Thank you to Daniel and his daughter Beth for visiting Panshanger and Westmill today, and writing today's run report!
Enjoy and Happy New Year to you all.
For the first parkrun of 2019 we were joined by 10 shiny new people (Rose and Charlene also completed their 2nd parkruns today as well!) to the parkrun family, maybe as a start of a New Year's Resolution, part of training for a bigger event in 2019 or maybe talked into it by another parkrunner as Big Ben chimed. For whatever reason you turned up today hopefully you had a great time and once you get that text alert of your result and start racking up those T-shirt points, meeting and chatting to others before, during and after your run it's what your Saturday mornings will be all about from now on. So a huge welcome to:- Paul GREEN, Tim WARNER, Stephen EDDINGTON, Mike LEAFORD, Steven BROMELL, Alison HOCKETT, Dawn WAKE, Helena PRICE, Charlene GRAY & Rose BRADSHAW.
For two days a year, parkrun HQ gives parkruns the chance to put on additional runs to the normal Saturday fun. So depending on park availability and very importantly VOLUNTEERS willing to give up a little time with their family to help out, Christmas Day and New Year's Day see extra parkruns. Flexibility is given to vary the start time to allow these extra runs to take place. New Years Day offers another special... The one chance in the UK to register two parkruns on one day, this does depend on lots of factors – start time, running speed and travelling distance being the main ones.
This event is so special and important to parkrunners that people create websites that list all the possible doubles – that when estimated run and travel times are factored in leave you with a number of options.
Most people pick their local runs, however being one of those rather fanatical parkrun tourists the joy for me was finding two new parkruns to run to add to my tally of different events. Having exhausted all the local runs, I knew I was set for a good 2 hour drive. After days of deliberation and debate I settled on Panshanger and Westmill at 9pm on New Year's Eve – No partying hard if you want to travel far!
Tourism can often be affected by travel, but on New Year's Day, at 6:10am as Google Maps informed me, the travel time was 2 hours 34 minutes; I was horrified... I would miss my preferred 8:10 arrival time (I never want to play catch the tail runner again!) But fairly empty major roads made the drive south a delight. Even better the sound track of the journey wasn't to Tony Blackburn's Sound of the Sixties but Sara Cox!
The clear roads and a perfect postcode for the parking street meant an early arrival on a near empty road – The website asked for the carpark to be kept clear for 'regular' park users. However 520 other runners and marshals meant that by the finish the road was heaving!
After leaving my parkrun picture frame (after capturing some of today's volunteer team in a group picture) at the finish for any others to use and post run bag I wandered back to the start that was rapidly filling up with runners... Lots of runners. I even had a quick chat with the RD of Westmill parkrun Susan MILLWARD who was using the double to run and RD. Superb!
After a rather busy New Runners / Tourist briefing – well there were 103 First Timers to Panshanger today! I did look out carefully for the KM markers all the way round but missed the lot, well apart from the start post! The main runners briefing the run started almost perfectly promptly at 9am to a chorus of GPS watch beeps... It had to start on time as I imagine many of the assembled mass of runners also needed to travel to a second parkrun of the day!
What a beautiful course in wooded areas and around fields. If you had time you could have enjoyed some lovely views over the surrounding area, this was due to a few decent slopes – in fact I would possibly call them hills! However what goes up must come down so there was some lovely sweeping downhills to enjoy and get your breath back which you certainly needed for the short final undulation into the finish funnel. I was delighted that I had chosen to wear my trail shoes as it was the surface was just muddy enough to need the grip and soft enough to cushion my expanding mass – maybe I need to ease back on the post parkrun treats!
Having never run Panshanger before, I had no time expectations so I could happily take it a little easier as I knew I had another run to do an hour later. However a huge 65 people did manage a PB! I wonder how many are regulars or who are irregulars and only do Panshanger on NYD or as a bit of tourism? Either way it doesn't matter as you all deserve a huge WELL DONE. I hope you all enjoyed seeing PB on your results text.
Although in the same age category as me (VM40-44), Pieter VERMEESCH stormed round the course in 17:08 and returned to being first finisher as he has on 13 of his 15 runs here. Herts Phoenix AC's Lottie ROWEDDER (SW18-19) made light work of the course crossing the line in 19th overall in a time of 19:36 to be first female finisher. 11th place finisher, Stevenage Striders' Steve WELLS (VM55-59) crossed the line in 19:04 but with the highest age grading of 81.99%. Super speedy running.
Whenever I am organised on my parkrun tourism trip I check the volunteer roster to check for a role I like to try and do - Report Writer. I do this for two reasons, one is to keep a record of my travels and the other is to offer thanks to the marshals who make these events possible. I try and offer thanks as I run but the hills made that a challenge and normally I hang around at the end or run a lap in reverse to thank the marshals who have stood out there cheering us all on and keeping us safe no matter what the weather, but today after getting scanned and collecting my daughter we had to race off. So a huge THANK YOU to :- Simon BOYDEN, Geoffrey CORDINGLEY, Sue COVENEY, Juliet CURRY, Angela DEAKIN, Nicola HEADLAND, Kit HILLARY, Duncan HISCOCK, Pamela HURD, Barbara KUBIS-LABIAK, Mattie LABIAK, Jacqueline MCCALLUM, Pam MEW, Patrick MILLAR, Mark MORRIS, David MORTON, Jas NEWINGTON, Fyl NEWINGTON, Gary O'LEARY, Jacky O'LEARY, Naomi PARKINSON, Georgia PEEDLE, Brenda SMITH & Caroline STEPHENS who made this event possible. As with parkruns around the world if you fancy giving scanning a go, fancy being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please look on the roster and e-mail - email@example.com
As with many other runners today there was no heading to the coffee van for a drink, chat and post run analysis of this week's parkrun but into the car to drive to the second parkrun adventure of the day...
Part 2 http://www.parkrun.org.uk/westmill/news/