a great time?
Every one of them deserves a bloody medal!