The Race Director’s review of the 2022 Riverbank Rollick

After 2021’s ‘virtual Rollick’, Sunday 16th January saw the radiant return of the infamous but highly regarded TRC Riverbank Rollick. For the most sadistic or masochistic amongst us the weather may have been a little too kind on the runners but some good rainfall in the preceding weeks meant that conditions underfoot were still enjoyably challenging. There were a few changes necessitated by covid precautions but even without copious quantities of coffee and cake, the essence of the Rollick was well and truly evident. A fantastic on the day turn out meant we had nearly 300 runners on the start line (and luckily a similar number of finishers) and almost all were applauding our cheerful army of Marshalls and the joy of being back out on the familiar trails. 

Amongst the merry finishers were some impressive TRC racers – all of whom dual hatted and carried out their marshalling or car parking duties before stripping off high vis tabards to emerge as fully fledged athletes just in time for the start.  It was fabulous to see a TRC man in the top 3 with Sean Leadbeater coming in 2nd in a time of 1.07.09. 1st senior lady across the line and 4th overall female was our own Taryn Roberts (1.16.31) , Julia Jolley (1.37.30) was also an impressive 4th in her category and 2nd claim Ali Vaz (1.26.20) was 4th FV40 – many congratulations to all.

As always however, the success of the event lies in the fantastic efforts of the vast army of TRC club members who pulled together once again to ensure the best experience for the participants . Over 90 Marshalls and helpers stood out in the cold to cheer and guide the runners round the course and look after them before and after the trails. Without exception the feedback from the runners was fantastic. I have no idea when our Rollick Marshalls started dressing up but I know it now makes our race one of the most memorable around and Mr Blobby is now as much part of the rollick as the riverbank itself. This year we had even inspired the runners to join in the fun and amongst a variety of outfits we saw our first crocodile and bag of French-fries making it around the course. The cheeriness and humour of the Marshalls was praised by so many on the day and since then in e-mails and postings on more media platforms than I even have access to!

So to all who helped out in any capacity at all a massive thank you – you truly made our first race in over a year a great success, enhancing the reputation of TRC and most importantly leaving 300 runners with big smiles, happy memories and very muddy legs.

Se you next year 🙂

Jo Emerson – Race Director.