Linford Wood parkrun
Event number #94
14th April 2018
Run Report by Jon Evans
Anonymous Pace Runner: “So I said to him no, I haven’t got a tutu, then he said, I’ve got two spare ones in the car. Do you want to borrow one?”
Overhearing such a conversation can mean only one thing – a pacing event at Linford Wood parkrun! Tutus, the garment beloved of the pacer or charity runner, were very much in evidence during yesterday’s event. And yes, that really was the paraphrase of a genuine but slightly disturbing conversation I overheard yesterday. It did continue with speculation as to why someone would carry two spare tutus, however as I’m writing this before the 9 o’clock watershed, we won’t pursue it further.
There was a cracking turnout of 251 people on Saturday who walked, jogged, ran or skipped around the 5k course, no doubt helped by the fact that a) it was a pacing weekend (always popular), but also, and just as importantly b) the first decent weather for some considerable time. With the amount of rain in the previous week, the wood was looking very green, and there was a lot of standing water around, although fortunately not on the course. There were plenty of Primroses, Cowslips and Wood Anemones in evidence, as well as the green spiky leaves which herald the carpeting of the woodland floor in Bluebells from late April to May.
The woods rang to the sound of birdsong, and I’m sure they were welcoming the opportunity to dry their feathers out, and warm themselves (finally) in the sun. At my pace there is still time to look around and enjoy this piece of ancient woodland, and apart from 251 (impeccably behaved) lycra clad lunatics, (some of whom were wearing tutus), it was easy to imagine how the wood must have looked when it was first enclosed as a deer park in 1264 by Baron Ralph von Pippard of Great Linford Manor. If you are more speedily paced than me, it really is worth returning on a non-parkrun day to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the wood if you live locally.
People read these reports for different reasons, so I always try and include varied themes (natural history tick, history tick), but usually, people are most interested in the statistics from the run. So, for the stattos amongst you, I can reveal the following:
46.6% of our pacers wore tutus. 28.6% of these were blue, a further 28.6% were green, 14.3% each were yellow, or black, or rainbow coloured. What these statistics show with a high degree of confidence is that the probability of a pacer wearing a tutu is nearly 0.5, or 50%. On Grand National Day, to put it in horse racing parlance – evens.
However with a very specific but totally random set of pacing times adorning the shirts of the chosen ones, all bets were most definitely off. What is a racing certainty however, is that pacers always inspire our runners to greater efforts, and on Saturday they were instrumental in helping achieve 44 PBs, representing 17.5% of our 251 finishers. 29 different running clubs were represented, apparently coming from as far afield as Bideford and Blaydon, Coventry and Derwent & Exeter and Newcastle.
Not to be outdone, our local clubs were also well represented, particularly Redway Runners who, apart from a lone representative from Lakeside Runners, and two independents, comprised 12 of our pacers. At this point, congratulations to Simon Navin, who hit his target pace of 25:25 bang on the nail! Sadly, I wasn’t fast enough to be at the finish in that short a time to be able to confirm or deny rumours that he waited at the last corner for several minutes disguised as a tree. Only joking Simon – amazing work.
I previously said all bets were off with the random birthday related times sported by our pacers, BUT all our pacers came very close to their times – no mean feat when GPS signals can be a bit shaky through the woodland. But rather than being accurate to the second, the most important thing was the encouragement they gave to the runners – and it’s always nice to see thanks in the Facebook comments to specific pacers from people who were inspired to really put a bit more effort in by having the encouragement to achieve their goal.
There were 40 first timers at Linford Wood parkrun on Saturday, 9 of whom were taking part in their first ever parkrun. Well done. It’s been said before, and it’s a bit of a cliché, but really, you’ve taken the most difficult step just deciding to do it. We hope you’ll be back to join us again soon.
Apart from this important milestone of a first parkrun completed, congratulations to Richard Doherty and Fred Stiff who both completed their 50th run. Richard was also one of our pacers, and not only managed to arrive within 3 seconds of his target, but also got a PB himself!! Once again, Mr Woodward dazzled us with his total of completed parkruns – more than anyone else at Linford Wood by some considerable margin at 369.
The first lady home was Abi Gooch (21:30), second was Miriam Drewett (22:43) and third was Rachel Dean-Corke (23:40)
The first male runner this week is unknown, but second was Adam Gibson (18:59) and third was Ed Vout (19:09)
Hopefully, we can now look forward to some better weather as Spring bursts forth. It was exceedingly pleasant to once again to be able sit outside the Ora cafe and enjoy a drink whilst my head, sadly lacking in hair, burnt gently in the pale Spring sunshine, rather than sit inside, shivering over a latte.
We are very grateful to the splendid volunteers who made this event happen: Chris BROWN, Sarah CONNOLLY, Milo DE GORTER, Sheila DICKINS, Richard DOHERTY, James DWIGHT, Jon EVANS, Emma EVANS, Jenny EVANS, Nick FAIRBROTHER, Gary FIDLER, Susan FLYNN, Caroline FORD, James FULLER, Warren GOODLAKE, Neil GOODWIN, Julie KENNEDY, David MOSLEY, Simon NAVIN, Barnaby NORMAN, Lucinda PARISH, Rut POLMAN, Paz PRIETO MARTIN, Isobel RICHARDSON, Joseph RICHARDSON, Stephen ROSE, Greg SCOTT, Sarah SMITH, Annette SMYTH, Stuart SULLIVAN, Roger THETFORD, Kevin TILLEY, Neal TURNEY, Rob WATSON, Colin WHITTAKER, Diane WILSON, Paul WOODWARD
If you fancy giving it a go yourself, you’ll be welcomed with open arms by an emotional Run Director keen to fill their roster. Just e-mail: email@example.com Go on, you know you want to....
flickr: Linford Wood parkrun flickr group
Linford Wood parkrun