Recruitment for the European segment support team continued this week with the acquisition of another quality person. Regular readers will be aware that the support team already consists of Carlton Fletcher (previously on the USA and Australia support team) and Jason Stobbs (previously on the Australia support team).
Added to the current line up of experience this week was Colin Hillier (pictured below on the right), who, together with Carlton (pictured below on the left), is of my colleagues at Virgin Money. Colin had hoped to be on the Australia support team but with a baby on the way that just wasn’t possible.
Colin brings a strong work ethic, an attention to detail and a wicked sense of humour to the team. These are all attributes that are an absolute must for anyone hoping to have a successful tour of duty on the support team. It's a very difficult job (so I've been told).
Making sure the RV is running at maximum efficiency, cooking, cleaning, getting supplies, washing kit, drying kit, keeping me motivated and entertained, looking for safe places to stop during the day and stay overnight, logging mileage, monitoring how much mileage each pair of trainers has done, dumping the waste from the RV, filling the RV's water systems (even when there is no obvious supply such as in the outback), taking photos, spreading the word to any passers by or locals cover about 10% of the support team's duties. It's a full time job that requires maximum commitment and a realisation that nothing else matters other than a successful outcome for the runner and the 2 charities.
I've said it many times that, while the brand Run Geordie Run implies that there is only one man who makes the run a success, it could not be further from the truth. The support team are the unsung heroes of the run Around The World. Unpaid volunteers giving up their spare time on foreign shores with the hope that they are making a difference to the community of the North East of England. And oh what a difference they have made, with almost a 1/4 million pounds raised so far for local good causes.
Having Colin, Carlton (pictured below right) and Jason (pictured below left) on support duty on the European segment means that, so far, the team is a very strong one. Speaking from experience, there really isn't a weak link there at all. These are guys that I have worked with before, trust 100% and am confident that we'll continue to work well together. Not forgetting, of course, my wife Donna (pictured below). We are both currently working very hard behind the scenes to make the next segment a successful one. After a traumatic solo 5 weeks on the team in Australia, I'm sure she will sign up again for a tour of duty. That decision is going to take months of doing dishes, cooking and washing clothes on my part however! In other words, I'm working on her. It feels like payback for the time she spent in the RV at 38 celsius surrounded by thousands of flies!
I hope to add more people to the team over the coming weeks. They must be of the same quality as those on the team already. It's not going to be easy to find the right people but I hope to share further support team news soon.