Wherever I Lay My Rain Hat – Coldham’s Common Event 35, 8 June 2019

I’m the kind of guy who is always on the road. And the A14 took me to Coldham’s Common on the eastern edge of Cambridge. The 35th parkrun was well attended, despite the wet and windy conditions; 281 people ran, jogged, and walked the hallowed 3.1 miles. It was an excellent field of runners, expertly led by an array of pacers. Consequently, 70 personal bests were achieved; congratulations to all. The Poet’s Pacer Award goes to the 31 minute pacer, Chris Poultney (30:59), for being nearest to the allotted time. This week, 149 athletes beat the poet (pos. 150, 26:44), who raged against the dying of the light in the last mile!

 

I love the freedom to explore that running brings, and with it find inspiration for poetry. To link creativity and running, I tour around different parkrun venues (as the unofficial parkrun poet!) each Saturday, writing a short poem or two. I'm currently trying to run every parkrun course in East Anglia (Cambs, Norfolk and Suffolk); a feat I'm calling East Ran-glia (35 events)! I'm only 16 parkruns to the good, but well on the way to completing Tour-folk (9/16 events), Suff-ok (5/10), but some way from tucking into the Camb-which (2/9)!

 

For the artistic portion of the run report, we’re turning Japanese! The pioneering haiku poet of Edo Japan, Matsuo Basho, was a restless soul who travelled 1500 miles (2400 km) in 156 days, mostly on foot; the ultimate parkrun tourist! My visit to Coldham’s Common was my 30th different parkrun event, mainly due to a continuous tourist streak of 27 events. Anyone who runs at over 20 different venues achieves entry to the UK Most Events List on the parkrun website and becomes an official tourist. I’ve driven 1913 miles (3079 km) from my home parkrun in Gorleston so far, my aim is to reach 50 different events in the next year.

 

I love the distinctive nature of each parkrun venue and the individual moments which can be captured in a short, haiku poem:

 

down

the rabbit hole

rain

 

It struck me that Coldham’s Common is the perfect setting for a community event like parkrun. I dedicate this haiku to all who run around the meadows each week:

 

common land

many runners

one goal

 

The event was well supported by 40 amazing volunteers. Lastly, I must thank Suzy Ashworth, the Volunteer Co-ordinator, for inviting me to write this run report.

 

Volunteers

Suzy ASHWORTH, Robert BARBER, Paul BEASTALL, Robert BEETON, Lucy BRADY, Hermione CREASE, Rachel DALTON, Lucy DELAP, Claire DEMBRY, Matthew DUNLOP, Andrew DUNLOP, Sam ELLIS, Rachel EVANS, Sean FAGAN, Lloyd FLEMING, Matt FREESTONE, Tim GARDINER, Asier GONCALVES VELASCO, Katherine Jane HODSON, Tracy HUTCHISON, Samuel D JOHNSON, Helen D JOHNSON, Amelie KIRCHGAESSNER, Claire LOVELL, Rebecca MARTIN, Dominick MCINTYRE, Brian O'CONNOR, Meenakshi PARAMESHWARAN, Chris POULTNEY, Louise RAYNER, Tina RICHES, Andrew RICHES, Alice RUFFLE, Colin SELTZER, Holly SMALLWOOD, Mark SMALLWOOD, Jenny STOCKER, Callie VANDEWIELE, Joserra VELASCO, Marcel WEISS

Tim Gardiner

aka the parkrun poet (twitter: @timgardiner3)