I normally get a real buzz out of doing PA commentating work at road races and the Canterbury 10 Miler has been no exception in recent years. Usually a big field (this year there were a record 1390 finishers) and featuring most of the current top rated male and female distance runners in Kent it is great to be there to witness and call out the names and details of as many of the runners as the rapid eye/microphone co ordination will allow and to marvel at the sprint duels of all standards of runners in the last 30 – 40 metres. The new finish straight in Spring Lane ( at around 150 metres and now in it`s second year) allows for a very good forward view of the runners as they race towards the finishing line. This year for those reasons it was enjoyable yes but tempered by the fact that the weather conditions (nb not necessarily for the runners) to put it unmildly(sic) were not ideal for PA commentating. The mounting and connecting of the speakers and amps wearing no gloves was uncomfortable in cold and misty but thankfully windless conditions but the real trial and test came once we had to start calling out the details of the runners as they finished. By the time the race had actually started and contrary to the weather forecast a pernicious incessant and extremely cold sleety blanket was covering Canterbury. Yes we did have thick gloves which prior to them becoming absolutely sodden did help in the interim but they were simply not viable when it came to the business of sliding on and off very small microphone switches. Net result was around 1.5 hours of digital exposure (yes I know that may sound a bit rude – not intended) with blueish tinged fingers and a growing idea of what is faced by Arctic Adventurers and Himalayan Mountaineers. Frozen hands and fingers after all the equipment had been tidied up called for serious measures and a big thank you to the lady at the tea stall in the hall who kindly placed a cloth over the tea urn and allowed me to rest my hands on top which gradually allowed me to regain the colour and the feel.
Note to self = research possible glove options for next winter !