When it was suggested to me that I write the run report on my 50th Parkrun, I thought why not? Now I have to write it, I am actually unsure where to start so will start with the very important job of thanking our wonderful volunteers – without them, I would not have had a 50th Parkrun to attend – if you have not volunteered, please do so – it makes the volunteer co-ordinator's job so much easier and you get great job satisfaction knowing that without you 400 – 500 people would have nothing to do on a Saturday morning!
I was greeted by my some of my friends at Verwood Runners who I will always be grateful to – without their encouragement, I would certainly not have achieved this milestone today.
It appeared to be exceptionally busy – there were a total of 444 runners today. Gary Tyler was race director which made today even more special – Gary ran some of the way with me on my very first Parkrun and encouraged me over the finish line 50 Parkruns ago. There appeared to be no milestone runs today apart from mine and just one birthday – happy birthday Andy.
There were plenty of visitors today, a lady announcing she was from Canada only to be trumped by a New Zealander – I hope all visitors today enjoyed our lovely course as much as I did.
It was time to go and two things I have learnt today – firstly, it is difficult to keep a sash on your shoulder for a whole 5k and secondly it is challenging for those accompanying you if you have a balloon attached – sorry guys and anyone who got bashed by the balloon. We had compliments aplenty on our custom made tutu's – these will get frequent outings from now on.
Now I know I am biased but Moors Valley truly is my favourite Parkrun – I have run at four others in the local area and although they all have their good points Moors Valley is spectacular. The runners and volunteers are super friendly too. The one lap course turns right a short distance after starting with a lovely long straight - once you've got to the marshall at the end of the straight, you've completed your first kilometer. It then turns left and winds through the forest more recently in sunshine and dappled shade although today the sun did not shine for us. There is a very short out and back (unless the B course is used when the usual course is too slippery) and then on to my favourite part – the sandy (but firm) slope down to the tarmac path that runs alongside the stream and then around the lake – this part is always deceiving as you can see the finish line across the lake but it is always further than you realise no matter how many times you run it.
Next time you run at Moors Valley, take a few seconds to look around you and appreciate how lucky we are to have this on our doorstep. It is a magnificent location and by being one of the slower runners I consider myself one of the lucky ones, taking in and enjoying the views at a steady pace!
This week's run also inspired some parkrun poetry from one of our visitors this week:
Tick! Tick! The pacer signals from the purple moor-grass by the track. I hare around the turn, another runner overtaken. Tick! Tick! The course undulates through pine and heath, gravel crunching underfoot. After two miles, I step up the pace, a personal best within reach. Tick! Tick! The bush-cricket's call incessant from the wayside. Tick! Tick!
a silent sprint
for the finish