Monday, 23 September 2013

Leinster Marshalling Champs 2013.

Would you like to compete in the Leinster Marshalling 2013 championships?
I would.
Is this your first time?
It is.
Right so, there's only 2 of you competing for the women's title this year..
Oh, who's the other woman?
Monica.
Monica Marconi? The Monica Marconi, winner of the Vet jersey at last week's Ras na mBan?

Yes.
Oh.

Don't worry, go get yourself a hi viz vest from that box and practice raising your Stop sign..
Can I have a vest that says 'Race Marshal'?
No, we ran out. Monica took the last one.
Right.
You know she eats boiled potatoes from her jersey pocket during races?
I'd heard.
And only ever eats tinned mackerel for dinner?
Yes.
And leaves a path of destruction behind her wherever she goes?
I'd heard that too.
Can I have a CB radio?
No.


You stand here, and if you raise your Stop sign higher and quicker than Monica, you might score a few extra points.

The Monica Marconi. 'Hi, are you Monica'? She glanced at me and in a slow, heavy, Italian drawl replied 'the one and only' then she turned away from me and lifted up her sign despite there being no cars. She was hell bent on scoring points. She removed her shoes revealing odd socks in an attempt to confuse and ditract me. It worked. I was in awe.
See how she kept her beady eye on Joe out on the main road? She was so focussed on raising her Stop sign quicker than me. Also, that bottle on the floor, that was full of Red Bull - she downed it in one go before tossing it aside.
Every now and then the organisers would send a car round so people could keep an eye on us. Monica's team mates Mags and Lucy drove by 3 times. I spotted them giving Monica 'call me' type signals, she said it was so we could tell them who the breakaway was (Orla Hendron first lap, Melanie Spath 2nd and 3rd lap) but I kind of worked out that they were exchanging Marshalling tactics over the phone. I'm no fool.

Back at the event hall, the discussions on who should win went on for hours. Orla Hendron there (another of Monica's team mates) trying her best to influence decisions. Finally after much deliberation, it went to a vote and I can happily announce that they all chose ME as the Leinster Marshalling 2013 winner!! It was a close call (what with all yer one's tactics), but eventually they decided I should win based on my initiative to point out a big pothole to the riders as they cycled by.

News of my win made it's way back, and as I jumped up and down shouting 'In your face' Monica looked at the pothole in disbelief. Ha ha - you can't win everything Marconi. Stick to your racing.

Well done to all the organisers and racers of the Leinster Road Championships.
It seemed like a very well organised, difficult route.
Huge respect for the women riders who, not even a week after racing in the 6 day Ras na mBan, gave this race a go.
Women's results: Melanie Spath (gold), Niamh Stephens (silver), Michelle O'Halloren (bronze).


For the record:
1. Monica is chatty and very funny, the time thankfully flew by in her company.
2. She does eat boiled potatoes from her jersey pocket, I saw it happen.
3. There was no such thing as the Leinster Marshalling championships 2013.