Well, the rain sounded pretty insistent when we woke up on Saturday. Poundy kinds of heavy rain drops not exactly helping us out of bed. But the thing to do is always get up and come to parkrun, right? You'll always end up pleased you did. I think the rain took a few prisoners this time, though - it was small this week for Cambridge: only 220 runners. That's still a lot of hardy runners plus volunteers, of course, but it was the smallest Cambridge parkrun since a couple of dates in 2014, and canny folk had worked out on the start line that there were opportunities for great finishing positions. Plus it was leapyearday, the first time we've been smaller than Coldham's Common, and it was FUN.
Congrats to the first timers. Especially to the lady who told me she was not a runner. Not-a-runners are always welcome! Please come, enjoy, go at your own pace, walk as much as you want to - there's no pressure on a Saturday morning. This week the puddles were extra special big puddles - easily the best puddles this year with squishy mud to play with in between to boot. Nothing builds community like a good puddle day, and certainly where I was running, things were not too serious, with exclamations and laughter as people variously found the deepest, widest, and muddiest puddles and had a few things to say about them! The marshals were great too - having tramped their way to the relevant spot (there was no way to keep clean), they were full of good humour as they encouraged us on our way. THANK YOU to all the hi-vis heros who made this week's run happen.
Some discussion of what to wear happened. Half way around the first lap someone said they were wearing waterproof socks. What?! It's a mountain thing, apparently. I think most of us just had wet feet. I went for leggings on the basis that afterwards I could peel them off and all the mud with them and be comfortable in dry clothes in the cafe after. First finisher Chris Darling was right, though, that on a running only basis, shorts were probably the better option for those who normally run in shorts, especially as it was not too windy, not too cold and barely raining when it came to it. Aye - the conditions were pretty good really!
Run done, there was also much amusement beyond the finish funnel with people comparing notes and muddy legs. Parents were photographing their children and comparing of how high the mud went (higher, proportionally, if you're little!). Congratulations to Joanna Harrall for being fastest lady through the puddles, and to regular first finisher Chris Darling, who was first overall and got the highest age grading this week, but most importantly, did a safe run. Special mention for Lloyd Fleming who ran his 250th parkrun, Peter Hibbert who ran his 100th parkrun and Joanna, Kate, Eilidh, Rose, Neil, James, Ed and Kate who all completed their first ever parkrun. And, of course, kudos to everyone who splashed out a well-deserved highest ever finish position. Good work!
Tourists this week included a group from Gunpowder / Harlow including Emma RIVERS, Richard FOX, Jane MANN and Catherine PENKETH. As well as running (quite a lot!), Catherine and Jane are experienced Run Directors, while Emma is a prolific tail walker. We hope you enjoyed Cambridge. We also welcomed runners from Haverhill and Clare Castle, both of which were cancelled for waterlogged courses - special congratulations to Samuel BYROM for running his 10th parkrun (and good luck with keeping your new white T shirt white!). Heidi DERKS and Joost VAN KEMPEN joined us from Finsbury Park, Jacques POLTRONIERI from South Shields, and third lady Jessica SHADBOLT from Roundshaw Downs in Croydon, with apologies to those I've missed.
So that's it - leapyearday parkrun and the opportunity to do five parkruns in February done. Apparently the next 29 Feb parkrun will be in 2048, but don't wait 'till then, come along to the next one this Sat! Some of you may be preparing for the Cambridge Half Marathon on Sunday - if you're running the half and want to rest your legs while topping up on feel-good stocks, why not go for one of the remaining volunteer spots at parkrun the day before? See the future roster and send an email to the address on it to sign up and join the hi-vis heroes https://www.parkrun.org.uk/cambridge/futureroster/
Thanks for reading. See you next time!