Studies in hydrogeology – Lloyd parkrun Report 432 by Aidan Dixon

I was going to call this run report "Winter is coming!", but I see that's already been done.  It seemed apt for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I saw a robin this morning for the first time this year, and secondly, that stalwart of the the set-up crew, Pauline James, will, by the time you read this, have (very sensibly IMO) flown these shores for warmer climes.  Bon voyage, Pauline!  (Even if you did pip me at the post!)

Still, winter isn't here yet.  This morning wasn't that cold and I'm sure I wasn't the only runner to have shed a top layer for the second lap.  The sun even came out for a while as we headed for the start line.  It didn't hang around though, which is a pity as the course could have done with a bit of drying out after last night's rain.

I know (from having been told about it by those who've done many more Lloyd parkruns than my paltry fifteen) that the mud gets a lot worse than this, but for me, today was the first day that road shoes really didn't feel up to the job.  It wasn't a surprise to find that that there were several parts of the course where it was drier and less slippery underfoot either side of the path, but it was interesting to discover that there were other places where, despite 187 runners and an assortment of other park users churning it up, the path was still firmer underfoot than the ground beside it.  And the only puddle was at the top of the hill.  Can anyone explain that to me?  They taught me in school that water runs downhill!  Oh well...

Along with the aforementioned 187 runners (to say nothing of the dogs), we had twenty official volunteers and the usual helping hands before and after.  Thanks to Modesty Forbids, Alice Hunt, Andrew Honeyman, Chao Gibbs, Debra Bourne, Eleanor Hunt, Erik Schrijnemaekers, Fiona Hunt, Jane Sparks, Jennifer Booth, Lynn Seymour, Michael Procter, Nadine Pryce, Nick Fiander, Pauline James, Simon Powell, Stephen Tyler (the Ref), Tony Hunt, Vivienne Little and Wendy Spear.  You too can be numbered amongst this band of brothers and sisters: sign up online, ask the bod in the blue bib, or just scribble your name on next week's roster on the clipboard at the table.

We had four first time runners today and five visitors.  Welcome all to Lloyd parkrun: we hope you enjoyed it, and for the first timers, we hope to see you again next week.

First home was Ben Howe (London City Athletics Club) in 18:22, followed by Jonathan Pontin (Ravens) in 19:19, then visitor Mike Lane in 20:10.  For the ladies, it was Abigail Robertshaw leading them in at 22:59, with Jodie Gray next at 24:23 and Gulcin Erten (Croydon Harriers) third in 24:40.

High age-graded runs were a little lighter on the ground today, perhaps due to the worsening footing, but Andy Evans (70.98%), Ben Howe (70.42%) and Geoffrey Pennells (70.37%) all cleared 70%.  Richard Corby, Mike Lane, Tim Rowe, Pauline James, Jonathan Pontin, Paul Cripps, Abigail Robertshaw and Martin Drake just missed that magic 70%, but all topped 65%.

Milestones?  We had a few.  Junior George Heath joins the 10-club, while Matt Miller and Simon Ricca reached 150 and 200 parkruns, respectively.

Despite the onset of the mud, nine PBs were run today, by Jamie Taylor, Sandra Mensah, Isabelle Solley, Daniel Lee, Emma Moir, Libby Lawrey, Lynnette Francis, Matt Forman and Lucy Garton.  Well done all.


Lloyd parkrun Christmas Day and New Year’s Day runs

In case anyone has started wondering, yes we ARE intending to hold runs on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, as usual, at 9am each day, as usual, and with the usual festive treats on offer!


View from the Ref – by Stephen Tyler

[Three posts for the anniversary - so keep reading - Debra. :-)]

The dearth of fixtures due to the FA Vase (which won’t mean a lot to most of you) ergo more games than referees, led to an unexpected active appearance for me at Lloyd on its eighth birthday. Even arriving a few minutes later than normal meant that parking was impossible and like many, restricted street parking was the only option.

And this was the day that the course was run in reverse, hence moving back to opposite Melville Avenue to reduce the inevitable bottleneck by the bowling green. Despite the route being marked out with cones and a stake, a number of runners insisted on cutting the corner, saving themselves a few yards and seconds. It’s not cricket.

Those who run at Worcester are used to changing direction on a fortnightly basis, our is an annual rarity and the first occasion that I have done it, so it was like a new event. Having done the length of Lloyd Park Avenue, the long ascent through the copse and along the northern tree line began. Up the slightly rutted hill hill as it steepened to the furthest point and the sharp right which took us back down into the valley.

A sharp left to the hedge separating my old school playing fields and up to the back of the cottages hidden behind the dense vegetation and then a gradual downward slope – hopefully avoiding tree roots and the little hillock as we emerged into the open to do it once again.

Condition underfoot were a lot firmer all over than I had anticipated and I could easily have got away with road shoes and the queue to get the time recorded was the longest I have seen for some time. And as the day was closest to Halloween, Debra dressed up (at least I think she did) and there was a fair quantity of grub provided.

With football hopefully back to normal next weekend, I will have to brush up on some historical dates as you complete the first lap - and bear in mind that poetic licence means that 11 mins and 6 secs equals 1066 hence the Battle of Stamford Bridge. If you don’t believe me, look it up.


Now we are eight! – Lloyd parkrun Report #431 by Debra Bourne

[Headphones found - please ask us for them]

It’s hard to believe, but Lloyd parkrun has now been up and running (pun intended!) for eight years – amazing! I first ran here early in 2011 –in a field of 24 runners – and was hooked immediately. I started volunteering shortly afterwards when injured (it was a LOT more fun than sitting at home feeling fed up that I couldn’t run) and I’ve been running and volunteering here ever since. Looking back, it’s interesting to see what has changed and what hasn’t. The most obvious difference of course is the number of people taking part each week: we first passed 50 runners in May 2011, 100 in June 2011 and 200 in June 2014, but since early 2017 having 200+ runners has been more the norm than the exception. Sponsors have come and gone; parkrun club T-shirts have changed brand and now are posted direct to runners (for the cost of postage only) rather than being sent out in a big parcel to be distributed at the event – I have to say I rather miss handing out the T-shirts! Core volunteers have changed, new people have stepped into various roles, while other regular runners and volunteers have left the area (for anyone who remembers them, Richard and Rachel Tanner are very happy down Eastbourne way – I saw them while running Beachy Head trail marathon last Saturday).

I’m pleased to say that through all the changes, the friendly atmosphere that I noticed on my first run has remained – and grown stronger as our community has grown.

This morning saw 276 humans and a variety of dogs crossing the finish line, with 22 people volunteering before or during the event – plus various people helping pack everything away again. Without volunteers no parkrun could happen, so thank you for today’s Lloyd parkrun heroes: Jenny Booth, Aidan Dixon, Pauline James, Nadine Pryce, Eric Schrijnemaekers, Andrew Smith, Louise Lauder, Ashleigh Stevens, Eleanor Hunt, Alice Hunt, Ruby Little, Bobby Hunt, Tony Hunt, Paul Baille, Alex Lourke, Chris Smith, Stephen Rhys-Davies and visiting tail walker Paul Cook. Paul comes from Richmond parkrun – which was one of the first 10 to be set up – but is unable to run at the moment due to convalescing from an injury, so is visiting other parkruns and tail walking each of them – thank you Paul!

Besides Paul, today we had a further eight parkrunners visiting us for their first run at Lloyd parkrun (welcome!) and six first-time parkrunners (also welcome!).

The first runner to return to the finish chute this morning was Craig Purle in 18:38, followed by Jake Moir (university of Surrey AC) in 19:00 and William Cole (Runhead AC) in19:09. The first woman was Kyra Sethna-McIntosh (Croydon Harriers) in 22:32, with Abigail Robertshaw second in 23:08 and Jodie Gray third in a PB of 23:39.

The highest age-graded runs today came from Steve Corfield (76.86%), Robert Lines (71.96%), Craig Purle (71.20%), George Ogden (70.94%) and Simon Ambrosi (70.91%). Pauline James, Kyra Sethna-McIntosh and Wendy Spear were all just under the70% mark.

While we had fewer fancy costumes than for some of our anniversary runs, I was impressed with the two people in face masks – very well done running in those!

A few people reached parkrun milestones today: junior Callum Paterson reached the 10-club, Andrew Smith the 50-club, while Chris Taylor ran his 150th parkrun and Joy Harris her 200th!

PBs were run by Molly Paterson, Sandra Mensah, Rebecca Brown, Tanya Grant, Azra Mathias, Kirean Paterson, Angeli Petrides, Nicola Kidd, Adrian Rhodes, Taruna Iyer, Tim Stephens, Robert Dugdale, Wendy Field, Debbie Clarke-Irons, Mark Johnson, Sophie Dixon, Steven Laing, Amali Lokuge, Sean Hayes, Andrew Burrell, Terence Ng, Ashley Wilton, Jodie Gray, James Stremes, Patrick Eastabrook and Jake Moir.

Today was the first time I’d consciously seen someone wearing kit from the new Contra range. For those who haven’t heard of this, it’s been developed by Paul Sinton-Hewitt (who founded parkrun) with the aim of making sure people of all shapes and sizes have decent running kit they can buy – and profits go to parkrun. Joanna Scanlan was wearing some of the new kit today, and in case anyone has been wondering whether to buy this, I asked her how she was finding it, and below is her review.

Happy parkrunning, everyone!


My Contra review – Joanna Scanlan

You know the feeling. With each stride, your waistband keeps dropping towards your knees, the tiny tear on your top where you caught it on a bramble last month is becoming indecent and nothing you grab from your gym kit drawer seems to work with the change of season. Time for some new gear.

As a parkrunner I have been getting emails from Contra, which is Paul Sinton-Hewitt’s new sportswear brand where all the profits go to support parkrun itself, so I thought I would give it a go. I spent £97 on three items, with an extra £4.85 p&p: a pair of long women's running tights, a base layer to work against the nip in the air and a long-sleeve running top. So it’s not cheap. However, all of these are available in what is described as ‘gender neutral’ colours - I chose a kind of greeny aqua - they are produced in ethically sustainable European factories and of quality fabrics, and best of all they come in a range of sizes from 6-26 for women and 26” - 56’ waist for men. Though the majority of runners fall close to average human size and shapes, the lack of available kit for smaller or larger runners can put off hopefuls from getting to the starting blocks. This is a huge barrier to the available health benefits we are all so familiar with. I am a size 18-20 and the only other supplier of kit for my size that I know of is Marks & Spencer.

The Contra designs are much sexier than anything M&S come up with, fashionable, edgy and fun. As a plus-size runner there is nothing more off-putting than feeling you are different and not able to join in, the very opposite of the parkrun ethos, and Contra is clearly trying to extend a welcome to all comers. I wonder if they are looking into the problems of man-made fibres in technical wear getting into our rivers and then seas causing damage to marine life? There is nothing on the website about this but I would be interested to know what Contra is planning to prevent or reduce this in future.

So far so worthy. How did the clothes function this morning out in Lloyd Park? I was delighted. The tights fitted like a glove, thick enough to feel support in the legs, no movement whatsoever in the waistband and a good wicking effect so that I didn't overheat on the big hill going widdershins (a bit longer that way, no?). I put my 50-parkrun T-shirt on top of my new long-sleeved shell and it worked a treat. I didn't try the base layer today as it was too warm - I'm holding that back so that I can feel the benefit when winter really hits. I don't think I will be buying from anyone other than Contra from now on. There are a plethora of positives for this brand but the first and foremost for me, beyond the miracle that they actually fit, is that the profits go back into our weekly community event. I personally benefit in three ways: one, by ensuring the long term prospects for parkrun so that I can keep attending; two, I’m contributing to making sure new parkrunners are welcome so that there are more people to befriend and volunteer; AND, three, I have some trendy kit which doubles as genuinely practical clobber. Do check it out when you next find yourself complaining ‘I've nothing to wear’.



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