Peterborough parkrun #251 – Water, water everywhere

Many thanks to Yaxley Runners, who this week provided the volunteers for Peterborough parkrun #251. Yaxley Runners and Joggers, to give them their full name, meet regularly at Hampton Sports Centre, and welcomes all abilities – from the front running gazelles to the plodders at the back, there is a place for everyone. See for more details.

With rain forecast for most of the day, it was quite a relief to find that it had in fact stopped in the early hours of the morning; however when we arrived to set up, we were already getting reports of large puddles on the far side of Gunwade Lake, similar to those experienced at the New Year, so passable with care, but you will get wet feet.

By the time I got there with the direction markers, the puddles were now streams crossing the paths, one fisherman with a large barrow had stopped and was searching for his waders! I reported this to Steve Megson, todays Run Director, and suggested that he take look. Having checked the map and realising that we might be able to use just two sides of a slightly unequal rectangle, Steve took off on my bike.
Meanwhile, the on duty Ranger had appeared looking for Gordon! I think that he was going to call it off. I explained that the Run Director was reviewing the situation and that we had a safer alternative, which he was happy with.

Steve duly arrived back whilst I was chalking out the start line, event number and supporting club. He confirmed that while experienced club runners may be quite happy to get very wet, many parkrunners would not be so inclined to do so, also the water had risen even higher, so much so that it was now part of the lake, and there was drift wood in the way which would be dangerous under foot and to buggies etc.

Disappointingly, as Steve was about to go through his parkrun announcements briefing; everyone, en masse, started heading towards the start line despite frantic calls not to do so.

Please, please, PLEASE! - listen to the briefing; along with thanking the volunteers, congratulating milestones, it may also contain important health and safety messages, course changes, even cancellation. Only go to the start line when invited to do so.

As it was Steve managed to talk to those on the front line, and also the lead bike. How many of you wondered where you were going when you reached ‘the loop’. A special BIG THANKYOU to all those who heeded the marshals instructions to KEEP LEFT when it was getting congested.

Once underway, this week 515 people ran, jogged and walked the course, including 25 completing their first ever parkrun, and for a further 30 it was their first parkrun at Peterborough. Welcome to you all, we hope that you enjoyed yourself and look forward to seeing you again. It’s not always this chaotic – promise!

It’s really great to see an increasing number of blue shirts at parkrun from Sawtry Walk to Run, you’ll usually see them going around together in small groups. Part of the England Athletics RunTogether initiative, Sawtry Walk To Run currently has 3 groups of differing abilities which meet 3 times every week: Sunday mornings, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There is no fee to join and all sessions are free. Don’t forget to add your club to your parkrun profile.

The Results
First home once again was Peterborough AC’s Phil MARTIN with a time of 16:52; followed by Callum DALLIDAY, an unattached junior JM15-17 with a PB of 17:28, and Martin GICHUHI of Bushfield Joggers in 17:33.

First lady was Bushfield Joggers Hannah CHAPMAN, with a time of 19:34 (18th overall); followed by Nene Valley Harriers Ruth JONES with 19:38 (20th overall) and Sophie DARLING from Lincoln Wellington AC with 20.01 (24th overall).

Sean BEARD (VM50-54) of Nene Valley Harriers led the age grading with 81.8% and a time of 18:19 in 6th position, with James BORRETT (VM45-49) from Eye Community Runners at 80.09% and a time of 17:50 finished 4th.

Joining the parkrun 50 club this week were Martin WARD and Thorney RC’s Paula ANDREWS. Eye Community Runners’ Matthew BALL joined the parkrun 100 club, as did Jon KELLY who celebrated with a PB of 25:56. Congratulations to you all.

The event was made possible by 34 volunteers:
Gina CRANE • Karen FREEMAN • Steve MEGSON • Paul MCCARTHY • Nina WRIGHT • Ben WRIGHT • Ian VALLANCE • Peter BRANTOM • Rob COLES • Lesley COLES • Ted COLES • Martin SHELBOURNE • Paul STEVENETTE • Kirstin HOMEWOOD • Duncan JACKSON • Benjamin MCCANN • Charlotte SORTWELL • Raeanne ELLIOTT • Jean MAGGS • Roy YOUNG • Michelle GARD • Sam WEBSTER • Emily HAWKE • Lorna YOUNG • Shaun JOLLY • Jessica HAWKE • Natasha JACOB • James SELLS • Charlotte COLE • Kayleigh DRAPER • David TOWNS • Mia PURNELL • Amy MAXWELL • Steve JOY

A special THANK YOU to all our volunteers. If you too would like to help then please email, or check out the “Peterborough parkrun volunteers” facebook page. If you’re not sure what positions are available then you can check the roster on for up to 6 weeks in advance. Let’s see if we can fill up some of those spaces nice and early.

Next week
Any of you who ventured out into the park on Sunday will know that the flooding has increased with many of the meadows submerged and even the path next to Overton Lake now underwater, and the forecast is for more rain this week.

With water levels high throughout the Nene Valley all the way back up to Northampton, perhaps it’s appropriate that Nene Valley Harriers are providing most of the volunteers, maybe they can stem the tide for an hour or so.

See you all again next week, meanwhile – keep dry!

Roy Young