Team Goes Missing

Club Captain Martin Ferguson ran this years Edinburgh Marathon as part of the Edinburgh Napier University Team, winning the team relay prize.

Pictured above is Martin with the trophy, (students never turn up on time).

Martin already posted a brief report on the race but here is the full version with warnings on running with students:

Another Edinburgh Marathon and another re-quest from Napier students if l would like to run a relay leg for them, OF COURSE!
They first got in touch two years ago when one of their team members got injured/ ill and l know how much work goes in to organising a relay team so l said yes, but l had to ask them a few questions.0ne: How are you going to get my number to me?
Two; what leg am l running? Three; How am l going to get to the start of my leg with the roads being closed? And four (most importantly) how am l going to recognise you all?
Students! I ask you. They e-mailed back “good questions”.
I had a Saturday job then and one of the students called Steve came into see me and we arranged to go for a Coffee after l finished and he was going to bring along the other two team members, he had very distinctive red hair.
Later when l was in the Coffee shop it was a bit busy and there l was sipping away for about half and hour thinking when are these guys going to turn up when l recognised this guy‟s face sitting there in the distance, it was Steve but he had went and got him-self a baldy,( think Telly Savalas, “who loves you baby?”) no wonder l didn‟t recognise him, stu-dents! I told him “l‟m a simple man don‟t confuse me and l asked the other two team members please don‟t get your haircut till after the race, they said “ok”.
I told the first leg runner you will need to give me a bag with some clothes in it before your leg starts as you are starting the race in Edinburgh but finishing in Musselburgh so you will have something to wear at the finish. “Oh l never thought of that”. Students!
I ran leg Two (Musselburgh to Port Seaton) then took off my number and walked/jogged back along the leg to give the Marathon/relay runners some support and also to go back and get my bag (more later).
Leg three started and finished in the same place so there was no problems there and Steve (Kojack) our fourth leg runner had given me a bag (yes l’d told him) as the finish was near the start of the second leg.
We won the race two years ago but the organisers were not happy when all the press photographers started snapping Steve as he came into the race course and were very ‘disappointed’ to find he was only a relay runner!
This year in spite of the university changing its name to ‘Edinburgh Napier’ it didn’t fool them and they were terrified it might happen again. So much so that l was told l could not start leg two of the relay until the marathon runners had passed the 1st change over point.
An Australian official got a message on her walkie- talkie and told us to hold our Horses (When l was younger l used to think a walkie- talkie was an Action Man that could walk and talk). Dan our first leg runner came in 1 minute 28 seconds before the marathon boys and  l had to stand there twiddling my thumbs until they passed the change over point!
Do Not Beat The Marathon Runners!

Another ploy they had to slow the relay teams down was, we had to change over the championship time tag at each leg of the relay! That meant undoing your laces or undoing a knot, l know l was in the scouts but that’s pushing it, but l had a better plan; l pushed out the middle of an old 7 inch vinyl record and tied it to my shoe lace, it fooled them although l had to bend down mighty far when l went over the check point mats and listen for a ‘bleep'( l was carrying the chip in my hand). One spectator shouted “look at that marathon runner doing the limbo” and threw me a can of lilt, l threw it back, it was diet.
No other things were thrown in our way and Zac or 3rd leg runner ran well and ‘took’ over a few marathon boys and Steve brought the team home safe and sound, first relay team and sixth overall.
When l went arrived back at the start of my leg my rucksack was unfortunately not in the tent (ok, marquee) were l left it. I didn’t panic l just thought an official must have picked it up and l’ll pick it up later at lost property. It was now 12.20pm and the presentation was at 12.30pm so l jogged back to the finish. I managed to tell an official l was a member of the winning relay team and as l appeared they announced Edinburgh Napier as the winning team, but where were my team mates?
I went to lost property but my rucksack hadn‟t turned up but l just thought it‟s only a matter of time as the race was still going on and the officials will be really really busy, only trouble is my Car keys, Mobile phone and money were in it.
I was there for four hours and had finished all the goodies in my goodie bag and it was now getting cold so l also put on the Haggis relay t-shirt that was in there. One lady official gave me a glass of milk and two digestives biscuits. I turned them over desperately hop-ing to see some chocolate on them, milk or plain l‟m not fussy but they were plain, as in no chocolate. I think the milk must have been full fat but beggars can‟t be choosers. I‟m a skimmed milk man as there is only 1 gram of fat in a litre so you can drink it till the cows come home. Sitting there with my milk and biscuits l felt like a wee boy who had went home for lunch while being at primary school and had came back and told the teachers my mum wasn’t in and then them taking pity on me. Don‟t get me wrong l enjoyed it, feeling like being seven again.
They took my landline number (there was no point in giving them my mobile as it was in the rucksack) and gave me a ticket for the last shuttle bus which was at 16.30 and bus fare to get home from town ( l am at primary school). I got a lot of funny looks waiting for the bus, on the bus and walking home from the bus stop (yes my clothes were in the rucksack). Basically l walked home wearing what you see in the photograph, give or take a t-shirt.
Fortunately l got my rucksack back on the Tues-day and The first thing l did was check my mobile phone for messages and the team members had texted me to remind me the time of the presentation, l ask you! Students. I asked them what had happened to them and they just said “we didn‟t think it would start in time”.
So apologies for the photograph with my three invisible team members (no wonder we won) and myself.
Martin Ferguson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Our Podium Award

  • Club Gallery

  • Club Stats

  • Support Edinburgh Athletic Club

  • Award Badges 2019

  • Archives