340 runners, wearing a wide variety of milestone t-shirts, as well as loads of club colours, rocked up to enjoy a fresh but beautiful Saturday morning at Fountains Abbey, with the able assistance of the usual cheery team of volunteers. Lots of ice on the ponds, but happily only small traces on the course. Wildlife out in force when we did the set-up. We enjoyed the company of Nidd Valley Road Runners Zip to Zoomers (definitely more zoom than zip) and St Theresa's Athletic Club from East Leeds. Well done to Amanda Schofield on her 50th, and Angie Sleep (all the way from Kirkaldy) on her 150th. Particular thanks to Run Director Graham Boyd (who just loves that blue Run Director vest) and to the Parry family for assisting with results processing and the thankless task of sorting the tokens.
Despite the borderline cynicism of the anonymous facebook post about all the different volunteer vests, we had 17 happy youngsters (none of them under duress from pushy parents), who've qualified for their white 10 t-shirt; 61 folk who are so much more than jumping on a band-wagon, who've got the red 50 t-shirt; an amazing 76 runners who've got the black 100 t-shirt (and I'm sure they all volunteer regularly); and, wow, three runners who've qualified for the green 250 t-shirt (that's beyond remarkable!). No statistics available for the apricot t-shirts, but there was a good handful (though the temperature may have scared off the "I think I'm fast" vest wearers. And I'm pleased to say the numbers of "Fountains Abbey" (I'm smug) apricot t-shirts is always on the increase. As we say, if a parkrun doesn't have a Cistercian Monastery or an 18th century water-garden - it's not worth bothering with!
And what about the run? We welcomed an impressive 70 first-timers to Fountains Abbey, for 10 of whom it was their first ever parkrun. Well done all. And 51 of you, despite the cool temperature clocked a shiny new PB. Fantastic! Congratulations to Tom Calvert, first home for the men in 17:36; to Kate Reilly, first home for the women in 21:52, and to Jane Holmes who achieved the best age-grade with 87.25%. Have a great week, and see you next Saturday