After last week’s rain, runners and volunteers alike were relieved to face a dry morning, mild for the time of year. There was a bit of a breeze, which smaller runners found more difficult than larger ones (my husband, at 6ft 5, barely noticed it). We’re well into mud season, of course, and it was getting pretty bad in all the usual spots, such as the initial section through the trees, and at the bottom of the hill both on the way up and on the way down. That’s unlikely to change until the spring now – unless of course we get some hard frosts to make it rutted instead.
This morning we were joined by the annual influx of students from Royal Russell School - sporting, as usual, Santa hats. They also provided some welcome donations for our collection of food for the Croydon Food bank: the total reached 174 items, which is great: many thanks to everyone who brought something. We had nine first-time parkrunners and four tourists visiting Lloyd for the first time, including a couple all the way from Blickling parkrun in north Norfolk. Madeleine Little meanwhile was running her 150th parkrun (not an official parkrun milestone, but we feel it’s well worth a mention!).
More than 200 people lined up at the start, although the total number of finishers today was 180, as many of the Royal Russell students took the one lap option – which is fine. A runner coming back from injury also, and very sensibly, took that option when she began to feel her ankle not comfortable – we should all be so sensible!
Today’s volunteer heroes were Nadine Pryce, Nick Fiander, Paul Elliott, Jane Sparks, Lucas Kemperman and Colin Jackson on set-up, with Stephen Tyler, Michal Procter and Foong Cheek as Timekeepers, Robert McCann handing out the finish tokens, Jenny Booth, Simon Powell, Eleanor Hunt and Noah Tolfrey scanning barcodes, while Fiona Hunt sorted out the finish tokens after they had been scanned. Jenny Little was marshal/photographer, accompanied by Alice Hunt; the other marshals were Wendy Spear, Jane Sparks and several students from Royal Russell, including Marshall Guo, Ovid Chen, Laning Lyu, Dmitry Torasor and Aleff Soora (? – apologies if I’ve misread anyone’s handwriting). Paula Bryan and Chris John Smith were our tail walkers, and Stephen Tyler, Jane Sparks and Aidan Dixon did the bulk of the post-event close down, with assistance from Robert McCann and others.
The prize for “above and beyond” goes to Jane Spark: before the run she cleaned up dog poop so runners wouldn’t step in it. Additionally, while marshalling, she noticed a Jack Russell terrier cocking his leg on one of our course marker arrows, so she cleaned the arrow with tissues and hand disinfectant – what a star!
Robert Lines (Selsdon Baptist Church Runners) led the field home in19:09, followed by Krzysztof Klidzia (Striders of Croydon) in 19:47 and George Ogden (South London Harriers) in 19:52.
First woman home was Jennie Butler (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers) in 21:26 – 10th overall – with Jessica Moore (Croydon Harriers) second in 22:10 and Abigail Robertshaw third in 23:43.
Highest age-graded runs came from Krzysytof Klidzia (76.41%), Matthew Stone (75.98%), Robert Lines (74.59%), Jennie Butler (74.11%), Steve Corfield (73.69%) and George Ogden (70.05%).
As is common at this time of the year, the number of people managing PBs has dropped considerably, but well done to Philip Stoycheff, Bhaskar Jana and Jennie Butler.
We’ll be back same time, same place next week and throughout the winter Saturday mornings – plus of course the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day runs, with the usual goodies on offer. NOTE: we need volunteers for those runs and if would be great to get the volunteers sorted early, so if you can help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week!