19th January 2019
Have we reached peak mud? It rained on Friday night and in the morning before the run so the mud was exceptionally slippery making parts of the course difficult. For example, if the coefficient of friction at the mud shoe interface was less than the gradient to get over the concrete bridge then climbing the slope would be impossible. Then the only way would be to take a run at it and gradually slow as one climbed. This meant that faster runners found the bridge easier than the walking wounded at the back. They probably do anyway in all conditions.
Running faster may also make it easier to balance in slippery conditions. On a bike it's certainly easier to balance at a reasonable speed than when going slow. The gyroscopic effect of the wheels may help on a bike, while runners have to rely on some sort of inertia effect. On the other hand traction to maintain speed may be the problem for faster runners. Some Parkruns are all on grass (e.g. Prospect Park at Reading) so spikes would be possible there.
Back to the peak mud question. If it rains all week, the puddles will be deeper and the far field will become a paddy field but I don't think it will be any slipperier. Enough of mud, what we really need is a frost to firm things up or snow to make the fields and trees look pretty.
We had 400 runners at this week's parkrun. Last week we had 474, which was an all-time record for Abingdon. The smallest number at Abingdon Parkrun was 26 on 19th January 2013. This was my best ever parkrun in terms of placing (23rd). Looking back at these old Parkruns it's a bit annoying that the "Total runs" is updated so 6 of the runners in 2013 are listed at 250+, 17 at 100+, 3 at 50+ and none at less than 50. At the time most of us were on less than 50 and 250 seemed out of reach.
Large numbers of runners are good but the car park is soon full. Please be reminded that there are plenty of car parks within a 10 minute walk from parkrun or why not come on foot or by bike.
This week the fastest runner was Quinn MIELL-INGRAM (JM11-14) who was also fastest on age grading (82.44%). Second and third were Roy SCHUMACHER and Alexander PENNINGTON (both JM 15-17). It must be tough for elderly twenty year olds to be beaten by these boys. Fastest lady was Lucy RYCROFT (SW18-19).
Twenty nine people got PBs on the mud. They should really fly when conditions are better. There were 8 tourists trying Abingdon for the first time and 18 trying parkrun for the first time. Twenty seven "unknowns" either forgot their Parkrun cards or lost them in the mud or had never registered.