Our first mid-year charity event went down beautifully with the 10 km Charity Log Run around Watton in Norfolk! Two teams of six people ran whilst carrying a 30 kg wooden log. Each team carried their log by hand a distance of 10 km around Watton and neighbouring villages. Collectively raising £1073 for a variety of charities with more pledges incoming!
A Log Run is pretty much what it sounds like. You run with a large wooden cylinder, or log. In our case it was a large wooden fence post around 15 cm in diameter and 3.4 m long. A team of people come together to collectively carry the log over a set distance, ideally running for the majority of the route. The log run was inspired by armed forces basic training whereby recruits are given the task of transporting a heavy log over a large distance. The importance of the task is teaching the recruits to communicate with each other and share the weight of load instilling teamwork as a unit.
Gathering at the Watton Sports Association, everyone got to claim their personalised event entry T-shirts. Following a quick safety brief and warm up it wasn't long before we had the participants lined up in height order to stipulate the teams. The participants were split equally in height so that there was one of the tallest team members and one of the shortest team members on each log. The height choices also helped with pace control and having the log at a slight forward angle to reduce swaying back and forth.
We took our Log for a run around the Norfolk countryside. Starting at the Watton Sports Association, we made for the Watton High street at 0930. A steady jog down past the high street where our spectators, friends and family members waved and cheered us on. Near 3 km's later along a path to Saham Toney the runners got their first shaded drinks stop at the grounds of the Wells Cole Community Centre in Saham Toney. A quick drink and change over of the lead team we were onto the longest leg of the route towards and through Ovington. The nearly 4 km leg had a 2nd drinks break mid-way down Watton Green. Here the runners were feeling the aches and pains. A quick drink and some blister tape repairs later, we were back on the road to the finish line using telegraph poles as run walk intervals to power on the last stint.
Our Log Run teams did a fantastic job on one of the hottest days of the year so far (June 25th 2023). Completing the 10 km route in around 2 hours carrying approximately a 5 kg share of the 30 kg total each. The runners used slings around the log to assist the carriage and manage the jostling of the log. It wasn't long before everyone got into their stride, running in time to keep the log as stable as possible. Coming together to work as a team they spread the weight of the log evenly to share the load. Although the log in total only weighs about the same as a good sized dog, the size makes the carry awkward and unstable. Team members needed to talk to each other to adjust the height of their slings to keep the log level for the duration of the run. Likewise, running in time with each other was important to reduce the swaying and movement of the log. Every now and then the runners took a brief stop in order to change over hands. 5 kg may not sound like too much but it takes its toll on the arm and grip over a long period of running impact.
Despite the challenges faced with the log run these people used their strength to help lift the lives of those that may need a helping hand by fundraising for charities of each individuals choice. We asked that each person raise £50 for their chosen charity so we were blown away when on the day, the total raised was £400 more than expected coming in at just over £1000. The charities chosen by the Log Run team members in 2023 were:
Hall Farm Horse Sanctuary
Help for Heroes
British Heart Foundation
Alzheimer's Research UK
Teenage Cancer Trust
Back Up (x3)
The Firefighters Charity
The run was hosted by Elliot, a Royal Air Force veteran of 12 years,a now local freelance personal trainer, operating under the business name of 'Armoured Muscle Personal Training'. A special thanks to Chloe, Dave, Grant, Jason and Kimberley for volunteering their time to make the day a safe success and couldn't have been done without their help. Likewise, thanks to the Watton Sports Association for refreshing participants and support crew post run with some free beverages from the air conditioned Tom Pettit bar.
Each Log Run team member was sent a workout programme they could voluntarily use to help build strength and resilience for the run. Some members also used the Log Run event as motivation to start running altogether making the most of the Couch to 5K app. Armoured Muscle Group fitness classes were also biased towards training for the Log Run in the weeks preceding the run. Some participants managed to make it down to the free weekend Bootcamp training class included with the event entry ticket to meet some of their fellow team members whilst getting some hands on practice with the log.
The run went that well we hope to host a Log Run 2024. With a plan to get maximum participants from 12 to 16 giving us 8 people per log. We are also drawing up plans to have a bigger post run event beyond drinks from the bar to perhaps include a summer BBQ and Sports Massages. Of course we will keep the event T-shirt and sustainable medals for finishers.
Keep your eyes open on the Armoured Muscle booking page for entry into next year's 10 km Charity Log Run event. Better yet, subscribe to the email list to be notified when the next Log Run is available to book!