Another week and another storm! This week it was the turn of Storm Jorgie. As we made our way to the parkrun, we couldn’t believe the weather! Hail, rain, wind and that was all before it had even started! This week was a special one, we would be running the course in reverse because of the special leap year day. The next time a parkrun would be on a leap year day would be 2048!
It was also an extra special parkrun for us (Fay and Helen). We were running our 50th parkrun and had planned especially to do it on the leap year day in our red parkrun capes! We did not, however, realise how bad the weather would be. Despite this, 385 people still participated, as well, of course, as the amazing volunteers who keep us all going every week.
Running it in reverse meant avoiding the very boggy alps at the start and going straight for the hill. As we made our way up the hill, the wind was even worse! It didn’t stop people from cheering each other on and smiling even with the rain fiercely beating down. Running straight on instead of turning right towards the memorial suddenly became a little easier as it was all downhill - our favourite kind of route! Round the coat hanger bend, encouraged by two very encouraging, brave marshals and continuing on a straight run to the memorial corner, not daring to look left at the view over Chatham as the wind whipped our capes! A quick jog up the hill next to the monument and it was just seconds before we could hear Sue and her music, which lifts us every week! Turn left and down the hill, remembering to smile when we saw the lovely photographer, who, like all the other marshals was by now wet and bedraggled but still doing a great job! Down to the bottom of the hill, turn left onto the football field, straight up onto the alps then down into deep mud where Mick was directing us to a safer route to run on. Turn right at the next corner, on the path and back up the hill from the very bottom.
The second lap was muddier and wetter but this certainly didn’t stop anyone from giving up. How could you with so much support and enthusiasm from all around you? The final section was through the mud, into the funnel and instead of a ‘high five’ this week, we received a hug from the marshal, it was at this point that we could both feel the emotion coming. We had done it!
As well as running the route backwards, the other difference this week was that it was hard to recognise familiar faces, normally there is a blaze of orange and black (Medway Fit), bright green (Medway Runners) and an array of apricot and milestone tshirts. Today most runners were in waterproofs and hats but we could still hear them shouting words of encouragement to each other and it is this that makes us love Parkrun.
We enjoyed running the route backwards but missed the sprint at the end, this is our favourite bit (that and a cuppa at the Falcon afterwards!). We think everyone deserves recognition for this particular run, the runners and marshals who took over Great Lines in such horrendous conditions smashed it. Well done everyone.
We started our running journey with Medway Fit, completing their Couch25K course with Zoe Pemberton and Karen Adley in 2017. It is an amazing running club and we would like to say thank you to everyone for their support.
parkrun has become part of our week and we would recommend it to everyone! Just do it! No PB this week … well there’s always next week!
Fay and Helen - Run Report Writers