Our super organised parkrun team arranged for a nice dry, bright day for event 4 but somehow ‘not freezing’ seemed to get missed from the order. A walk of the course identified a couple of icy patches where puddles had frozen so the setup crew did their best to break them up and highlight them for the runners.
The first timers briefing was again a big crowd; Adam explained how parkrun worked and an introduction to our course.
Then it was time for my debut as RD! I tentatively climbed up onto the bench (at 5’2” I needed all the help I could get in the height department) and called for quiet. Thanks for being so obliging and well behaved.
Formalities out of the way we made the small walk to the start and on a 3,2,1,Go the runners were off (twitching at their watches as the countdown went on). By the time we had carried all the bags, coats etc. over to the finish the front runners were already coming past!
They all seemed to be enjoying the fast, flat course (although one of our Tring tourists would only give us flat-ish :-0) and before we knew it the first finisher, Alan Barry from Stopsley Striders was charging up the funnel (or tunnel as it was called by one of the team) in an impressive 18:10. In total there were 54 PBs! - 11 of which were for people on only their second parkrun
The timers kept clicking and the tokens kept being handed out (so many we had to open Box 2!) as we watched the numbers go up to an amazing 195! This allowed for some fun as runner 180 crossed the line and the timers called out the number check.
We had a great range of people running and walking around the lovely park course, it was especially lovely to see families getting active together. The ages ranged from the under 10s to the over 70s - really proving that parkrun is for all. There were 20 people doing parkrun for their very first time and we hope they loved it and will be back again soon.
We had a few tourists (and tourist dogs) including quite a group from Wimpole Estate. In total there were 101 runners at Houghton Hall for the first time and representatives from 22 different clubs were there – word of Houghton Hall is spreading!
Last but absolutely by no means least I want to thank the volunteers that made the event possible. Even though we are a new event the team worked really well together and made my RD debut an enjoyable experience – I hope they made your run (or walk) as much fun.
See you next week