For those of you who don’t know a sweeper is a person who stays behind all the participants in a trail event and makes sure the last one comes in safely. They are quite happy to take their turn at the back and know they are going to be out there to the bitter end, in other words they are not going to be getting a PB this time.
So a while ago my sister in law (who sadly runs rings around me in the trail events but has been off for ages with an injured knee) and i are running one of the trail events “trail dropping”. This is a bit like “name dropping” when you mention all the runs you have successfully completed in the hopes of convincing yourself and the others running around you that you are quite capable of finishing this event. We were still feeling strong and that we were making good time and the only “other” around us at that moment was a lone gentleman who we started chatting to. After we had filled him in on our stories we asked him about his. That is when he said, “Actually i am the sweeper.” What a laugh!
The next time i enter a trail event i might just offer to be the sweeper, that way when i come in last i can pretend i did it on purpose.