A colder than expected morning, seeing a light frost on the roof of cars made conditions for Event 18 near perfect, autumn has certainly arrived.
Run Director Craig Henderson welcomed 90 hardened parkrunner’s, of which 33 were new to parkrun or visiting for the first time, as well as the inquisitive heard of cows for the Runner’s Briefing. As always we celebrate milestones, this week we congratulate young Marcus Mountain, who chose Henley for his 10th parkrun and Ben Chaffey on his 99 flake before the big 100!
With the ground solid, air crisp the runner’s descended down the long starting straight before the left-hand bend onto the narrow trailing path. I was lucky to have been part of the course trialling and even luckier that we only run up THAT hill twice and not thrice! Once familiar with the kissing gate at Sue Ryder Memorial sign you know you are in for a treat, yellows, oranges, reds and browns to decorate the scene.
It was good to see Event Director James running the course as well as some local tourists from Reading and Woodley. A lovely warm Henley welcome to Toby Clarke & Trevor Siefers from Oxford parkrun, Nick Tyler from Newent parkrun and those who attended their first parkrun; Claire Eccles, Jim Reay, Helena Reay, Millie Watts, Beatrice Fraser, Susan Clarke, Carol Ingram, Rob Clarke, Jo Brown, Jonathon Brown, Peter Dale, Lyndsay Henderson, Timma Marett and Gwilym Satchell.
Chris Lucas of Reading Roadrunners made it home to a PB and the first finish token in 18:30 (1st), he was closely followed by Gareth Crossley in 18:47 (2nd), Ben Whalley a Woodley parkrun legend in his own right was the third parkrunner to cross the finish in 20:24 (3rd). For our ladies, they say it ‘runs’ in the family and it did for Renee Whalley and Georgia Whalley in 24:12 (1st) and 24:52 (2nd) respectively, with Jude Coleman in a fantastic 25:37 (3rd).
The downhill must serve as an accelerant, there was a spate of personal bests – 20 to be precise! Well done to each and every one of you, the hill can be tamed!
As a tourist it is a pleasure travelling the country visiting parkruns as well as meeting fellow runners, but if it was not for the volunteers there would be no parkrun. So on behalf of us, I want to thank you the volunteers for bringing our weekly parkrun fix.
Why not give it a try one week! Until the next parkrun take care!
Kerry (Reading parkrun)