After a week of eating, drinking, and being merry it was with some relief that the folk of Ros Towers packed up the kit and headed over to the Forestry Centre for the final parkrun of 2017.
174 parkrunners also felt the need to blast way the festive sparkle, with 20 folk visiting Rosliston for the first time and of those 5 were taking part in their first parkrun. It was great to see you, and we hope you come back again. 7 of you managed to defy the excessive mince pie consumption to get a new personal best - well done (the only PB I have got this week is number of chocolates eaten in a single sitting! (Lots, in case you're wondering...)
One of those PBs was achieved by Sophie Towns who made it a double celebration by joining the junior 10 club - great work, Sophie! There were no other official club members but there are a few folks who will be hitting them in New Years Day _ I already have quite a list of shout outs for the run brief. An honourable mention goes to James Farmer who ran his 200th run, and while it isn't an official club its a nice round number and is a fab achievement - chasing 250 now James! To mark the day he joined his mum Jo in the cone race where there wasn't any sabotage at all, and Jo took the honours with a storming run!!
With some pretty heavy rain throughout the week we knew the trails would be a bit soggy and the puddles did not disappoint! I was marshalling and enjoyed seeing parkrunners trying to tiptoe around them [hint: go through the middle, its more slippery in the mud around the edges. Plus you can get some excellent splash onto your fellow parkrunners...!]
Now that we are done for 2017, and every other TV programme seems to be a review of the year then why not join them and take a look back at what we have got up to over the past 12 months:
January saw us hold our first ever NYD run with us being part 2 of the "double". For those who are wondering what I'm on about, NYD is the only day of the year where you can run at 2 different parkruns on the same day and both of them count towards your milestone tees etc. Our friends at Conkers kicked off the new year at 9am before a convoy of parkrunners headed over to us for a 10.30 start. Sadly the weather fairies didn't get the memo and horizontal, freezing rain was everyones' reward. Delightful...!
In March we celebrated our 1st birthday with cake, fancy dress balloons and awards for some of our lovely parkrun. Then the ladies of the Washlands Women Runners gave the core team the week off with a volunteer takeover. They all did a sterling job - the motivational signs around the course were a great hit!
As the weather started to warm up in April we were joined by the fastest lady to make it around our course to date. Elaine Sherwin, a Canicross runner flew around the trails assisted by her super-speedy dog Daphne. Having seen Elaine in action at Conkers I knew when I saw her on the front row that we were in for a quick one!
A team of regulars grabbed their shovels in May to fill in some of the potholes out on course to ensure a smoother run for everyone. Second breakfasts were consumed before they headed out to fill, stomp and smooth until early afternoon. Much fun was had by all!
The hot sunny days of June meant the shorts and vests were out in force, as well as hoards of tiny black filed that simply loved our yellow hi-viz vests! Karate chops, ninja moves...nothing would clear the pesky blighters. You could class them as protein, I suppose (yuk!)
Thunder Run weekend in July saw the massed ranks of the 24hr relay runners descend on the Centre for their now-annual pre-race warm up. The weather stayed kind and 384 runners and walkers joined us for a good-natured event with folk from all over the UK taking in our lovely course and café. [The weather wasn't so great from 5pm though - ask any Thunder Runner!] In July we also had our first volunteer takeover by a company rather than a local running club. The good folk of Molson Coors, a large local employer took the reins as part of their community initiative, and did a great job.
August was a busy month, with a takeover by the Swad Joggers filling the trails with a sea of orange, a barrowful of shiny new kit, and Team GB hockey player Kathryn Lane taking on the role of Tail Walker to quite literally get behind our parkrunners!
A buggy run face off in September between Dan Towns & Ian Johnson saw both dads face down on the grass at the end of the finish funnel! Their passengers Alice, Willow, & Reef looked remarkably fresh though!
In October parkrun became a teenager, celebrating it's 13th birthday on the 2nd. Hatton Darts took over the volunteer roster for the 2nd time and of course we had some Halloween trick or treats on the 28th [boo!]
Our new "winter" course was launched in November to give the swampy trail a break over the winter months. So no hill and swamp, but a rather picturesque bridge over the lake instead. Twice! We did, however revert back to the summer course when the bridge was too icy to cross!
And so the year has drawn to a close. Festive shenanigans in December, a cancellation due to ice that even the summer course couldn't overcome and a 250 run milestone cake courtesy of regular run reporter Mark Slade (cake skills via Sam Screaton!)
Well done for reading this far! Rosliston parkun wouldn't be what it is without our super bunch of runners, walkers, everything-inbetweeners, and volunteers. So thanks to you all, and also to Christine and the girls in the café who look after us each week, and finally to Deb and the Forestry Centre staff for being so suppotyive of our event.
Shall we do it all again next year? Oh go on then!