Just a quick note: due to the unusually large numbers today, we had a teeny bit of chaos and kerfuffle at the finish - sorry if you were caught up up in it. We think we have sorted out the results and your times are right, but if they aren't please let us know at email@example.com.
By Tim Gray
Some time ago my friend Alison and I decide to go ‘on tour’ on March 3rd – we even settled on a few possible venues, with Wanstead Flats at the top of the list. Then came Snowmageddon – could we still travel ? We knew our home run (Roundshaw Downs in Sutton/Croydon) would likely be on, bit of a gamble then. After much debate – we went for it, and made it to your lovely run, proper pleased with ourselves we were – hardcore tourists obviously.
Then we found out our friend Nicola Tarrant had made it from London to the outskirts of Manchester – pride cometh before a fall!
Before the run we were asked if there were any brand new first timers, and gamely there were a couple, so well done to Jimmy Dale and Katharine Voss. Then they asked for visitors – it felt like nearly everyone put their hand up (I think 70 or so), and indeed I had recognized a few – I’ll scatter some across the report. Some local like Ercole Lugari from Walthamstow these days (although also a Roundshaw runner at heart), or Neil Turney from Mile End parkrun and his friends (though I know Neil from our work – small world isn’t it?).
The cry then went up is anyone here from Wanstead Flats – about 20 hands went up, though the results suggest it was more like 150. Mike Bristow was on Marshal duty – the last time I saw him he was sailing past me at the Westminster Mile – the day after he had run a marathon. Thanks for the breakfast tip Mike, we liked the fry up at the Paradise café. Also I know Ken Agnew in his tail walking role was much appreciated – many thanks Ken.
Other volunteers to thank are;
Alan BRANCH • Catriona HOULT • Chris SCHOFIELD • Fiona DAY • Graham WHITE • Ken AGNEW • Mike BRISTOW • Morag CAMPBELL • Paul LEWIS • Richard LANGRON • Ron TROTMAN • Simon NICHOLSON • Tony LOBO
All the volunteers were on top form – very encouraging and helpful – I particularly liked the advice to try a sliding finish – no hang on a minute, the advice not to try a sliding finish on H&S grounds.
I was spotted by Chris Schofield (now Southwark parkrun) who I had first met at Tilgate (his then home run), then at Roundshaw. I spotted Chris Orange a dedicated tourist, who I first met in Poland, then later at Peckham Rye – there were a lot of dedicated tourists keep the cow cowl flying – including the Tarrant brothers Steve and Dave from my own club Chiltern Church Runners, who I had not known where coming. Andrew Chilcraft from Milton Keynes was another familiar face.
I also briefly chatted with a group from Chelmsford who had ventured out on tour, and who enjoyed a more intimate experience away from their rather busy home run. I’d love to list all the tourists, but there were simply to many of us – so apologies to those left out.
There were 19 250+ runners, 15 more than the week before, 21 more had over 200 runs, again 15 more than the week before – suggestive many of us have a bit of a parkrun addiction problem.
The tea/coffee & biscuits with the honesty box was a very nice touch – toilets were good as well, we only have bushes at Roundshaw!
The run itself was fab – the snow made the whole run seem very pretty, is it usually, if not please don’t tell me – and also nice to visit a parkrun that had once had it’s own air defences (which I believe happened to coincide with the Olympics). The snow was just nice to run on, and my trail shoes dug in well.
No milestone runs that I could see, but a 150 - Diane Archer from Finsbury park also a flake run – Oliver Homes of Wanstead Flats, and a Dalmatian run Mark Moir – Sunderland/Mile End.
PB’s in such conditions do deserve a mention so;
Thanks again folks – it was fab – and by the afternoon, like the parkrun as well, all signs of the snow were gone. Till next time.
On 13th January the BBC will be visiting Wanstead Flats parkrun to do some filming. They are interested in talking to a group of about 20 runners that are newer to exercise, on the 'larger side', are running primarily for health reasons, don't do any[or much] running other than parkrun. If you are interested please give your name this coming Saturday. You will need to stay about 30-40 minutes after the run.
Well done to all participants and volunteers this morning.
This week 201 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 9 were first timers and 43 recorded new Personal Bests.
If you took away finish tokens 4 or 69 please return them and nothing will be said.
Unfortunately we will need to alter the course from next week to prevent this continued loss. The finish is to be moved closer to the scanning desks. You will need to get scanned IMMEDIATELY on finishing else no result. Sorry. This is in line with many other events including Bushy Park.
On happier news congratulations to those that were in the London Marathon Ballot draw this morning.
Reserve - Anna Mutunga
Second reserve - Andrew Howard