This Sunday (the first Sunday in February) we are holding the Annual Cedric “Cedo” Sidebottom Memorial Run. I would ask all current and past members to drop down for a run or for a beer and celebrate Cedo’s life and what he gave to our Club.
In an age when most people are concerned about what they are entitled to and what they can accumulate for themselves it can be difficult to understand how giving of himself and his time Cedo was.
The Palm Beach to Manly Run was on every Sydney runner’s calendar. As an A to B run it was a logistical nightmare. Cedo would arrange the bus, arrange two or three Eastern Suburbs pickup locations, arrange drinks (usually Coke), drive us to Palmy and set us off on the run. There were no aid stations on the run so you had to manage yoru own drinks (they were called drinks before it was called nutrition). Cedo would pop out along the street just when you were getting thirsty with a coke or a water. He knew just where everyone would be at what time. He knew how fast everyone was running and how much they were likely to slow down.
In Manly he would be there to drive us home with beers on the bus. He would drive us to the old Bondi Diggers (now an apartment block) where we would celebrate the run. Cedo would have our splits and paces ready for the next newsletter.
Everyone looked forward to the monthly newsletter. It arrived in our mailbox …at the front of our house. The newsletter was hilarious. Rumours, innuendo and tongue in cheek stories about our members were always first read. The results tables for our various races were listed but very much secondary.
Cedo with the help of Tony Golden and the committee compiled the stories, set it up, had it printed (at a printers) and posted the newsletters out by hand.
Contrary to popular belief Cedo was not one of the founding fathers of the Club, nor was he ever the president. For as long as I can remember he was the secretary of the Brat Club. He was quietly spoken, 6’4” Englishman and very kind hearted. You can read more about Cedo here.
When he passed away in February 2003 St Mary’s Church in Waverly was filled with friends overflowing into the grounds. He was not married and had no children, but was mourned by an entire community. The running and triathlon community still talk about Cedo. Since 2003 Athletics East have the Cedric Sidebottom Most Improved Award. The Brat Club has the Cedric “Cedo” Sidebottom Memorial Run….and share a beer as Cedo would have liked.
I know most current members never knew Cedo. However, I do feel it is important for all members to understand there is a lot of history in our Club. If we just train for ourselves and complain that the training is too long or too easy we will never reach our true potential. Our Club history lifts me when I am training and racing. At races all over the country and indeed the world I hear the “Go Brats” cheer – they don’t know me, but just about everyone knew Cedo and the Brat Club.
Check the Brat Calendar for details of the run and BBQ.
See you there.