The Big Weekend: British Dodgeball’s 17/18 League Finale

The Big Finale has arrived – this weekend is British Dodgeball’s last league meet of the season!

The fixture for ‘League Meet 6’ (also known as ‘League Meet 3′, for Women’s League 1) which was postponed until tomorrow, 19 May 2018, due to the bad weather earlier this year, is set to be an exciting finale to a brilliant season.

British Dodgeball launched their first league season with every meet (in every league) at England football’s official training ground, St George’s Park. What a venue – and what a season!

Read on for a summary of our teams’ performances so far as well as their remaining fixtures, MVBs (Most Valuable Bees) from previous meets – who epitomise the Bees’ unofficial motto; “there’s no ‘i’ in team – but there are five in individual brilliance“.

Killer Bees – Men’s Super League

The Killer Bees’ season has included highs and lows, with incredible individual performances and injuries both affecting the team’s rankings. Currently ranked 7th in the table, the Killers aren’t likely to take any silverware home from this season’s league, but have a strong place in the Super League for next season.

Killer smiles all round!
Killer smiles all round!

MVBs: Bru Cousins, Colm Mallon, Elliot Barker, Rob Kearns,

Remaining Fixtures: London Storm & Leeds Owls

Queen Bees – Women’s Super League

The Queen Bees have held their own in their Super League Debut, facing up against many impressive teams. Their sheer determination, motivation and unquestionable encouragement of each other has led to some truly impressive performances. Currently ranked 6th, the Queens are sitting tight in middle of the table, ready to build on their performances next season.

The Queen-Team
The Queen-Team

MVBs: Cesca McCarthy, Helena Law, Sian Ellis, Lucy Collins, Imy Jean, Victoria Hind

Remaining Fixtures: Wessex Wolves & Lutterworth Meteors

Worker Bees – Men’s League 1 

The Workers have worked it this season, having narrowly avoided demotion last season. With dedicated workers’ coach Elliot Barker accompanying the lads to their morning meets, there have been many impressive performances from all players. Making the Bees and our #Beetalia family proud, the Workers have been grinding out wins with their #InspiredByPesto performances. The Workers look to be in a great position for next season with finish in the top half of the table, (currently ranked 5th) and, with two points between fifth place and second place, are still in with a shout for promotion to the Super League!

next season's team target: work the camera as well as the Court!
next season’s Workers team target: work the camera as much as the Court!

MVBs: Andy Lowther, Elliot Barker, Ben Watkin, Alex Huband

Remaining Fixtures: East Anglia Vikings 2; Nottingham Sheriffs 2

Honey Bees – Women’s League 1

The Honeys have had another strong year at league and are set to bring in a second set of silver medals, to add to last year’s silvers. The only team to defeat league champions Bedford Rangers, the Honeys are very proud to have secured promotion into the Super League for next season!

Why so serious?
Why so serious?

MVBs: Hannah Ward, Laura Gill, Cath Payne, Alex Charlton,

Remaining Fixtures: Derby Phantoms & Nottingham Sheriffs 2

The Aftermath…

A big shout out to the most important team of all Bees teams, #TeamCharkles, for organising what we will be a top notch social at Lola Lo to celebrate another great league of dodgeball. The Bees will be out in all their glory on Saturday night in Manchester for another night to remember. 4am reservation at Manchester’s finest McEatery, anyone?!

Finally, a big thank you to British Dodgeball for a great league season – here’s to going even bigger and better for 18/19!

Good luck to each of our league teams this weekend – to get live updates on their performance, keep up to date via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram feeds! Interested in getting involved for next season? Find out more about our all-comers sessions and come and give it a go!

Do Bees Hibernate? The Spring Update

It’s been a long, cold winter. There’s been snow, there’s been rain. It’s been bleak. BUT – there’s also been lots of dodgeball! And we are the Manchester Bees, not the Manchester Bears… despite some quiet months on the blogging front, the bees have been as active as ever – there’s been no hibernation going on here!

This week’s blog is a summary of the biggest Bees news from 2018 so far. So get comfy, because (contrary to the winter weather) there’s never a dull moment at Manchester Bees!

Farewell to E&E, Hello to #TeamCharkles!

Flan appreciates her new-found freedom after years of service in the name of all things Bees Social Secretary
Flan appreciates her new-found freedom after years of service in the name of all things Bees Social

With Bees Legend Emily ‘Flan’ Flanagan stepping down as social secretary and after a tough application and interview process, Cesca McCarthy was appointed as Social Secretary to compliment (i.e. provide damage limitation for) Elliot Barker’s social schemes. The  dynamic duo, now known as #Charkles, are settling in great and if March’s fantastic Scavenger Hunt is anything to go by,  this year’s socials calendar are looking as good as ever for the Bees!

Manchester Community Cup

On 25 March, the Bees’ hosted the Easter Community Cup. With a number of local teams including youth and teen teams participating, a fantastic raffle and DJ Barkles blasting the tunes, the day was a huge success and lots of fun was had by all.

another great community event hosted by the Bees!
another great community event hosted by the Bees!

Manchester Bees are very proud to be part of the North West’s blossoming dodgeball community and always happy to offer guidance and advice to developing clubs, as well as lots of hosting lots of joint events and socials! If you have any questions or would like any advice for your club, check out our club resources or feel free to get in touch with the club!

The Big League Lock-In!

The Killer Bees, Queen Bees, Worker Bees and Honey Bees have continued their hard work in their British Dodgeball Leagues over at England FC’s official training ground, St George’s Park.

wise words on the wall over at British Dodgeball's league venue, St George's Park
the writing’s on the wall over at British Dodgeball’s league venue, St George’s Park

With teams now locked in and the final league meets taking place this month, it’s looking like the Bees will have had another good season all round!

Farewell to the one and only Jonny “JD” Daggett (for now!)

Mr Jonny Daggett, treasured treasurer of the Bees, stepped down in April after 4 years’ very hard and very wonderful work for the club. Jonny’s hard work and management of the club’s finances has placed, and kept, the Bees in very good stead (and stopped Aden from many an unwise purchase…) The Bees are under no illusion that JD has played a critical role in the club’s succcess over recent years – so thanks JD, we wouldn’t be here without you!

JD getting literally as far away as possible from the Bees' cash box... #ThanksJD
JD getting literally as far away as possible from the Bees’ cash box… #ThanksJD

“But”, I hear you cry, “how could you possibly even begin to replace Jonny Daggett?” Alas, fear not. For, recognising that no other could fill JD’s boots, the Bees found not one but three able-minded members who, between them, can (probably) manage the task (almost) as flawlessly as JD did.

So, without any further ado, welcome to the financial fold, Andy Lowther, Liam McMahon & Zac Baker!

Honourable mentions…

There have been too many goings on since the new year to mention everything, so some extra special honourable mentions go to:

  • Helena Law, Suzanne Vickers & Sian Ellis for being selected as three of British Dodgeball’s Inspirational Women in Dodgeball
  • The unknown hero who handed Killer Bee & Coach Bru’s keys in at Sainsbury’s Fallowfield after he left his keys in his car door before heading off to league… oops! Thank you, unknown hero!
  • The Queen and Honey Bees for their wonderful 1-2 finish at April’s Manchester Tournament
  • The Killer Bees for winning March’s Nottingham Open with another great performance
  • Zoe Rees and sister Seren for some incredible baking skills which kept the Bees going at the last league meet
  • Zac Baker for refusing to let the mug market defeat him (it’s still a sham though!)
  • David Streather, for drunk-purchasing a green screen (lol) and putting it to such good use!

Like the idea of getting involved with all this fun & fitness? Our All-Comers sessions are Thursdays from 8pm – find out more on our website!

You can get in touch and keep up to date with the Bees’ day to day antics over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and don’t forget to check back soon for the Bees’ build-up to this season’s league finale!

Progress Report: 2018, Already?! Our December Update

Now that we are officially over a week into 2018, it’s time to look back, for the final time, at the Hive’s happenings in 2017.

As well as continued antics on the Bees’ new Snapchat feed (join the fun – @mancbeesdodge) the Bees had a busy month in the run up to our Christmas break, with both socials and league to keep us busy!

Don't have the Bees on Snapchat yet? You're missing out on gems like this...
Don’t have the Bees on Snapchat yet? You’re missing out on gems like this…

On 10 December, the Bees hosted the Manchester Community Christmas Cup at the Active Lifestyle centre. With mini-tournaments for the ladies, gents and juniors, as well as a few totally mixed mini-tournaments, the day was great fun and enjoyed by all, especially with lots of amazing dodgeball talent on show!

A great day of festive fun and impressive dodgeball at this year's Community Christmas Cup!
A great day of festive fun and impressive dodgeball at this year’s Community Christmas Cup!

Next up, on Friday 15 December the Bees Christmas party took place, with tapas followed by an incredible evening at Ultimate Power Christmas! The Bees enjoyed gettin’ down to some absolute classic jams, fully armed with Bees’ Secret Shanta gifts and some, unsurprisingly having had a festive tipple!

Bees Maccers and Colm revelling in Ultimate Power's Christmas ballads!
Bees Maccers and Colm revelling in Ultimate Power’s Christmas ballads!

After a much needed rest on Saturday, on Sunday 17 December all four league teams travelled to St George’s Park for league – the Worker Bees were first to take to the court and, following a defeat to Hinckley, battled back against Derby Phantoms,  coming back from 8-0 down to take the match 10-8!

The Honey Bees were also in action for the first meet of the season for Women’s league 1 and, after an initial defeat against an impressive Bedford  Rangers team, walked away victorious in their second game over Nottingham Sheriffs 2!

the Honey Bees swarm for a team photo after their first League meet of the season!
the Honey Bees swarm for a team photo after their first League meet of the season!

After a more frustrating afternoon for the Queen and Killer Bees at Superleague, an impromptu social / debrief was held at local eatery Table-Table, with all players ready for a well earned Christmas break and plenty to build into the Bees’ new year resolutions!

Looking ahead in 2018, the Killers, Queens and Workers were all in action this weekend and our next Men’s and Women’s’ socials due to be held in mid-January.

Training is set to resume after our Christmas Break with our regular All-Comers session on Tuesday 9 January 2018 at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX. It’s the perfect time to put those New Year resolutions into play, whether it’s to get fit, get out more and meet new people, or to try something a bit different – the Bees tick all boxes!

With exciting venue and timing changes upcoming, keep an eye out on the session info section of our website and our Facebook page for the most up to date details on our All-comers and members sessions.

Don’t be a Twit! Bees’ Social Media Update

Manchester Bees Dodgeball are serious about social media. With Facebook social pages & members groups, as well as Instagram, Snapchat (@mancbeesdodge) and LinkedIn pages, it’s no surprise that we’re also on Twitter!

We at Manchester Bees feel that Twitter is often the perfect place to document the day-to-day goings on with the club and our members – so in case you don’t already follow us, here’s a few nuggets to show you what you’re missing…

#NoContextQuotes

This series does what it says on the tin: whether at training, league, committee meetings or socials, a good hearty quote without context, offers perfect insight into the shenanigans of the Bees’, from the pure nonsense…

…to the most historic sudden and unexpected anouncements…

…the downright strange…

…and the honestly, pretty obvious…

#TheresATrumpMemeForEverything

He does love Twitter, does Trump – probably even a little more than Manchester Bees! And with facial expressions like his, it’s fairly easy to document your every emotion in terms of Trump memes…

What’s more…

Now that the even more social media elves over at Manchester Bees have been given access to the Bees’ twitter account (a risky move, indeed…) there will be lots of up & coming series’ and topics of conversation – from #ToSnakeOrNotToSnake dilemmas, #WhatWouldSuzyDo scenarios and other excellent content coming your way, so make sure to check back for our (soon to be legendary) contributions to the Twittersphere!

Want to contribute to our twitter series’? Follow and tag @ManchesterBees along with your hashtags of choice!

For now, we leave you with a realistic prediction of the scenes at tonight’s Christmas Party (not that we’re excited or anything)!

It’s pretty clear to see, whilst we’re a competitive club, we also have a pretty strong focus on having lots of fun and social nonsense. Like the sound of joining the club? Our All-comers sessions are on Tuesdays from 8-9.30pm at Manchester Academy, M14 4PX – come along and give it a go!

 

Progress Report: The November Update

The year really has flown by and now we’ve hit December, it’s time to look back over the last few weeks at the Bees’ highlights for November.

Manchester Bees Academy

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The Manchester Bees Academy is in still full swing with members training every Wednesday under the watchful eye of coach Sam Wench.  Feedback is good and the Academy’s regular members are developing quite the tactical mind, as well as dodgeball skillset. Now developing their competitive edge, we can’t see how they get along in tournaments and friendlies lined up to take place over the coming weeks and months!

Stafford Open

The Stafford Open took place on 18 November and the Honey and Queen Bees took part in some fierce competition. Suzanne Vickers, Dodge-coach and regular Queen Bee, also attended but rather than getting bees’y, Suzie-V played with fellow Northern Irish players, for Belfast United – and took home the silver after a fantastic day’s competition!

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Belfast United’s own Suzie-V poses for a post-tournament photo with the Queen Bees!

The Queen Bees and Honey Bees came first and second, respectively, in the Plate Cup at the tournament… and the real highlight? The historical moment? Achievement of a lifetime? It can only be one thing. The now infamous moment that the one and only Vic Hind made a legendary TRIPLE CATCH versus ‘Storfs’, the Storm / Sheriffs 1 super-team.

That legendary catch, along with so much other incredible play from all Honey Bees, led to eventual winners Storfs’ only defeat of the day. Incredible.

The Woman, the Myth, the Legend: Vic Hind
The Woman, the Myth, the Legend: Vic Hind

League Update

The following week, the Killers, Queens and Workers were back in action at League on 25 November 2017.  All three teams are competing valiantly in their respective leagues, with Honey Bees ready to join the fray at Women’s League 1 , which kicks off later in December.

Bees’ Community Update

A huge thank you to all from the dodgeball community who donated their coats in support of the #WrapUpManchester campaign towards the end of the month. The coats formed part of a 51-stong donation organised by one of the Bees, which will be a huge help in keeping the city’s homeless warm over winter.

London Storm show their laces in support of inclusivity in sport
London Storm show their rainbow laces in support of inclusivity in sport

Finally, a massive shout-out to our friends down at London Storm, for participating in a wonderfully worthwhile cause; Rainbow Laces Day. Find out more about the Rainbow Laces Movement and sign up to show your support here.

Like the idea of joining a community club, whether to show off your competitive edge or support some wonderful causes and make some friends in the dodgeball community? Our All-comers sessions run on Tuesdays, from 8 – 9.30 at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX. Be sure to check our facebook page for details of our training break at Christmas!

Progress Report: October kept us Beesy!

October has been a tremendously exciting month for all things Dodgeball in Manchester – we said it last month but it’s clear, there’s never a dull moment at Manchester Bees Dodgeball!

A Dodgey Donation

At the start of the month, the Bees donated recently retired dodgeballs to Salford City Academy, to be used at their weekly after school dodgeball club. The students were delighted with their new dodgeballs and the Bees were delighted to help!

Salford City Academy show off their new dodgeballs on instagram!
Salford City Academy show off their new dodgeballs on instagram!

The Manchester Open

On 15 October, the Manchester Bees played host to British Dodgeball’s first Manchester Open. The Open was a huge success, with FIVE women’s teams entering from the Greater Manchester area – and the Queen and Killer Bees both finished in second place, narrowly missing out on Gold against superb London Storm!

Did someone say #GirlPower?!
Did someone say #GirlPower?!

Later that day, the Bees also hosted a tremendous after-party in town for those who’d made the journey to Manchester. It was a fantastic evening which showed the spirit of the sport – competitive but full of sportsmanship!

Could our Dodgeball 'Joeys' BE wearing any more clothes?!
Could our Dodgeball ‘Joeys’ BE wearing any more clothes?!

A big shout out to Barkles and Flan for arranging such a superb evening of fun and games (not to mention the dancing…) enjoyed by all!

A Super start at Superleague!

The Queen Bees know how to make an entrance – only a week after taking silver at the Manchester Open, the ladies played in their first ever Superleague Meet – and won two out of two games!

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The Queen Bees’ showing off their bling after the Manchester Open

Honey Bee #Goals

In their first two opens of the season, the Manchester Open and a week later at the Yorkshire Open, the Honey Bees have not once but twice smashed one of their team’s season targets, by reaching the knockout stage of an Open Tournament!

If team performance is any indication, the Honeys are looking good for League this season!

Bees do Halloween

Halloween fell on the eve of our All-Comers session this year, so the Bees dressed accordingly and rather than a truly terrifying fitness session, chose to have lots of fun dodgeball games, with spooktactular prizes on offer!

special
Special shout-out to our fancily-dressed dodgers!

Committee update

This month we welcomed two fantastic new additions to the committee: Events Manager, Rafal Shawkat; and Sponsorship Manager, Alex Huband.  With the club going from strength to strength, we are very excited to welcome the two enthusiastic dodgeballers on board!

That’s almost it for this month – we leave you with a true demonstration of two of our blissfully happy Bees, Streather and Storey, in their natural Habitat: enjoying top class food and sharing a moment of love and appreciation for their complementary (and very exclusive) Very Special Hats at a local eatery here in Manchester.

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Would you like to join us for sports and/or socials – perhaps even earning yourself a complementary (and very special Hat) from McDonalds’ Eatery at a traditional 5am Bees’ family supper? The first step is by coming along to an All-Comers session, which take place every Tuesday, 8-9.30pm at Manchester Academy School M14 4PX.

Progress Report: The October Update

It’s October. The long-awaited 2017/18 dodgeball season has begun. Balls have flown. Bees have buzzed. New Season Opens have opened… well, the new season actually. How very apt.

Up here in Manchester, the Hive is as active as ever. Following the New Season Open, the Bees held their first ever Training Camp, complete with team-building, tactic talks and a marathon training session.

Training Camp in full swing!
Bees’ Training Camp in full swing!

Those who felt so inclined were rewarded after Training Camp with the season’s first official social; pizza and drinks followed by more drinks and dancing in the city centre. The social was drawn to a close with a civilised sit down meal at local eatery McDonalds, where one half of dynamic social duo ‘FlanEl’ (AKA E&E) had shown wonderful foresight and reserved a table in the restaurant’s VIP area, meaning complementary hats were provided alongside the various delicacies on offer. Great stuff.

And what of our NewBees, now official members of the Hive and enjoying their maiden voyages to Opens and Bees’ Socials?

Colm, pictured here in action for RoI, is already feeling the Buzz of the Bees!
Colm, pictured here in action for RoI, is already feeling the Buzz of the Bees!

Enjoying his first year with full Bees’ membership having graduated from student-member status last year, Republic of Ireland’s Colm Mallon says, “I’ve had a great time since joining Bees this season. They have welcomed me with open arms and it’s been a pleasure playing with them. Tournaments are just like a big day out playing dodgeball with mates – isn’t that all you could ask for?!

Last (and probably worth a mention, we suppose), is the shock announcement earlier this week by Dodgeball’s Governing Body, British Dodgeball. The one and only, Ross McGuigan, has (somehow) been entrusted with the role of ‘British Dodgeball Ambassador’.

Ambassador McGoogs Photo Credit: Adam Dodd, https://twitter.com/adpdportsuk
Ambassador McGoogs
Photo Credit: Adam Dodd, https://twitter.com/adpdportsuk

A very reliable and trustworthy source quotes McGoogs’ response to the news, “I feel truly honoured to be selected as an Ambassador for British Dodgeball. People may think that being third choice for the role would make it less special, but it really doesn’t. Some people even see me as a dinosaur of dodgeball but I’m really looking forward to help the game move forward and develop through my autumn years”.  Wow.

So, September has offered a great sample of the club’s antics at the launch of this season, but now we are on to October. With the Manchester Open and Bees hosting the Official British Dodgeball Afterparty on 14 October, there is certainly more excitement and nonsense, just around the corner.

Thinking of trying a new sport? Want to come along and help us work out how McGoogs snaked his way into his new role? Our All-Comers sessions run on Tuesdays, 8-9.30pm, at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX. We hope to see you there soon!

Bees’ Hopes and Fears for the New Season

It’s fair to say that, despite being called ‘off-season’, many Bees just don’t feel right putting their feet up over summer. And what with a summer fitness plan, summer sessions at Sugden and #BeesTour2017, dodgeball has been kept happily close to hand. Now, as the spirit of summer draws to a close with a typically Mancunian downpour (or twelve) it seems a good time to cast an eye towards some of the hopes (and fears) for the upcoming season.

NewBees

With a spark in their eye and a bounce in their dodge, NewBees have swarmed to our Sugden summer sessions recently and jumped straight in! We’re looking forward to seeing lots of fresh faces getting involved in all aspects of the club, and who got off to a brilliant start at the New Season Open last weekend.

Bees, new and old, making their 2017/18 Season Debut at last weekend's New Season Open
Bees, new and old, making their 2017/18 Season Debut at last weekend’s New Season Open

Leagues

The stage is set for our teams to show their Super League divisions what they’re made of in what will seem like no time at all. The Queen Bees are ready to capitalise their league-topping form, while the Killers look to build on their strong performance last season, fitness sessions and all! Our Worker and Honey Bees players have all been working hard during our summer sessions too and it will be great to see the fruit of their labours on court soon, focussing on the development of the teams’ enthusiastic players.

Socials

Like bright beacons signalling some wonderful joyous respite to reward our hard graft and fitnesss drives, many a’social are in the works, courtesy of the legendary social-planning, banterful Flan and Barks. To start us off this season and heralding a fresh season of social frolics, a delightful evening awaits us all after our impending new season Training Camp this weekend. We can’t wait!

Is there a better duo than the incredible pair that are E & E? (The answer is 'No.')
Is there a better duo than the incredible pair that are E & E? (The answer is ‘No.’)

Injuries

Tragically injury cut a grim swathe through the Worker Bees last season, allowing a whole division to breathe a sigh of relief. Fortunately due to a “really enjoyable” shoulder rehabilitation programme embedded over summer, this will (probably) not happen again. When recuperating, victorious, after a hard day on the dodgeball court, spare a thought for the benefit of whatever those stretchy exercise-band-things are actually called.

Headshots

The primal fear that never exactly goes away, particularly depending on which Bee is facing you across the court during training (We would usually look at Kearns at this point, But we’re too busy guarding our faces in fear). Channel this fear into every agile dodge during sessions and you’ll find yourself dodging dodgeballs as easily as mundane adult responsibilities. Congrats, you’re a pro.

France's Gremion stands firm against Kearns' best efforts...
France’s Gremion stands firm against Kearns’ best efforts…

Alex Jones – Like King Agamemnon himself, we can but pray for the demeanour of the sporting Achilles that will compete alongside us on the dodgeball court when the time comes.

Fancy your chances? We’re a great bunch, really we are (and we promise we won’t let Kearns throw at your face…) Come along to one of our All-Comers’ sessions, Tuesdays from 8-9.30 at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX, and give it (and us) a go!

Feeling dodgy? Get involved!

Dodgeball.

You may have played a bit in school, joined a club at uni or perhaps you haven’t ever tried it before. But, odds are you’ve heard of the sport (even if you thought it was made up just for the film – I did too, to be honest).

New Bees Balls 9" 7"

If you live in or around Manchester and feel like getting active, meeting people and making friends, trying something a bit different or just fancy coming along to try something a little different, Manchester Bees Dodgeball could be just the club for you.

Our all-comers training sessions are held every Tuesday at Sugden Sports Centre during preseason, from 7.30-9.30. We have qualified and experienced coaches on hand to assist those of all levels of experience and ability, meaning preseason is the perfect time to come along and give it a go!

Head Coach Bru (pictured here in his NI Knights kit) and the wonderful coaching team are always on hand to give tips and advice!
Head Coach Bru (pictured here in his NI Knights kit) and the wonderful coaching team are always on hand to give tips and advice!

We also hold members’ sessions on Thursdays (also at Sugden Sports Centre from 7.30-9.30 for preseason) which are tailored towards fitness and development, and are suitable for those who are looking to sign up and compete for the club in the upcoming season.

If you’d like to get involved, please do come along! Sessions usually cost £3, but throughout August and September you can come along to your first session for free!

You might even get a chance to meet Manchester Bees' very own Bumble the Bee!
You might even get a chance to meet Manchester Bees’ very own Bumble the Bee!

For more information, you can visit our Facebook page or contact us directly for more information.

We hope to see you soon!

The Bees 10k – from Bee-ginning to End

Two weeks ago, Bees Alex and Sam took on the Southport 10k, in an effort to raise money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. This is their story…

The steel drum band started. The whistle went off. We don’t actually know if it was a whistle, the steel drum band was quite loud and we’d been running late so missed the safety talk, and were flustered. All we knew was that we were in a pen of runners-to-be, who promptly became confused. Then we understood; it was time. Sam & Alex commenced the running.

Alex & Sam smile for a selfie whilst not realising the race was literally starting behind them...
Alex & Sam smile for a pre-run selfie whilst not realising the race was literally starting behind them…

The first km was doable. A couple of people obviously thought “sod this, there’s a lot of us here, I’ll walk” and downed the pace after 20m. Alex & Sam were not those people. Those people had not been sponsored by friends of bees. They were not running in aid of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Unlike Alex & Sam.

At 2km, Sam Wench’s knees were still struggling. “My knees are struggling ” admitted Sam, because #realmen aren’t afraid to admit when their knees hurt. “Go on without me” said Sam, (Alex thought this was maybe somewhat sarcastic, as actually this slow-and-steady pace suited her very well, thank you very much), but Alex (somewhat heroically but also hilariously, without any slight hiss of snakey behaviour) responded “SAM, DON’T BE SILLY. We may not have signed up for Alderley Edge together [lol, soz, that was down to snakey behaviour] but we are going to get through this 10k together. I won’t leave you.” #Loyalty. Together, they continued.

It was just over 3km through the race. Alex was bored tbh. Sam’s knees hurt. A turning point was quite literally ahead for the Bees. Sam turned to Alex; “10k runners keep going straight here”. “Okay”, says Alex. Confusion shortly ensued. Sam, exhibiting extraordinary snakey intuition at 3.5km, had tried to send Alex off on the half marathon route. Hiss. At least the other 10k runner nearby found it funny… The course marshal corrected Alex just in time. Alex went full #Nibs and avowed revenge.

The Bees' momento from the 10k: snakes won in the arcade, to commemorate the snakey behaviour exhibited during the 10k
The Bees’ memento from the day: snakes won in the arcade, to commemorate the snakey behaviour exhibited during the 10k

Alex, being a forward thinking sort, had brought headphones along. Sam hadn’t. Sam decided the two should listen to Sam’s favourite, most played songs to  get them through. Almost immediately, the Spice Girls started playing. Naturally, Sam went full #SportySpice and serenaded Alex with the entire rendition, mid-run. Wannabe got these #WannaBees through to the 6km marker. Great stuff.

Not long before 7km, Alex and Sam saw ducks (“I bloody love ducks”, Alex had gasped, when they saw ducks) and were proceeding along the designated route. Alex was tired. Sam was being a bit too excitable and energetic for this far into a race (his knees had stopped hurting at around the 4.5k point). Sam, somewhat awkwardly decided to suggest that he and Alex “step it up” for the rest of the race. Alex didn’t particularly appreciate such a ridiculous suggestion, and politely let Sam know this.

Alex & Sam made it through 8km. As the sign for 9km neared, Sam looked across at Alex. “Shall we sprint finish?” He asked, clearly not realising how absurd this idea was. “I’d really rather not, my dear Sam Wench” replied Alex, definitely without swearing. Alex confirmed that Sam should indeed sprint away and try for a good time. Alex was quite happy to struggle on towards the finish on her own, and would see him at the finish line soon anyway.

Alex struggling on towards the finish line
Alex struggling on towards the finish line (which Sam had already crossed…)

Sam ran on. Alex isn’t entirely convinced the whole “oh my knees don’t work” story wasn’t just a ploy to lull Alex into a false state of security over the pair’s pace. Alex was very tired. Nevertheless, she persisted. Stepping up the final running pace just as much as she could, she soon noticed she could see Sam; slowing slightly in his brilliant efforts to sprint a finish. “GO ON SAM” bellowed Alex, in her freakishly loud shouty voice. Sam raised a hand, and raised his game.

Crossing the finish line, Sam had hit the time of 1:03:48. Alex, just over a minute later, crossed the line in 1:04:59.

Nyot bad.

The look of pure happiness when the race is over...
The look of pure happiness when the race is finally over…

Special thanks go to Christian Hadfield & Elliot Barker, who showed splendid swarmly support to Alex & Sam and generally made it a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable day overall. Excellent cheer-bee-ding form from both, 10/10, would recommend.

If you’d like to donate to the Bees’ fundraising efforts, you can donate via their online fundraising page, which will remain live until Friday 21 July 2017.

A massive thanks to all who have donated already donated and helped us reach our target of £250! You’re all absolutely wonderful.