by Grainne Hallahan
Saturday saw the 218th Parkrun at Weald Park in Brentwood- and it was a sunny one too. After a week of rain, the weather turned, and at 9 am briefing started with blue skies. 164 runners came out to complete the 5k course, returning to its original route after a brief intercession using the ‘Bluebell Big Dipper’ route.
For those that don’t know Weald Park, it is a 700 year old park and the parkrun is considered to be one of the toughest in the South East. The course is a single lap, ending with ‘Heartbreak Hill’ for your final kilometre. It’s a gorgeous run that passes the lake, through the woods, and occasionally you’ll spot a deer on your way around.
Stuart Gray was this week’s run director and gave a good briefing, welcoming parkrun tourists from South Australia, and Southend. And then we got started.
Despite the rain of the previous week, the course had dried out and it wasn’t too muddy underfoot. I was running with fellow Brentwood Running Club member Vicki who was helping me try and get my elusive sub 30 that I’d been hoping to get this year. This meant it was less a chatty run for me, and more deep breaths and the occasional groan, as I pushed myself up those hills following Vicki’s instructions to ‘now pump those arms’.
The weather started to change, and clouds began to gather- a few rain spots started, and then a downpour. Our lucky sun had gone, and the run finished in the pouring rain.
The hard work and Vicki’s patience paid off, and I got over the line at 28:48- absolutely elated and completely exhausted.
First man home was Andrew LUCK with a new PB of 18:37, taking a whole minute off his previous time. Rebecca LUCK was the first woman home with another new PB of 24:20, also taking a minute off from her previous PB. It was clearly the week for PBs with 30 runners going home with new personal bests. 24 runners came to Brentwood for the first time this week, and of those 14 were completing their first Parkrun ever- it was a great turnout with a lovely atmosphere, and great to see so many people coming together for a run on a Saturday morning.
The running clubs of Essex were well represented this week too, with runners from , , , Woodford Green AC, Basildon Athletics, , , Thurrock Harriers, Havering '90 Joggers and .
Tanya took some lovely photos and has made some videos that you can find on the Brentwood Parkrun Facebook page.
The whole event couldn’t be put on without its volunteers: Si ADAMS, John BARKER, Claire BURKE, Mark COOPER, Michelle COOPER, Gergana DANBY, Tom DAVIES, Stuart GRAY, Virginija JANAVICIUS, Tina LEUNG, Gerald MOUNTSTEVENS, Nicola REES, Scott REEVE, Tracey RUSZ, Dean SANDELLS, Thomas SMITH, Katy SODEAU, Elaine SWAILES, Tanya THERON, Natalie WIDDOWS. If you haven’t signed up to volunteer- then do!