An unseasonably mild February morning followed a Valentine week of light breezes, sunshine and early morning frosts. Indeed, I am reliably informed that it was so clement that handwarmers could be shed by marshals at far flung outposts on the course. Crucially, there was no rain this week that I can recall. The course was therefore much drier than on the 9th of February, so that a pleasurable run could be undertaken by 237 participants. However, the ever-changing route due to the new cycle path snaking its alarming path through the top half of the big sports field field made for some nimble responses to the earthworks thrown up by the digger. It is hard to imagine this in its finished form at the moment and I do feel sad that we will lose our solely cross-country route. No harm done this morning, however, as we navigated the uneven ground. Special thanks to the set up team for making the new route so easy to follow and for the energy expended on ‘coning’ it all.
We welcomed Run Mummy Run this morning. This is an international organization that links women (motherhood not required to qualify) online through facebook and organizes social runs and other events in order to support women to be fitter, happier and healthier. Elizabeth Ayres, who runs under the Serpentine running club badge, told me at coffee in the café that there were about nine women today who had joined us from all over London. She said that in her view Lloyd was the toughest course in Greater London, a greater challenge than Alexandra Palace and Hampstead Heath! I couldn’t help feel proud of us regulars’ efforts as she passed on her comparative verdict. “It’s a real hill, not a slope!”. We also welcomed run directors from Newbury parkrun, Sue and Paul Bennett – we hope you had a great day and keep coming back!
Well done to those first across the line. In the men’s category, the Croydon Harriers had it, followed by two Striders of Croydon. Alan John Burn came in with 19.07 and a terrific age grade of 79.08% followed by Simon Ambrosi with 19.26% and Peter Mills at his leisurely pace of 19.38. Well done all. In the women’s category, Jennie Butler from Blackheath and Bromley Harriers smashed her PB to lead the pack at 20.56 (age graded 75.88%) followed by Holly Perks with 23.22 and Jessica Moore with 23:55, both also from Croydon Harriers.
The all-important age grades were topped by Alan John Burn and Jennie Butler plus Steve Cornfield at 77.56%, Andy Perks at 73.72%, Colin Oxlade with 72.33%, Simon Ambrosi with 70.75% and Graham Sutherland with 70.42%. Compared with the summer levels when the ground is much easier to run these are great results.
There were 35 first timers to welcome today, we hope you will return and enjoy the hospitality on many occasions to come. Congratulations are in order to the 29 Personal Best time runners today. Keep it up as the weather improves over the next few weeks and the course becomes even more parkrunner-friendly.
Christopher Tanner celebrated his milestone 50th with 28.07 alongside Jessica Moore celebrating 200 parkruns on her 18th birthday. Many happy returns also. to Antara Singh, who volunteered today. Top of the milestones today goes to Alf Marcovecchio who ran his 250th, coming in at 26.00. Many congratulations to everyone and thanks to Alf and Jessica for the treats at the end of the run!
Huge debts are owed to today’s volunteers. We do encourage everyone to join the volunteer force; it’s tremendous fun, you learn a lot about running itself by observing and participating in all the aspects through to processing results and you will be royally thanked for your efforts by the run directors – what’s not to like? If you volunteer every twenty runs or so you will easily help to meet the required numbers, so we all can continue to enjoy our Saturday mornings.
This week we must salute Aidan Dixon, Antara Singh, Benjamin Hansen, Debra Bourne, Eleanor Hunt, Evangeline Harris-Duff, Foong Cheek, Jake Moir, Joanna Scanlan, Joshua Edwards, Joy Harris, Les Todd, Lynn Seymour Mark Parker, Nadine Pryce, Nick Fiander, Nick Marshall, Noah Tolfrey, Paul Elliott, Robert McCann, Simon Powell and Stephen Tyler.