Saturday 14th March saw run number 364 at Alice Holt where 303 people walked, jogged or ran. There were 9 people running their very first parkrun today: James FABIAN, Tim VOLOSSEVICH, Adam JOHNSON, Richard PARRATT, Emma VALLER, Daniel VALLER, Kim WINGHAM, Caspar HARRIS & Rachel SMITH and another 44 who were running at Alice Holt for the first time. That included us (Alice and Nathan) who had travelled 200 miles from Crewe so Alice could run her Alice parkrun. It was totally worth it! After the shoutout during the runners’ briefing, I (Alice) felt like a celebrity with everyone saying, “Hi Alice!” and coming for a chat - totally what parkrun is all about. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing everyone’s stories of how they ended up at Alice Holt on that morning. Can you believe it? Some had actually travelled further than us. There were visitors from Lyme Park (Stockport), Delamere (another Forestry Commission with a Gruffalo just up the road from us in Crewe!) Bushy, Basingstoke, Tring and Chichester. There were also many more who are lucky enough to call Alice Holt their local. We were given plenty of recommendations of other great runs to do around the area.
As soon as we arrived, we were made to feel so welcome; the community spirit at this run is second to none and we have to say it is one of the most well organised and friendliest events we’ve attended! This is one of our all-time-favourite runs even though Dragon Hill nearly saw me off. Nathan managed to power himself up it. The downhill sections running through the beautiful forest made up for the hill and I felt like just throwing my arms out and embracing it, the sun was even shining. After all, this might have been our last parkrun for a while, although we really hope not!
It was also a special day for Simon Millard who was celebrating his 50th birthday! He thanked Helen Walters as she first got him into parkruns and his friend Rachel who came along today for her very first parkrun. There were a few milestones being celebrated today. Congratulations to: Ellie BOUSFIELD on her 10th run as a junior, Gustav FICHARDT and Lindi CLAYTON who both joined the 50 club, Kevin WADE who ran his 150th parkrun and Carys DAVIES and Peter MALLETT who both ran their 200th parkrun! WOW. There were also 37 people who managed to secure a PB so well done to all of them.
In first place today was Chris BIRCH securing himself a PB too and completing in an impressive time of 18:14. The first female to cross the finish line was Lucy BOOTH (touring from Portsmouth Lakeside) finishing in 24:37. She also needs a special mention as she then kindly stepped in to do barcode scanning on her phone after finishing her run. Lucy was closely followed by Janet LEGGETT who secured the highest age grade this week of 77.62% and a PB of 24:39.
As always, parkruns could not go ahead without the incredible high-viz heroes who today were: Alice SMITH, Ben SHEPHERD, Ben SMITH, Chris BADHAM, Chris MANETTA, Craig TATE-GRIMES, Damian PROBETT, Dan DAVIES, Ewan MCLEOD, Geoff BROWN, Geraldine MCLEOD, Helen BRACEY, Justin CLARKE, Kathy BROWN, Kieron Jake CARPENTER, Libby MALLETT, Lucy BOOTH, Lucy TUITE, Mark BRAIN, Nathan KAPP, Patrick TUITE, Penny SCHNABEL, Philip MASTERS, Rachel ADAMS, Sam WICKHAM & Steven LUCKETT.
Once again, we had a fantastic time at Alice Holt. It’s a parkrun that we will never forget and if we’re ever back in the area, we will certainly return to run here again. Thank you!