I’m dreaming of a white parkrun day!
by Amanda Critchell
A rare snow day for Frimley Lodge parkrun meant not staying at home in the warm but getting out for a challenging, cold and very pretty run around the park. With less than a fifth of UK parkruns open this week, it was a privilege to be able run in such magical conditions. The trees were glistening, the canal was frozen, there were quite a few children running (with one on a sledge, although without the sleigh bells) it was bright all around and the runners were (mostly) merry! There was a certain camaraderie around the course as we overcame the unusual conditions, many people seemed to have decided on an easy run and there were smiling faces and woolly hats everywhere. After getting used to having to pick up your feet higher through the deeper bits and a bit of a backslide on the compacted ground, by the second lap we were warmed up and feeling like we were getting the hang of this running on the white stuff. It was quite cold, but I certainly felt a lot warmer, running, than the many marshals around the course looked, who had volunteered in force to ensure our safety. A special thankyou to everyone who came out to support the run in the cold and snow this week as a volunteer. A huge thankyou also, to Brian and his team for inspecting the course on Friday and Saturday and for their brave decision to keep Frimley Lodge parkrun open. In Frimley Lodge parkrun’s 8 year history, we have only had just a few runs (including this one) with snow on the ground, so this week was a special opportunity to experience a snowy run. With the cancellation of most other local parkruns, we thought we might be inundated with runners. However, although we did have quite a few visitors, just 257 hard-core parkrunners ran the course this week. Unsurprisingly, we had no first-time parkrunners (and just 2 second-time parkrunners) but there were 5 seasoned parkrunners who were first time visitors to Frimley Lodge parkrun.
The first runner to finish is recorded as unknown with a time of 17:22 (DFYB). Second to finish was James Wallace in 18:15 on his 151st parkrun and third place went to Cameron Enser (JM11-14) in a time of 18:41. The runners who finished with the highest age-graded runs this week were: Koji Myazaki with 77.05% for a time of 20:07; Mark Symes (it was good to see our runner with the most first-place finishes at Frimley Lodge parkrun back running the full course again) with 76.48% for a time of 19:08 and both Ted and Cameron Enser, tied for third place, with 75.91% each for times of 19:35 and 18:41 respectively!
The first female runner to finish was Eloise Stradling in 22:34, however, she was very closely followed by Naomi Wyatt, also with a time of 22:34! Kayleigh Copeland finished as third lady in a time of 23:10.
There was a reduced field of junior runners, with just 22 taking park, but the first boys to finish were: Cameron Enser (JM11-14), 18:41; Ted Enser (JM11-14), 19:35 and James Spencer (JM15-17), 20:19. For the girls, Caitriona Farrell (JW15-17) finished first (4th lady overall) in a time of 23:14. She was followed just over a minute later by Christina Denbigh (JW11-14), celebrating her 100th parkrun in a time of 24:23. Esme Holmes (JW15-17) was third with 26:28. Well done to all of you.
The only person who celebrated a milestone parkrun this week was Christina Denbigh (JW11-14), who reached her century of parkruns. She and her family and friends celebrated with lots of cake afterwards. Christina is a regular Frimley parkrunner and a very fast junior, with a PB of 23:11 set in October 2017, a highest age-grading of 73.14% and a highest female placing of 4th overall. She also, regularly appears as one of the first three junior ladies to finish. However, her 100 parkruns have included no less than 20 PB’s seeing her time improve by more than 12 minutes in just over 3 years’ of parkruns. Congratulations Christina.
Most runners seemed to think that slow and steady was the order of the day this week, but 8 people still managed to achieve a PB. However most of these people run more regularly at other parkruns. Heidi Saddleton (JW10), who achieved a PB of 33:26 on her 26th parkrun and Jodie Harthill-Coom with a PB of 25:09 on just her 2nd parkrun, were the only regular Frimley Lodge parkrunners to achieve a PB. The other runners who achieved a PB were: Richard Williams, 21:00; Andrew Kingston, 21:34; James Boyle, 21:55; Andy Capel, 26:17; Alex Hunter, 30:57 and Will Halsall, 32:29. Well done to all of you.
So thankyou to our parkrun team and family for enabling us all to run a very merry, bright and white parkrun. Also, Happy Birthday to Dennis, who was 84 last week, but felt it was a bit too cold and slippery to join us for a run. He was very pleased to receive his birthday card signed by lots of our parkrunners and hopes to be back next week.