Run Report for event #349 – For Kath.
By Dave Lingwood.
Over 150 parkrunners made it out of bed on a cold but beautiful sunny morning on Saturday at Cross Flatts to get their park run fix for the week.
Gathering at the start for the usual briefing, there was a slight breeze in the air. Certainly it felt like the calm before the storm, with Storm Ciara predicted to give Leeds and the UK a good battering tomorrow. As we lined up at the start, there was an opportunity for our Run Director to make us aware of some special milestones. Congratulations to Poppy Henson, one of our youngest parkrunners, who reached double figures. Well done on reaching 10 parkruns, and I’m sure it is just a matter of time before you reach 50! Speaking of 50, well done also to William WESTERMAN who was completing this milestone today, and lastly to Martin ODDY and Andrew KEELING who were each celebrating reaching a ton.
As we reflected on these achievements, our Run Director brought us all back down to earth with the news that regular Cross Flatts parkrunner and friend of many Kath CORAY very sadly passed away this week after a short battle with cancer. A former Run Leader with the South Leeds Lakers and an important figure in setting up Morley Running Club, Kath ran many parkruns at Cross Flatts with her partner Steve and will be deeply missed by all. It was a very moving moment as our Run Director reminded us that life is short and that we should make the most of each moment, and then initiated an impeccable minute-long round of applause for Kath. Our thoughts are with Steve, Kath’s sister Denise who was a spectator today, and their family and friends as they grieve for Kath. This report is in her honour today.
With the tribute completed, we were off and running down the superbly named Beeston Boulevard. Visiting from York as a tourist, I was intrigued to see how the course would unfold and in all honesty, a little unnerved that a hill on the course was spoken of in the same manner as the Travellator in the Gladiators TV show. Yet this could wait, as I concentrated on the first stretch – a gentleish uphill stretch to the top of the park and then back down again, done twice. After this was complete, I very much enjoyed hammering it down the downhill stretch, seeing the park open up in front of me and getting little glimpses of the Leeds skyline to my left. Before I knew it, I was approaching the dreaded Travellator! Having unknowingly gone up this stretch when walking to the start, it dawned on me only as I approached it for the second time and to be fair as I started to feel a bit leggy from the previous gradual incline. Hitting the Travellator with great gusto, I could fully see what it was mentioned in the First Timer Briefing! Somehow managing to drag myself up it and a further hill soon after (this was not mentioned!) I savoured the downhill stretch again. The second stint on the Travellator seemed even more epic the second time around, but after somehow dragging myself up it again, I got a boost of energy from somewhere and sprinted to the finish line.