40 is a difficult age. One with so many questions about which direction to go and whether you are happy with how things are. Event #40 certainly had midlife crisis potential!
We saw a change to the route, which will continue for the foreseeable future. This includes a new starting point for those who forgot to put on their listening ears at the briefing (Liam MUNT!!!). The change takes our parkrunners away from "steep hill" and the first fishing lake, although it does make for a challenging run along the camber of the mown Skylark path. While it would appear it was time well spent last night writing "Westmill parkrun" on 50 new markers, I am very grateful to Jonny NICHOLLS, Adam GUEST (aka Princess Ferret), Anne RAMSDEN and Liz COATES for coming along extra early to help mark up the course and guiding you on the new path.
The new course worked well for Robert O'HARA, Jon DAVISON and Elvaaron TYLER who all chalked up new PBs in the wet and boggy conditions. General feedback on the changes was positive and it seems that no one fell on their bum. This was a bit of a miracle for first finisher Tim SEARLE given he included a bit of gymnastics last time he ran the course. Maybe it's because we've cut out the flat bit where he fell over...
Tim was followed in by Jonathan and Jonny battling hard along the final stretch, with Jonathan TIFFEN taking the honours. Jonny NICHOLS was probably weighed down by his 'big coat', something I have never previously known a northerner to own. Then Jonny does have a habit of losing his clothes, and last week I acquired a lovely new running jacket to cycle home in.
Our first lady was sadly an UNKNOWN due to an unfortunate case of DFYBitus.. Sorry, I know it's disappointing, and we do not want to spoil anyone's fun, but the instruction to the core teams from head office is clear. This week I must have spent about eight hours on Westmill parkrun business and at larger parkruns, it can add a lot of time to results processing.
So our official first lady was Helen CARTLIDGE who was visiting us for the first time, from St Albans Striders. Striders had opted for a bit of Hertfordshire club tourism today, as did Dacorum & Tring AC, along with representatives from Castle Park, South Oxhey and Stevenage parkruns. There may have been a few others, but my notes were a bit soggy. Julia BOOKER was second lady, assisting Bear to another barkrun victory. Helen's Striders club mate Kate BURN was third lady.
Once our 66 parkrunners navigated the new course and found our mini barcode scanners Finley SEARLE and Acer THRELFALL in the long grass, the final uphill drag was made a 'sweeter' sight by Clare GALLAGHER's cake stall. You generous lot raised a fabulous £71 in aid of the charity MIND. Thank you. Further details of John and Clare's challenge are here.
So while turning 40 might have brought it's challenges, it all worked out well in the end and I personally really enjoyed the atmosphere today, and being your RD. I hope you did too. Now, if I could just sort out this weather!!
Did you know, Westmillers have covered 13,030km since 22 July 2017. It's the equivalent of walking to Lake Baikal and back... And that's what you get for having an indagatrix as a Run Director.
The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:
Anne RAMSDEN • Jonny NICHOLLS • Tim SEARLE • Mike STOCK • Sharon THRELFALL • Clare GALLAGHER • Asta NEELY • Isla THRELFALL • Peter KEATS • Aycan AKYUZ • Charles BELL • Jake THRELFALL • Acer THRELFALL • Dixon NEELY • Xander NEELY • Martin WELLS • Maureen HURT • Esmé NEELY • Finlay SEARLE • Stephen JOHNSON • Adam GUEST • Darren NEELY • Liz COATES • William HOARE • Jonathan HANCOX
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Westmill parkrun Results Page.