It was quite cold this morning, with more than enough mud, but nonetheless it enticed 128 people to get out of their beds and come to Roundshaw. I ran myself today, and as I went round, I looked over at the paddock in the middle of the course where we see the odd cow grazing in the warmer months. I’ve always wondered why they are there, so I conducted a little research into the history of Roundshaw Downs to find out more about it.
Roundshaw Downs was originally occupied by a number of farmsteads and was mostly fields. Before World War 1, it was known as Beddington Aerodrome and in 1915 apparently the Royal Flying Corps sent off fighter planes to combat the German Zeppelins, which is interesting as I read about them in my history lessons. During the inter-war period, it became the first international airport in London. So, those concrete bits where I usually do my warmup are actually part of the old runways? Apparently not - in those days the planes landed on grass!
As planes got bigger, larger runways were needed, and the airport was closed in 1959. I know it was used for running though, as my Grandad did some cross-country runs there in 1960. He went on to come third in the first English schools’ cross-country championships in the same year for junior boys- something I’ll never achieve!
It became Roundshaw Downs in 1993 and was declared a Local Natural Reserve in 1994, providing a conservation resource for insects, birds and wild flowers.
The creation of the paddock in the centre, I learned, happened in 2012. This was to manage the site more naturally and shift away from having to mow the whole grassland. Having the cows graze on only a certain area, ensures that the grass is of different ages and heights. This provides more shelter and food for invertebrates, as well as ground for nesting birds. Apparently, you can sometimes see kestrels hovering over the grassland looking for their prey! I will definitely be looking out for this in the future (while trying not to slip over in the mud!).
So after this short research break, I note that today we had 13 PBs which was quite an achievement considering the difficult, muddy conditions! There were no tourists for a change, so just hardcore Roundshaw regulars! Also, well done to Ian for his 100th parkrun at Roundshaw!
That about wraps it up for this week!
Roundshaw Downs parkrun
Event number 462
3rd February 2018
This week 128 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 6 were first timers and 13 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 18 volunteers:
Richard N CARTER • Tony GALLAGHER • Peter WALSH • Alex PARRIS • Annette HELLIWELL • Michael John Richard HIGGINS • Linda INGRAM • Matthew CAMPION • Cheryl CAMPION • Caroline SAUNDERS • Toby SHEARLOCK • Mariel BASTELLO-KENNEDY • Florence TINDLEY • Jenny MAC DONNELL • Lindsey TANNER • Nicholas TANNER • Ryan SAUNDERS • Daniel SAUNDERS
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Roundshaw Downs parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Kevin QUINN who recorded a time of 15:41 on 13th August 2011 (event number 110).
The female record is held by Clare ELMS who recorded a time of 18:28 on 18th April 2015 (event number 310).
The Age Grade course record is held by Zechariah JOHNSON who recorded 94.07% (21:05) on 7th October 2017 (event number 443).
Roundshaw Downs parkrun started on 18th July 2009. Since then 5,057 participants have completed 44,824 parkruns covering a total distance of 224,120 km, including 6,832 new Personal Bests.