On Monday 10th Feb Sport Relief swept into Portishead in spectacular style.
For the past few weeks a baton has been zig-zagging it’s way across the country with the help of over 200 parent bloggers in a relay race known as Team Honk Relay, in a bid to raise £20,000 for Sport Relief.
Our leg followed on from Bristol who had set the standard high by not only walking the distance from Chippng Sodbury, but setting themselves challenges along the way, travelling the harbour by ferry, holding a zumba flash mob on the terrace of Avon Gorge Hotel and then juggling across the length of the suspension bridge in blustery conditions.
So now it was Portishead’s turn. No pressure then!
When I’d requested a reroute so the race would include our lovely town, I hadn’t realised the extent of the challenge I was taking on. Sport Relief proved to be a very popular cause and as local people heard about it were only too pleased to join in. This was of course wonderful, but it left me way outside my comfort zone with sole responsibility for organising the logistics.
By Monday morning I was more than a tad nervous that if my estimated timings didn’t work out or anyone couldn’t make it, it would be on my head. :0. My list of things to worry about was growing:-
Would the runners arrive in time before the horses got spooked by the nearby motorway?
Would we reach Portishead in time for the press call?
Would I get arrested for being responsible for large numbers of spectators and 6 horses disrupting Portishead High St?
Would anybody turn up?
And perhaps most importantly, would I be the only one wearing BIG RED PANTS?
Despite the blowy conditions and a momentarily absent runner (eeks!) Ella, who blogs at Purple Mum, handed the baton over to the Portishead team right on time.
The baton was carried the 5 miles from the bridge, via Pill, at an impressive pace by Viv from 76 Sunflowers, Samantha Blackmore Squires of Miss Fit, Portishead and Sam’s friend and running buddy, Karley Hughes.
And of course I hadn’t needed to worry at all. Not only were there big red pants, but also high vis tops and a bright pink tutu. Gotta love you ladies!
After a successful run, the ladies handed the baton over to a spectacular team of six horses and their riders, all beautifully turned out in Sport Relef colours and kit.
My thanks go out to Judy Fowler of Fowlers Motorcycles, who did the most incredible job of organising the Equestrian team.
Huge thanks also to the 6 riders who not only gave up their time on the day, but put so much thought and effort into their outfits and arrived with the most beautifully turned out and well behaved horses.
Nicola Barnes riding Jim
Elaine Porch riding Bailey
Ally Brimble riding Storm
Annette Oddy riding Bobby
Sarah Handscombe riding Inky
Tamzyn Handscombe riding Sky
The horses and riders made an impressive entrance via Wyndham Way, from where they walked calmly through the High St, turning the heads of astonished shoppers as they passed. They ended up at the Poachers Inn, who had kindly allowed us to use their car park for a safe resting area and press photo shoot location.
While we were there we were rewarded with an impromptu donation which had been generously collected at a seniors’ coffee morning. A welcome addition to the pot, thank you!
Tracey Fowler who has been incredibly supportive with ongoing press coverage, met us with a photographer from the North Somerset Times which resulted in this latest article. (2021 update – link no longer available.)
I was expecting horses and hoping for red pants, but the two together? I’m completely humbled.
Next it was time for The Big Red Pants Fun Run which started from The Poachers Inn at about 2pm. No actual running ability was required, but the wearing of red pants and looking slightly ridiculous was essential!
Kath from Knitty Mummy evidently used some sort of special welding technique here, as not a hair dared to come loose from those bunches. All day.
A couple of classy poses for the press and we were ready to go.
We ‘ran’ along the High St, stopping every now and again for a chat along the way. It’s not that we’re unfit or anything (!) but our Fun Run team was forced to make quite a few stops to explain why we were running around in big red customised knickers with rosy cheeks and carrying a large Team Honk banner!
There was even talk of a swift one but, professionals that we are, we resisted and continued on our circuitous route to the Lakegrounds, making random unscheduled stops to promote Sport Relief to amused staff and customers at Parish Wharf, Lidl, Morrisons and H & W.
Emma from Impero Lounge did an absolutely amazing job of making customised Sport Relief collecting tins for the bar, as well as getting the staff to come to work in red pants for the day. The Impero has also been tweeting the #teamhonkrelay hashtag for us. What amazing sports!
Many thanks also to Olly from H & W who donated his previous night’s tips to the fund and t everyone else who’s helped boost the total.
As well as all the essential ‘raising awareness’ work, we seem to have done some actual jogging around the marina and into the Lake Grounds. I’m reasonably certain of this as I was aching quite nicely the next day – although that might have been the stress.
By the end of the fun run, only two of us had survived, losing the others
to the school run because they evidently just couldn’t keep up with our challenging pace. splutter
At the Lakegrounds the baton had a short rest so the children who’d been at school could come and join in our 3000 mile relay race.
After a fun warm up led by MissFit’s tireless Sam, we passed the well travelled baton on to the youngsters for a well organised Indian file.
But it seemed that the children had minds of their own and far too much energy . . .
. . . so they ran numerous times along the ⅓ mile length of the Promenade and back in a completely unstructured fashion.
Go team honk, go! I reckon our little champions contributed another good 5 miles there . .
. . . before finally heading to the Youth Centre for refreshments and to help celebrate the launch of the Youth Centre’s
‘All Night Sport relief Fundraiser’ which will be held at a later date.
The following morning an anonymous giant vulpine creature, who claimed to working on behalf of Portishead’s Fox Cycling swiped the baton and cycled 38 miles to Gloucester with it. We wish him and it well on their way! Thank you Mr Fox.
What an an amazing experience. We’re very pleased to have been involved in the first ever Team Honk Lands End to John O’Groats relay. Thank you to everyone who’s been involved and confirmed the incredible community spirit within Portishead.
Special mentions to Sam from MissFit for duties above and beyond, Lisa Marie Chase (I’m aching and fit for bed now – you?), Sara Walters, the Impero Lounge, Judy Fowler and the superbly turned out team of horses and riders, the children who passed the baton along the beach front, Portishead Youth Centre, all the Bristol bloggers who make up #teamhonkbristol, the industrious tweeters who’ve tirelessly supported us from behind the scenes and everyone who’s donated along the way.
and last but definitely not least, my family who has put up with my distractedness over the last couple of weeks, posed for numerous photos and acted as official photographers and child minders extraordinaire!
HOW TO DONATE
Our team target is £20,000 for Sport Relief and our teamtastic total at the time of writing (Thursday 13th Feb) stands at a massive £17,326!
We’ve already smashed our local Team Honk Bristol target of £500 and are currently ranked in a very respectable 8th place out of 45 fundraising regions. But of course I’m a tad competitive and want us to do better! To help us boost the Bristol total you can donate a pound or two here
Alternatively you can follow the instructions on that bottom and text HONK to 70005 to donate £5
Or finally pop into Impero on the High St who will be keeping their collecting tins out until the event on 23rd March.
OTHER POSTS ON THE THINGS WE DID TO RAISE A FEW QUID FOR SPORT RELIEF!
Team honk juggles across Bristol Suspension Bridge
The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.