Event #3 – 12th January 2019 – What a breakfast!
For my family, today was a massive treat for many reasons.
The first reason was that for the first time for ages we could leave the house after 7:30 and have less than a 45minute drive to a parkrun. A massive parkrunday lie in! For many the idea of travelling 45minutes to run 5km may seem strange especially when you could run to your nearest parkrun in the same time! But over the last three years my wife has indulged my parkrun tourism and has herself clocked up over 50 different venues. This does mean that parkruns that I haven't visited (yet) around my home run of Coventry are increasingly becoming more distant. So when Churchfields Farm parkrun started at the end of 2018 and was to be the location of a Birmingham League Cross Country venue it was a double bonus – less travel and less Sounds of the Sixties!
Arriving at the car park, I had no worries about struggling to find the start as the parkrun start popup was placed right by a giant tractor tyre. As RD and carpark marshals directed the steady flow of cars I had time to wander over to the coffee hut and capture a picture of many of the marshals before they spread themselves around the course. I then went to check the café served a full English breakfast – I am not sure that this should be so high up on my list of parkrun priorities but it definitely helps motivate my son on his run and anyone with a 13 year old Fortnite addict will be grateful of anything that makes them willingly leave their Playstation.
It seemed that a lot of tourists also came to visit as there were 91 first timers as well as another 13 brand new barcode users. So a huge WELCOME to: - Edwin MOORE, Adam BOURNE, Eamon THOMPSON, Ashley MOORE, Jamie WING, Martha STEAD, Joe BROOKS, Josh WING, Mitchell ROUSE, Jamie CORNISH, William STEAD, Matilda STEAD & Richard STEAD. I hope you enjoyed Churchfields Farm parkrun as much as I did.
After listening carefully at the run briefing – Keep the hedge on the left and only go through gates with marshals, don't climb gates and beware of the badger set, I was ready for whatever Churchfields Farm parkrun could throw at me.
The flat tarmac start lulled me into a false sense of what was to come, soon we turned into the first field and made a lap around the wooden marker posts which cleverly spread the runners out before the steep downhill section.
I love trail runs. I love muddy sections where I get to enjoy running in my trail shoes. I wish I had come to Churchfields Farm after a week of rain as I bet it would be even better. Turning into the woods a team of mini marshal's cheered on all the runners armed with a large cowbell – their sensible mum was a little further on! Watching carefully but avoiding the cheery clanging of bells.
At the new runners briefing we were promised 6 uphill sections. Will KERTON did not lie! After storming up the first HILL I was feeling good, and even managed to thank a marshal after the downhill recovery. By the third hill I was less able to communicate. Which is one of reasons that on my travels I offer to write the report so I can offer thanks to all the#HiVizHeroes that make these events possible. So a huge thank you to:- James BRASS, Poppy BROOKS, Connie BROOKS, Lucy BROOKS, Abbie CHAMBERS, Sadie CLARK, Nick CLARK, Amanda COOPER, Richard CUNDY, Emily ELSDON, Jonathan HARRIS, Dawn HILL, Louisa KERTON, Jennifer KERTON, Edward KERTON, Gillian KERTON, Will KERTON, Kevin LAMBE, Kevin LEWIS, Lydia MCEVOY, Scott NEWELL, Luke NEWELL, Mia PHILLIPS, Rhian PROTHEROE, Rachel REAN, Peter REAN, Jacob ROSSER, Amelia ROSSER, Andy ROSSER, Jack SHERRY, Stephen SHERRY, Hayley SHERRY, Sally THOMPSON, Phillip WHELAN, Ben WOOD; today's team who made this event possible for all us 160 runners. As with parkruns around the world if you fancy giving scanning a go, fancy being the time keeper, marshalling and encouraging others or are happy to help out in any role please look on the roster and e-mail - email@example.com
My Garmin trace around the fields of Churchfield Farm looks totally confusing. If you could run it on your own I am sure you would get lost. However, the course was excellently marked and marshalled all the way around, with cheerful encouragement as well; you were well looked after.
As I probably was walking up the fourth hill – I needed a slight speed reset... Robert MOLE (VM45-59) from Bromsgrove & Redditch AC was charging up the last slope to take the first finish token in 20:01. Cobra RC's Joan CLARKE (VW60-64) took the honour of first lady in a time of 27:02. Great running!
Heading down the hill I could see the finish... at the top of the hill in front of me! I glanced at my watch... 'Oh dear!' It looked like the course would be a little short. Luckily the clever Core team had obviously realised this and added a whole other field and additional uphill – wow!
At the bottom of the final slope I was given the encourging shout of, "Keep going! Only 150m to go!"
Churchfield Farm you beat me... But Ellie CLARK, Bryn LAMBE, Steven PEACE, Harry CHEVASSUT & Peter LYMER weren't beaten as this week they set new PBs. Respect!
While I like to write the weekly report, my wife and daughter love token sorting. So as I watched and cheered other runners in they chatted away to a local as they reordered the tokens ready for next week.
There are many milestones that parkrunners achieve. Some recognised by t-shirts like Paul PUGH who ran his 50th parkrun and so soon will be the proud owner of a red 50 t-shirt. Unofficial like Jim WHITESIDE who ran his 150th parkrun – no T-shirt but that is at least 3 years of parkrun. Also a mix of official and unofficial... As Ewan O'DONNELL, will now find his name on the parkrun UK most events list having run his 20th different parkrun event and was given by his dad a Cow Cowl that identifies parkrun tourists.
Over the last few years of very dedicated (possibly rather extreme) parkrun tourism the post run café visit is a must for our family. After the treat of a fabulous off road farmrun (a parkrun on a farm!) my family had the delightful treat of an amazing café.
I was going for a full English but the Eggs Florentine is even better, especially when followed by a two scoop ice cream. If only this parkrun was just a little bit closer I might even break my run of constant touring so that over the weeks I could try all the flavours. I am not sure many if any could be much nicer than the Brandy Snap and Clotted cream and Double White Chocolate but I would be willing to try them all just to find out.
As parkrunners drifted off home, I sipped my tea and prepared for the Birmingham League Cross Country race.
My family and I really enjoyed our visit to your lovely parkrun. Happy parkrunning.