Cheadle Hulme parkrun #119 9th December 2017

As we were setting up the course on Saturday, we were wondering how many hardy souls would scorn the weather forecast and join us in Bruntwood. The previous week we held the record for the fewest participants in the UK (14, narrowly beating Millom who had 19) – this week we achieved another (non-official) record in that, aided by the cancellations of several local parkruns, our attendance had the largest percentage swing - up a whopping 364% to 65. It really warmed our hearts on such a cold day. We also had some tourists from further afield: Pennington Flash, Conwy, Pontefract and Harrogate, to swell numbers.

First mention should go, of course, to our volunteers:

Adam Brown • Helen Brown • Stefano Bozzi • Richard Adams • Darren Nelson-Hall • Clare Taylor • Bethan Wise • John Dauber • Henry Pickard • Abbie Pickard • Chris Pickford • Philip Kehoe • Alyson Kay • Jason Lawler • Aran Punter • Sheila Levett

We all know that parkrun wouldn’t function without them, but it’s easy to start to take them for granted. One of the runners told me as he finished that the marshals deserved medals today “especially the one at the far end” – thanks John.

Thanks too to the extended family of Pickards (Henry, Abbie and Sheila) who all volunteered to cheer on their mum and dad (or daughter and son-in-law) Jennie and Simon. Jennie was running her 100th parkrun and to celebrate Abbie had made some delicious cakes – congratulations and thank you respectively.

It was also good to welcome our new Duke of Edinburgh volunteers Bethan and Aran. Over 12 weeks or so they will get to experience all the different volunteer roles and eventually graduate to Run Director.

The cold weather made the course a bit firmer in parts than what we’re used to, but it was still a challenge. Despite this, 4 people recorded PBs – well done to Barry Archbold, Glen Gandy, Robert Currie and Alex Horne.

Also, well done to our only under 10 running this week – Holly who ran the whole course with Adrian. What with the prospect of snow and a runner called Holly, Christmas can only be just around the corner…