For a mid-winter run at Killerton the conditions were great this morning. T-shirt and knee-length leggings for me. The ground was not too slippery in the first field and the run down through the woods the trail had a distinct track rather than a mass of red thick mud and water.
As I was run report writer today I started to let my mind explore a theme for my later writing. I reflected on the role and importance of Killerton and the unique characteristics that this Estate lends itself to the dedicated runners who call this parkrun their 'home' run. To run at Killerton each week we are privileged to experience a wide variety of natural and managed landscapes throughout the seasons. The obvious changes we encounter are in the surface and for some of us we like the challenge of the mud, water and terrain. We are all familiar with the changes in the woodland from the first green shoots in spring, to the welcome canopy of shade of mid-summer, followed by the colours and leaf fall and finally the hibernation and skeleton trees of winter. Each season has challenges and affords an opportunity to encounter nature and weather first-hand. The rhythm of the seasons and time to reflect on how far our everyday lives take us from this in our air-conditioned cars, in our warm homes and offices, where we spend the majority of our time.
My own childhood was spent on the very edge of Exeter exploring the fields and lanes as far as Killerton itself. My first experiences of the estate were in the 1970s collecting sweet chestnuts in Autumn from the woodland above the start point. Most of the trees are still there - they were well established then and are still part of the landscape today. My own children having also gathered sweet chestnuts from the same trees 30 years later.
It is refreshing to see so many children participating in parkrun and we all hope that they too will hold Killerton dear as they perhaps bring their own children here in the future.
This parkrun generates considerable income for the host National Trust property as each member who signs in at the end will enable the property to draw down some money for conservation work on the estate and this is an important element for many of the runners as they know that they are contributing to this important work. Recently, I was reading about the work of the Trust in creating more habitats than ever to provide more spaces for wildlife who live side by side with us as we go about out everyday lives. It is only a small part had it feels good that our weekly run is not only good for us but is also good for nature and the environment.
2018 is nearly over and I reflect on the role that Park Run has had in so many lives this year. I am nearing the end of my run at Killerton today. Too much Christmas pudding had slowed me down as I pass cow corner and through the watery lane. I'm only thinking of the finish line now as I pass jelly baby corner and into the field glancing up at Killerton house as I go. If you get a chance, come back in the evening when the Christmas trees at the house are lit for the season and some of the trees on the park are illuminated. You can appreciate the gnarled trunks and twisted branches of the winter night.
Final home straight now and smiles all around as some have achieved personal milestones today and others will have achieved PBs and milestones during the year. We will all be looking forward to setting personal targets and goals for 2019 and this is why parkrrun is so important to many as it affords the opportunity to set an achievable goal whether it be your 50th or 100th PR or you have set a time to achieve. Happy New Year to you all.
This week 266 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 24 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 37 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:
Gordon SEWARD • Annie FOOT • Warren KILLEN • Maureen DUDLEY • Mark SHAW • Julie FINCH • Mary ROWE • Francis READER • Karen COLLARD • Mark NEWSON • Sandie READER • Caleb PALMER • Katy LANCASTER • Graham LAND • James DERHAM • Sim TAYLOR • Jonathan RICH • Jaroslaw ZAJAC • Ali KERRIDGE • Markus KINCH • Dawn WALKER • Valentine VERRIJKEN • Brian HIRST • Tim LAVERICK • Karla GREGORY • Graham KIRBY
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Killerton parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Lucy HASELL who recorded a time of 17:44 on 31st March 2012 (event number 49).
The male record is held by Tom MERSON who recorded a time of 15:23 on 6th July 2013 (event number 114).
The Age Grade course record is held by Catherine Ann Thurlow NEWMAN who recorded 92.07% (18:55) on 18th July 2015 (event number 218).
Killerton parkrun started on 30th April 2011. Since then 11,863 participants have completed 87,376 parkruns covering a total distance of 436,880 km, including 15,072 new Personal Bests. A total of 913 individuals have volunteered 7,046 times.