#28, 14th March 2020 – Mud Glorious Mud

Alderford Lake parkrun #28, 14th March 2020, Run Report by Frankie Wellings

Mud, Glorious Mud

After all the week ends of rain and wind we’ve had recently, it was nice to have dry weather this morning and see the sun peeking through the clouds a little bit.


I am a tourist from Basingstoke in Hampshire, so how did I get to write the run report? I am visiting my in-laws who live in Shrewsbury as I am running the Shrewsbury 10k tomorrow. As I have done Shrewsbury, Henley Wood Oswestry and Telford parkruns, I wanted to run a different one today so Alderford Lake was the obvious one to do. As you do, my husband and I were having coffee after parkrun and we got chatting to some other tourists from Bromley, Kent - more on them later. As we were just about to leave, someone (sorry, I didn’t think to ask your name!) came over to us and said “sorry for interrupting but would any of you like to write the run report?” I offered and that’s why I am now sat here at my father-in-law’s laptop on Saturday afternoon writing this! Funnily enough, I have also written the reports for Shrewsbury and Oswestry in the past. I think it is great to write about the run from a tourist’s point of view and compare it to your home run. I am on the Core Team of Basingstoke and am often Run Director too so it’s great to see how other events are run.


Whenever I visit a new parkrun, I study the course, number of participants, fastest and slowest times, parking, toilets, café and how to get there. So I knew it would take me about half an hour to get there this morning and I knew I’d need trail shoes! Parking was super easy compared to Basingstoke. At my home run, if you’re not there by about 8:10am, you won’t get a parking spot. As soon as we parked, we started chatting to another participant doing his second Alderford Lake parkrun. His advice to us was…….expect some mud. Chatting to others is no different to other parkruns I’ve been to – everyone is friendly and we all have that one thing in common so it’s easy to get chatting.

There were 68 of us running, jogging, walking and slip sliding around the course. This included 12 visiting Alderford for the first time today. At Basingstoke, we regularly have 500-600 participants which means you can get hemmed in which slows you down. That’s my excuse anyway and I’m sticking to it! So what slowed me down today? Oh yes, it was the sticky mud. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it – no pun intended! At the First Timer’s Briefing, Natalie explained it was muddy and there were one or two slight inclines. I would describe the course as varied, interesting, scenic and with a little rally track part way round. I expect you know the part I mean, the very uppy downy bit that you could quite easily mistake for a roller coaster track! We were advised to tie our shoes on tightly and when we got to the boggy bit on the far side, I realised why. No point trying to run around it, best thing was to squish squelch through it and judging by all the mud splattered legs at the end, that’s exactly what everyone did.

Mud washes off so just go for and have fun getting splattered!
Leading the men home was Paul Parkinson (20:17), followed by Matthew Dowsett (22:17) and Adam Clay (22:35). First lady home was Karen Asquith (26:55), followed by Gemma Park (28:01) and Amy Biggar (28:18). Amy bagged herself a shiny new PB along with 15 other people. Congratulations to you all, PBs are impressive at any time and even more so on a muddy course. I’ve only seen it at a few parkruns but I love the bell at the end that those who have worked really hard get to ring to let the rest of us know they’ve got a PB. It’s been a good few years since I’ve been able to ring the bell but I’m working on it!

So, back to that coffee I was having after completing the 5k. Walking into the café past the roaring fire my first thought was “what a lovely place”. My second thought was “ooooh which cake shall I have?!” It was then that my husband and I got chatting to the tourists from Bromley. Looking through the results, I now know we were speaking to Elizabeth and Geoff Manley. They said they were going to look out for the run report so hello Elizabeth and Geoff, we really enjoyed chatting to you! Although I have been parkrunning since 2012, I have only recently started actively touring. I have done 216 runs and today was my 17th different location. Elizabeth and Geoff have done 222 and 220 runs respectively. That’s not so different to me but what is different is they have done 102 and 104 different parkruns respectively. That is VERY impressive and you can definitely call yourselves tourists. It turns out we have done 9 of the same parkruns but I have a very long way to go to catch you up!

The Token Sorter was sorting the tokens in the café and with only 68 runners today, they were back in order and ready for next week in about 10 minutes. That’s another difference to my home run - I sorted the tokens for Basingstoke last week and we had almost 600 runners so it took considerably longer!

As we all know, parkrun simply cannot happen without volunteers so I would like to finish this report with a huge thank you to all the high-viz heroes. The marshals were very encouraging today and I always try to shout a cheery thank you as I go by but by the 2nd lap I had resorted to a hand wave as I focused my energy on getting my feet through the mud.

A special mention to Katie Prince and Janice Owen who both completed their 25th volunteering occasion today and Duncan Meredith who ran his 51st parkrun, not realising that he did his 50th last week.

Just 7 sleeps until our next parkrun fix – unless of course Coronavirus puts a stop to it. Keep healthy everyone and happy running.

This week 68 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 12 were first timers and 16 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 8 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 20 volunteers:

Fiona LEATHAM • Laura TURNER • Jonathan MORGAN • Willow LEWIS • Mimi OWEN • Joe TURNER • Lisa DALE • Sheridan LANE • Katie PRINCE • Lindsey JONES • Janice OWEN • Peter HOLMES • Nicola ROGERS • Natalie STEVENSON • Denise LONG • Stuart LONG • Tullis MATSON • Luke MEREDITH • Jo FORD • Alfie FORD

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Alderford Lake parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Donna SHERWIN who recorded a time of 20:09 on 7th December 2019 (event number 14).
The male record is held by Matt HALL who recorded a time of 16:39 on 28th December 2019 (event number 18).
The Age Grade course record is held by Rosemary SYMMS who recorded 80.61% (25:32) on 30th November 2019 (event number 13).

Alderford Lake parkrun started on 31st August 2019. Since then 1,874 participants have completed 4,359 parkruns covering a total distance of 21,795 km, including 782 new Personal Bests. A total of 150 individuals have volunteered 617 times.