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.