Not an ordinary day at the office…

It’s not every day that you go to work and you get to compete in a race! Not just any race but a relay race around the Great Court—636 metres. Along with three of my Library colleagues, we were to compete in the staff relay race.

Seven teams had entered the race so we had to do time trials to select the top four teams.

After doing lunch time training sessions led by our team coach Glen Dalgleish, who also doubles as the Library Finance and Facilities Manager we were ready for the try outs. Our training included lots of sprints, pyramid runs and most importantly baton hand overs.

Our preparation paid off with our team the fastest team to qualify for the staff relay. Perhaps we were a little over confident…

Teams representing the Library, Student Services, Finance and Business Services (FBS) and Academic Services would be competing for the top spot.

Worried about our competition we had gathered some intel about the training preparation of FBS, they had been seen sprinting out the front of the JD Story Building… We added another training session! This time with hill sprints.

So nervous about rounding those tight corners and running on the slippery tiles of the Great Court, I came along on the weekend for a training session. My leg was to be after Merlo’s and heading towards the Michie Building, with a tight corner at the finish.

The night before the big day, I was trying to visualize us winning the race, and I was pushing thoughts of dropping the baton out of my head.

Some of our Friends of the Library group were coming along to cheer us on! We didn’t want to let them down.

Before we knew it the race had started, Lucy was off like a shot and she pushed past an elbow or two from her contestants. It is a tight squeeze to have four people running around the Great Court. Then Lucy handed the baton over to Bob and he had the Merlo’s leg: the trickiest of the corners. He came through and passed it to me. We were coming last! I hadn’t visualized this. I ran as fast as I could but I couldn’t pass the other runners. Lucky we had saved our fastest runner, Andy, to the end. I handed the baton over to him and he was off like a light. He sprinted and made up ground, passing one of the teams and taking us through for a podium finish!

Our team ran the race in a time of 1 minute and 41 seconds, coming in behind Financial Business Services in second place with a time of 1 minute 39 seconds while the winners, Student Services, ran the race in 1 minute 37 seconds.

What an experience to take part in the Great Court Race, which has been running at UQ for 31 years. Something I never normally would have been able to do, except as a staff member with my colleagues I was able to take part. It was inspiring to see the individual runners that ran the whole distance, faster than our relay time! Till next year…

Erin and team are all smiles after a podium finish in The Great Court Race.

Erin Pearl is the Advancement Manager for the UQ Library and a proud graduate of UQ. She studied a Bachelor of Business Management at the Ipswich and St Lucia campus and graduated in 2006.