I finally handed my notice in this week, I had a bit of a wobble just before I pressed send but that didn’t last long and then I felt an enormous sense of relief and excitement about what might happen next. That same day I received an automated email from SiEntries which is an online race entry site, the email was asking for aspiring race organisers to take on the role of Race Organiser for the Jura Fell Race. For those of you who have never heard of this race –
The Isle of Jura Fell Race is a classic, 28 km long over 7 mountain summits (including the Paps of Jura) with a total of 2370m of climbing. It is a race on every fell runner’s wish list, being a true test of hill craft, endurance and fell running technique. It is one of the toughest challenges in British hill racing at this distance, and one of the best weekends on the calendar.
I didn’t need to think twice about this, but if I was going to put my hat in the ring for this opportunity it is a big undertaking that is voluntary and I would need the full support of Andy. His response was go for it!!
I decided to email the current Race Organiser Graham Arthur straight back; but what do I say? Yes I love hill running and have raced at Jura before but I am no Jasmin Paris, he wouldn’t know me from Adam, how was I going to get him to notice me?…..Just be myself in the email, tell him how much I loved the experience when I raced, the adventure of travelling to the Island (2 ferries and 2 islands), looking out over the sea trying to spot the Paps from the ferry and then arriving on such a remote, spectacular and rugged island, the anticipation of running the hardest fell race in the country, hopefully surviving to tell the tale and have enough energy to take part in the ceilidh afterwards. As a family it was a great adventure and one we intended to repeat. Just by chance I had recently updated my CV, possibly a bit of over kill yes, but how else was I going to give him an idea of my experience! I pressed send and hoped that he would take notice of me. The thought that I might actually have the opportunity to organise such an amazing race would be a dream come true and I daren’t think too much about it.
A day later I had an email asking if I would be around the following day as he would like to pop in for a chat on the way to Inverness, this sounded very positive, of course I would be around!
Left work early, baked a cake (home baking can’t do any harm) and tried not to get overexcited. Graham arrived with his wife Rosie just before 5, they were both lovely and I felt that we hit it off straight away. There was lots of general chat, love of cats (especially ginger ones), good cakes, a love of the outdoors and the obvious chat around the race. They stayed for about an hour and half before heading up the road to Inverness. I received an email much later that evening from Graham saying how much they had enjoyed meeting me and that both himself and Rosie hoped that I would take on the most interesting and absorbing RO job in fell racing. He also invited the whole family to stay with them for a couple of days so that we can start the process of handing over.
I think I might have actually screamed!!!

4 Comments

  1. What a fantastic experience you all will have over on Jura Emma. Awesome island and community, New challenges and adventures on Islay and Jura which are definitely two of my top of destinations to visit in Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

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