Now, am I the only one, or do some of you also have personal battle every Saturday prior to parkrun? Mine begin at 06:45 when I crumble out of bed and I battle to get my legs to walk, let alone run. Yet by 07:40 after Shreddies, a 'slow energy release' banana and a large glass of squash for breakfast, I start my 20 mins of stretches. Eventually after several visits to the loo (too much information?) the previously wobbly pins, now sporting new birthday running shoes, somehow manage to push the pedals round and convey me the 3.5 miles to Upton House.
On arrival, a ritual warm-up jog around the car park, desperately trying to keep conversations short, without being rude, so as to get 'in the zone'. Once all that palaver is out of the way and I've witnessed the pre-run brief, I feel apprehensively ready!
So, off to the bustling start area with the temperature in the mid-twenties, I position myself near the back, in line with my expected sub-33 finishing time. Once underway the nervous apprehension subsides, and I get into my shuffling stride whilst passing the enthusiastic Start volunteers shouting words of encouragement, "Good luck!", "Enjoy your run", etc., and I think, 'Enjoy?' - more like 'Endure' in this summer's heat wave! The gazelles at the front are well out of sight before the first turn at the bottom of the hill where marshals there, and again at turn 2, cheer the runners on. People are exchanging pleasantries all around as I battle to get the breathing right, (never really managing it until 4.9K) I wave to Stephanie's camera before completing Loop 1, knowing that the finish line is only a right turn away, I struggle to keep moving forward to the start of Loop 2 with its 'north face of the Eiger' exit hill. Here, as I descend, the previously mentioned gazelles do their mountain goat impressions and make light work of their ascents. Some minutes later I too manage to scale the dreaded incline without stopping and will the legs to keep moving as I commence the last mile loop, wondering when that 'slow energy release' banana is going to kick in. Seeing a nemesis or two ahead, and although knowing, 'It's not a race, it's a run', be honest, I can't be the only one who searches for that 'last push' to overtake a fellow parkrunner who battles with you each week. The finish funnel can't come quickly enough with the pins on their last legs (see what I did there?) and with a polite, breathless, 'Thanks' to the barcode volunteers I'm off searching for some shade and refreshment! 33.13 - okay, that'll do in the heat.
Enough of me though, here are some notable occurrences of Event 56: -
- 'Bride to be', Jenni Ayres, complete with veil, mum Valerie, and other ladies doing their hen run.
- The first lady home was Jenny Walker-Leach, who did wonders in the heat and just missed a PB by 5 seconds!
- Derek Lea, a Poole parkrun stalwart, chose Upton House to mark his 250th run.
Among the numerous PBs..
- Darryl Corbin-Jones and Keith Tucker finally managed to crack the 20 and 23-minute barriers respectively.
- Cody May, a junior parkrunner, clipped 30 seconds off his PB to go sub-27.
- Karen O'Shea had a great run, and did her first sub-31.
Plus, a huge thank you to The Tea Rooms, who joined in the parkrun community spirit and supplied water post-run - many thanks!
Finally, leaving the best to last, thanks to all the friendly, encouraging volunteers/marshals. Where would we be without them? Half way around Holes Bay no doubt! If you haven't stepped forward yet to don the Hi-viz, please do so. Remember when you first registered and read the parkrun Ts & Cs, they recommend each of us volunteer at least 3 times per year? Well, some very regular runners are still 'volunteer virgins', so come, have a go and give something back, eh?
Now for those all-important run stats...
This week 229 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 36 were first timers and 37 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:
Hugh GURNEY • Michele WHITEHURST • Kate RABJOHNS • Keith MANN • Denise DAY • Jenny WALKER-LEACH • Jenny CAMPBELL TRAYFORD • Kevin DAY • Elliot CLARKE • Hannah Ruth WILSON • Christopher MILLER • Jack LEACH • Morag DAY • Andrew LEACH • Elaine ROBSON • Helen RICHARDS • Michael WESTON • Gilly ROBSON • David RUSTELL • Aileen BARROW • Hilary LOVELESS • Tracy GREENHILL • Mark GALPIN • Neil O'SHEA • Grace MORRISON • Stephanie GALPIN
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Upton House parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Jacek CIELUSZECKI who recorded a time of 16:19 on 25th November 2017 (event number 25).
The female record is held by Serena O'CONNOR who recorded a time of 19:16 on 16th June 2018 (event number 53).
The Age Grade course record is held by Caroline HORDER who recorded 92.14% (22:41) on 13th January 2018 (event number 32).
Upton House parkrun started on 3rd June 2017. Since then 3,769 participants have completed 13,327 parkruns covering a total distance of 66,635 km, including 2,881 new Personal Bests.