08:01 hrs This morning's briefing commences for the 35 odd Oaks Blokes who were waiting in Hollybush car park. The briefing was (in my opinion) functionary or short and accurate …. “its raining, you will be wondering what you are doing here, a coffee seems more appealing than a run this morning, so we'd better get going. Ian and Lars will run their steady group, the rest of you are with me.”
What more do you really need to know – There have never been complaints before. That was until, post run, the blokes are in the packed coffee shop , unable to sit in the Oaks Blokes Common Room at the back because Sian (the SLJ coach) was briefing her group of 15 odd SLJ runners. No problem, the coffee’s were coming slowly anyway. However, a couple of blokes (Guy and Patrick) did wait within hearing distance of the briefing. Then followed a stream of moans. “why do they get told loads of information when we don’t. “ “Why don’t you explain all that other stuff too us”… and so on.
Those working within HM Services or with walkie talkies will know the key to clarity of message is ‘Accuracy, Brevity and Speed’. That is what you get with OBJ– Now there have been comments made on the accuracy front previously. I have taken that feedback ‘on board’ and now no longer describe the run you are about to do, other than in terms of “we will be back by 9.10am” (you see accuracy brevity and speed – simple !!).
As I am a bit old to change and for those of you who feel you may be missing out on a longer briefing, below are some essential facts you should consider before you start a run, just imagine they are part of next weeks briefing ….
A. If you are about to ask how hard the run is .. Two points to consider.... 1. You know I will lie to you, as it will hurt... and 2. You are only asking because you know you drank too much last night and it is going to hurt. So either way it is going to hurt – so don’t ask.
B. Should I go with the slower group – that answer is obviously NO, and you are only asking because point 2 on previous point applies.
C. Are there many hills – Answer … Is the Pope catholic ..
D. I need a Pee should I go now. It is probably a good idea to do it now if you don’t want to pee into a bush during the run (you may have been able to work this one out yourself, if point 2 on the first question did not apply.)
E. Can you guarantee we will be back on time. For guarantees better off buying a toaster than an Oaks Blokes Run ticket.
F. Will it be wet and muddy. Be honest, you know I have no more idea than you unless point 2 applies, again and if it does what difference is it going to make.
G. What is the etiquette should I spit or swallow. Ask Dave Parker.
H. What do I need to know about ‘Elf and Safety’. The following all hurt – falling over, running in to a tree or a branch, cutting yourself on brambles, being stung by nettles or bugs, drowning, eating poisonous plants, so please avoid all of them. Please also avoid falling trees, planes and other people. However, if point 2 above strongly applies, it may not hurt as much !!!
I think that covers the key points but happy to add to the list if there is anything else you feel like you are missing out on – I can make this a sort of FAQ pre brief.
Now back to todays run.