By the rivers of Babylon- Event 411 – 8th Feb 2020

Despite Thames Water setting up a substantial encampment at the start area, the course retains it's own waterjump to keep runners on their toes. Thankfully, the temperature was mild so no skating was required this week, and 330 runners completed the course.
We welcomed visitors from various other parkruns including Fantastic Mr Fox on Tour from Maldon. We are expecting a whale and a dolphin next week.
Congratulations to everyone for your stoicism and good humour in dealing with the current environmental problems on the course.
Unfortunately, on behalf of the management we need to raise 3 issues of concern:-
1. For 2 weeks running we have received complaints that slower less experienced runners have been pushed when being lapped by faster runners. We appreciate the difficulties with the top path being constricted by mud and water. However, we need to remind all runners of the following:-
Parkrun is a run not a race
It is a community event and not a running club.
It is totally unacceptable for anyone to be pushed/barged/moved aside by another runner. Where this happens by accident, the onus is on the pusher to stop and check the pushee is OK.
Please be considerate to other runners and park users. There is more to parkrun than a PB.
2. As mentioned at the briefing, a volunteer had their bike stolen from under our noses last week. We therefore need to remind people that items left at the start are left at your own risk. If you come by bike (which is encouraged), please lock up your bike to a tree, where it will not be in the way of runners. If you leave a bag at the start, please take any valuables out and take them with you on the run. If you park your car in the vicinity, do not leave any valuables in it.
3. In spite of us mentioning this every week, our position tokens are constantly depleted by people taking them away. A set of tokens costs over £100 to replace; please stop it.

On a more positive note, we are are building up a fantastic group of regular volunteers, who are confident in doing a range of tasks. So today we are celebrating them. Thanks to Sarah and Andres on timers, Rupert, Wendy and Pippa on tokens, Shay managing the funnel, Ruth doing the Beginners briefing, Vix, Roger, Ceri, Sophie, Jenny, Susan and Stephen marshalling, Jess, Sonia and Tom scanning, Anne and Rodger token-sorting, Stephanie tail-walking and Shane helping pack the trolley. We are always delighted to welcome new volunteers.
Many thanks
Jan