Conkers parkrun Run Report No. 346 - Hune 8, 2019
Saturday morning and a lie in bed? .... No chance, where’s my barcode, let’s go!
Exuberant Marshals guiding the way to the car park spaces, hands waving frantically towards the spot. People gathering, looks of dread on new runners faces as they receive their running brief, listening intently as they hear about the start, disused railway track, out and back, mind out for those tree roots, the finish funnel, tokens and scanning barcodes.
Experienced runners warming up, talk of times, PB’s or just managing to get round. Old friends saying hello, how was your week? Did you run here? Staying for coffee afterwards?
Silence for the Run Director ......... “Welcome to Conkers parkrun number ... #436”, milestone mentions 50, 100 and 250 perhaps. Dogs and under 11’s on a short leash! Cue the giggles. Off to the start to find a place, marshals holding boards with timings to help, do not go too far forward, do not stand too far back! This spot is just right. Recognising friendly faces, new ones and tourists with their cow cowls proudly round their necks. Where are you from? Oh, that is a long way. How many have you done? Late arrivers scrambling along the bank. A few last checks, laces tied tight, watch set... ready. Cosy here, quite a jam. Marshals gather, dogs bark and whine in anticipation.... Laurence looks towards the tunnel, all clear then 3, 2, 1... GO!!!
Off we trot, stop and start, traffic jam, under the tunnel, and then blimey this hill seems steep, “thank you Marshal”. Ah that’s better, a nice flat bit, people chatting as they run, how do they do that? “Stay on the right”, Stephen’s Gate and a lovely downhill, “morning Cheeky Monkey and thank you marshal”. Yes, I am awesome! Ouch... Cheeky Hill! So glad that is over. Canal turn and another marshal to thank, the furthest and coldest point from the start. I really am overtaking everyone on the sofa.
Homeward bound now, back past Stephen’s gate, stay on the right, encouragement from walkers, runners and marshals... how much longer to go? Nearly there apparently. Oh gosh, overtaken by a buggy! Can I catch that person in front? That lovely run down to the finish, “well done” from early finishers and marshals, then across the line, stop the watch and let the sense of achievement wash over, still the well done’s keep raining down. Keep moving in the funnel, stay in order and finish token, where did I come? Definitely deserve a ring of that bell! Friendly faces, gathering breath, how did they do? “Really chuffed”, “I got a PB”, “never stopped running”, “there's always next week”.
And that’s it, run, jog or walk it doesn't matter, the achievement is the doing.
Walk down and past the finish to cheer more people, how do they sprint so fast and where did that come from? Wide eyes, grimaces and broad grins charging to the line.
Off to scanning... now where is my barcode? Here it is. Barcode first, then the finish token “Thank you” one last time...... maybe it’s my turn to volunteer next week.
Drink in the cafe, relaxed; catch up with fellow runners and parkrun friends. Run Director in the corner, with laptop, processing the results.
With parkrun done, it is time for home, a shower, and a sense of achievement that will last all day. Now where’s the parkrun results email?
What makes a parkrun? .......The answer’s simple, it is the people! The walkers, joggers, runners and the volunteers with their friendly encouragement. From first timers to milestone makers they all create this special event not just at Conkers, but all over the world.
349 brave souls made it through the unseasonal June weather to complete the 436th running of parkrun at Conkers. Whilst this was significantly down on recent numbers, for those who did attend their spirits were not dampened by the rain. On the contrary, the puddles on the course seemed to bring out the child in quite a few people, who are probably old enough to know better, as they jumped in every puddle they could find along the way.
On days like today it is worth giving a special mention to the marshals who were out in the weather for longer than all the runners, but this did not stop them providing brilliant support throughout. Without our fantastic volunteers, listed here, we wouldn’t be able to run this special event.
Nikki Aka Tigger REEVES • Avril MOONEY • Laura GRAVES • Chris OSBORNE • Laurence KINGSCOTT • Ann Marie JOYCE • Peter JOYCE • Karl WIDEMAN • Andrew ORME • Jennifer CROSS • Romain CHAMBARD • Lyndsey HILL • Samuel HILL • Kevin BORLEY • Tony STONE • Robin THORNE • Will LEWIS • Iris STURDY • Alice MCDERMOTT • Michael DOUGLAS • Sally DOUGLAS • Simon RUTLEDGE • Samantha PHIPPS • Harry PHIPPS • Jessica MORCOM • James STEPHENSON • Mic STEPHENSON • Barbara CULVER • Katie DENNIS • Elliot WOOLLEY • Alice LEGATE • Joanne CRICHTON • Maddie HALL • Naomi EARL • Melanie BLYTHE • Samantha SMITH
Thanks so much guys, you are our Hi-Viz heroes!
No course records today, not surprising really given the conditions, but still some great efforts with 41 PB’s. Interestingly the first two places were occupied by individuals who did not have a barcode, so unfortunately we can’t name them... they know who they are, so well done. The first named male runner was Rob Eaton with a time of 18.36 and our first named female runner home was Christina Hawtin in 21.20, both very impressive performances.
Another athletic performance worth a special mention is that of Sally Jeyes, who achieved the top age grading score of 83.71%. This is amazing and so inspirational.
There were some significant milestones today Simon Rutledge 50, Joanna Lucas 100 and Kevin Clarke managed to reach 250. Kevin celebrated this by dressing up like Austin Powers and was supported by South Derbyshire runners who looked like they had escaped from a Mary Quant boutique. Well done to all.
Kev was so excited at the prospect of his 250th parkrun that he and Helen went out the night before in the same clothes that they were going to run in this weekend.
ps. Kev is the one on the right.
So on to next week, let’s hope our shoes are dry by then and the weather is a little kinder.