Written by AR   

Andy Robinson's Report on his Christmas Spectacular

Kingston Midwinter Polylauf, Tuesday December 21st

Apologies to all for the extreme lateness of this report!

For some years now, Richard Holt's squad have turned the last session
before Christmas into a team relay - typically pitting 3-4 middle
distance runners against larger groups of sprinters and trying to
cover 10k as fast as possible.  Your author thought that this could
perhaps be turned into a fun midwinter "open meeting".   And so, the
Kingston Polylauf was born.  We invited local clubs and runners to
enter and dreamed up a few more fun events.

With a couple of weeks to go, the snow came down and we thought the
event was in jeopardy.  Luckily Kingsmeadow agreed to stay open, we
were blessed with a clear and cold night with good snow, and various
K&P stalwarts put in the most heroic warmup in history, scraping
enough ice off the track to clear a complete lane and two changeover

Regrettably we no longer have the individual teamsheets listing who
was in which team.  If anyone can recollect who was in their team,
please email "captainrobbo at gmail dot com", and I will be happy to
update this when most of the teams are in.  Similarly, if you took any
good photos, please let me know - I will try to assemble a web

Junior 5000m relay:
1. Rudolf Runners - 15:29
2. Melting Snowmen - 16:45
3. Santa Babies - 16:51

Senior 10000m relay:
1. The Colours - 26:12   (sub WR pace!)
2. Predators - 26:53
3. Team with no name - 26:54
4. Farther Christmas - 29:40
5. Brass Monkeys - 30:12
6. Knackered Calves - 32:38
7. Robin's Other Raiders - 32:44
8. Estherian - 33:39
9. Robin's Raiders - 33:40

The senior relay was notable for the range of tactics employed.  Most
of the K&P teams had between 4 and 7 runners doing 200s, with the
occasional longer leg by a distance runner to permit recovering
sprinters to take their traditional mid-session naps.  Two teams of
three went for 1000m legs; and three teams of two went for the
"traditional paarlauf", the toughest option of the lot, with one
athlete running bends and another jogging quickly across the midfield.

Medicine Ball Throw:
24 people had a go at the overhead medicine ball throw.  We ran a
"weight adjusted" competition, dividing best throw by the throwers'
weight in kg.  In the interests of decency we will not publish enough
data to let you infer the weights of the adults - but we can reveal
that this simple formula works fairly well, with the best juniors and
the lankiest long jumpers scoring just a fraction behind the club's
dedicated throwers…

The junior winners (someone tell me their surnames please!) were:
U11 Boys: Sammy H
U13 Boys: Harry Robinson
U13 Girls: Laura D
U15 Girls: Vanessa Saunders

Sledge Pulls:
Great fun was had by youngsters and oldsters alike pulling sledges
along a marked course: teams of two, one pulls while one rides over
30m, then change over to race back. We have no doubt that next time it
snows we can work this into the training sessions!

Multi-Sport Challenge:  Baby Buggy Versus Skier
The spectator event of the night was the multi-sport 800m duel.
Regrettably the cani-cross duo (husky plus owner) had to withdraw due
to a cold.  On the inside lane we had Will Cockerell (Belgrave's
Secretary, Tuesday night stalwart and AW correspondent) with his
greased Norwegian racing chariot, carrying Mimi, the lightest of the
Cockerell kids.  On the outside, giving away a 2 lane handicap, was
Dominic Luck of London Nordic cross-country skiing club.   It was a
closely fought duel, but perhaps not the best surface for a skier as
each lap involved hurdling at least one clear stretch of tartan!   In
the end Will just got the lead on the line, in a time which shall
remain unreported to protect the reputations of those involved.

Much fun was had by all under memorable festive conditions.   Despite
the late start and the weather, the event raised just over £200 for
club funds, and your correspondent is confident that we could raise
several times this if we repeat the event next year or do similar
things in summer.   We hopefully worked out a scheme for future club
events which will allow us to sell cakes and teas for the club; and we
also made a good start at breaking down barriers and getting to know
some of the other clubs nearby.  Many thanks to all who helped out,
whether officiating in the cold, baking cakes, manning stands, donated
prizes or otherwise taking part.

Andy Robinson


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