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Race Report: Tail Runners

I am writing this after hearing of people’s experiences of tail runners. Most of you in the group have never run with a tail runner so are unaware of just how important this role is. I still remember my first Grand Prix run which was Storm Force 10. I was quite scared as a 68 year old running her first real “race” at a distance I had never run before (as part of my London Marathon training). I willingly hung about at the end to have the reassurance of company who knew what they were doing. Her name was Juliet and she was amazing.

Race Report: Tail Runners

Janet Wills

13 June 2023

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She saw me later running the Turkey Trot and shouted as I ran past how strong I was now as opposed to then and how well I had done at London. That meant so much to me. My Cornish Marathon run was such a positive experience with the brilliant company of the tail runner(s). I have had the experience of keeping Sam company as a tail runner doing Imerys half. We had the privilege of running with a man who was strapped up a lot and had various injuries. He was slow BUT he was determined to finish as it was his 33rd MTRS consecutive run. What an achievement.
I have had the reverse experience with a very grumpy tail runner who talked about himself and his problems all the way round and was patronizing beyond belief. I said afterwards that if I was ever in a race at the back where he was the tail runner, I would drop out (or run much faster) he was so bad.
Running with the tail runner/sweep doesn’t mean you are a slow runner, it means you are the one at the back on that particular day for all sorts of different reasons. I rarely keep the tail runner company these days but someone has to reach the finish line as the last runner and being an encouraging helpful tail runner means you are making a great contribution to the race on that day. It really can make or break runners.
Thanks to all those brilliant runners who carry out this role and are (on the whole) the most helpful and encouraging runners in the race and well done to all runners who complete the race wherever they finish.

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