Thursday, 13 May 2010


 The vest of our chosen running club is something that the majority of us don't have much say about unless we are involved with setting up a new club from scratch.  The design and colours are hardly the reason why we join, after all.  
 Supplying club vests makes up a considerable part of our FASTRAX business  and the production requires us holding fabric in a whole spectrum of colours as you can imagine.
 Increasingly however we are supplying sublimation printed vests which are multicoloured often with graphics or the more traditional hoops. In contrast to my first harrier vest in the 1960s which was knitted using green ,white and red cotton thread.
   With new machinery installed at the factory I was keen to see latest developments for myself ; particularly as the factory offered to make up a SALE HARRIER especially for me on a "while you wait" basis. How's that for service!
 The process started on Tuesday afternoon with Alistair,head of our FASTRAX  graphics dept. in Ilkley preparing the layout of the vest front and back on the computer.  We based the design on my original '60s vest and added  the club name as Yorkshire folk keep asking me what club I'm running for now!

By the marvels of email the design was processed in Kent and emailed back up north ready for printing at the factory.   This shot taken at 1.30 on Wednesday afternoon, shows the sublimation paper for my vest coming out of the printer and drying. I was a bit concerned about the shade of green but reassured that it would be lighter than shown!

 The paper was then  transferred to the printing machine and front and back panels of white Fastwik fabric were then laid onto the paper prior to entering the transfer machine.

                                                        Minutes later from the rear the  printed panels emerge from the machine and after separation the panels are taken to the machinist for sewing up.  The green is indeed
lighter and spot on. 

So by 2.30 I actually came away with not just one but two new club vests; one to wear and one in the wash !  Just 24 hours from start to finish; and no panic about being ready for Sunday's race.
The Spring Hall track is only minutes away from the factory so it was handy for getting in this week's track session.   With the recent two 5Ks and last night's work on the cold, damp moor the warm up confirmed that it should not be a full session and that I should leave more in the tank for Sunday.  So instead of 16 x 300 as last week I opted for just 8, which felt like 16; the times being only similar and certainly no where near that last one last week.  Now where did I put that paracetomol!

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