On an overcast and blustery Saturday morning there were a total of 308 runners, joggers and walkers turned up Rye Meadow in their usual jovial manner to take part in the 388th Abingdon parkrun. Despite the rain that we have had over the last week the course was surprisingly not too muddy, probably helped considerably by the winds that have been effecting the area over the same period.
Run Director and volunteer co-ordinator Mike Shepherd helped Benoit Jaudun give the first timers briefing to the 25 newcomers to the parkrun family. Mike then proceeded to let everyone know about the milestones being run today. Peter Dunne of Chichester running his 250th, Nick Bell and David Humphreys both running their 50th and youngsters Magnus Khochawat and Cameron Holroyd running their 10th. Well done to all of them. Mike also pointed out that there has been traffic jams in recent weeks on the road up to Kingfisher Barns and that all runners MUST obey the Marshals directions, even if it means having to stop and wait for the traffic to pass. It is important for all runners to realise that parkrun shares the road with the local residents and as such the continued success of the weekly run is dependent upon the good will of all others users of the paths and roads that we run upon. With visitors from as far away as Exeter in the West, Oldham and Pennington Flash in the North, and Chichester in the South we set off at 9:07 am from the start line towards the Lock with a gentle tail wind behind us.
Despite threatening clouds the rain held off for the whole run, its just a shame the same could not be said for the wind. Gusts of over 35 mph were felt on the return part of the lap from the little concrete bridge heading back towards Rye Meadow, with even the strongest runners feeling the force of the full on head wind. However it didn’t stop there being a total of 28 people getting PB’s, all of whom must be feeling particularly proud of themselves today.
I find it surprising that it now takes 22 volunteers to help make this weekly event happen and I’d like to express my personal thanks to all of you lovely people for helping to change the character of my weekends. Parkrun and the camaraderie of all who take part in whatever capacity has had a wonderfully positive impact upon my health and wellbeing. Long may it continue.
Peter Dunne (home event Chichester) ran his 250th with us today