I had misunderstood the briefing I had been given, I though they had told me that OBSTIC (Office for Standards in intake of coffee) was coming, but I soon found out that in Fact Matt Atwell knew what he was talking about when it came to running, so it was more like an OFSTED visit. This was initially a bit of a relief, because I was running late this morning and I had left my self assessment thermos cup of coffee on the side in the kitchen – I had though it might curry a bit of favour with the coffee drinking inspector.
I knew I had got it slightly wrong when I turned up and he was already there, looking more like he was going running than straight to the coffee shop. In fact it was much worse that that, we had Tim Smith coming for a kit inspection and Tim Veysey-Smith from Special Measure waiting for us when we got back after the run (more of this later). I had told the guys to be on their best behavior and it seemed to be going ok to start with.
We all managed to stay together for the first mile and re-group whilst Tom P, with his newly acquired personal training skills ran through a bit of dynamic stretching. This is when it all started to go a bit wrong. Tom delivered a perfectly good 3 minute input, that already had my legs aching from the lunges. Well that was enough for Lars and his Special Measures Group, who decided that it was all looking a bit too serious and decided to run off in the opposite direction to the rest of us.
I hoped the inspector had not noticed that I had lost 4 runners so early and I tried to focus his attention on some of the very unique cart horse running styles that some of us have (in fact I think I have picked on one of you for breathing like a horse too, before). Having pointed out little Dave who is trying had to improve his overall speed (but I felt rather held back by his style) Dave immediately goes in to a near perfect running style whilst under the careful gaze of the Inspector. It was starting to look bad now, with the Inspector telling me ‘it was fine and what was I talking about’.
Just as I was starting to think it could only get better, I struck on the perfect idea to boost my school report – when we next stopped I got out my sweets and shared them with the guys. Now, I know I don’t do this that often and they may have gone a bit fury in the bag. But someone in the class was clearly head to say ‘We have only got these because we are having an OFSTED Inspection’. When we set off again I started to question all those who I though might have sneaked on me, eventually I came across Greg skulking near the back (I know he is a front runner) so guilt was written all over his face. I decided to take a firm stance to prevent the class getting any more unruly – I sent him straight back to Hollybush and told him to Waite there and get the coffees ready. He took it well at first but I saw him put on the limp of a hurt soul as he moved off back to the start.
Tom P was a bit bolshie when I caught back up with the main group – so he got sent back too. Now I thought, I might fail the inspection on several points, but discipline had to be an ‘A’ star.
When we got back to Hollybush there was more good news – the kit Inspector wasn’t there yet. That gave me a chance to send Special Measures straight home without a coffee (well they didn’t have the right kit, you see), there were a few others similarly disciplined (well, I was going for a few bonus points now).
I think I might have got a bit carried away with it by this point and Tim V-S started telling several of the guys not to bother coming back to school for a few weeks whilst he sorted it out. Duncan was desperately trying to save the day but offering the inspectors free coffees (I think he still thought they were from OBSTIC rather than OFSTED). I will wait with baited breather (for those that are not quire sure what this is like – it was probably just like Jonty’s this morning having drunk far too much last night) to see if I am in Special Measure or if any of the runners are allowed to come back.
A special mention to Nick on his first run back with us for some time and Jonty as winner of this weeks free hoody competition.