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.