This week saw 30 runners brave the imminent downpours to try out the new course and new start/finish area. Thanks to the ever wonderful volunteers, we managed to get the new course pegged out and marshalled in plenty of time.
First off, apologies to those runners who gathered at the old start location - we managed to scoop up most of you before the start of the event and point you in the right direction towards the Hackney Marshes Centre. I know that a few of you who came close to missed us, but good on you for running the old course anyway and we look forward to seeing you at the new start soon.
The low-down on the new course
The start consists of a 100m dash on grass, before popping through a gap in the hedge and on to the main marshes path. The route continues along a tree-lined, leafy (and sometimes very buggy!) tarmac path in an anticlockwise direction around the marshes. The course then opens up onto the main marsh, before passing the old changing sheds (and our old starting point), before joining the Lea Navigation Channel path towards the turnaround point, our friendly marshal Tim and the half way mark. Runners then complete a u-turn, some more efficiently than others, before following the same route back for 2.5km to the Hackney Marshes Centre and the finish line.
The first face to peek around the hedges and bound towards the finish was the consistently impressive Bertie POWELL of Woodford Green AC who won in a time of 16:50. That makes a tidy dozen wins for Bertie at Hackney Marshes, so well done! In his first 5k of the season and first run at Hackney Marshes, Robin JONES took second by 30 seconds recording 17:20. Robin is also one of our local Sweatshop reps, so good job and thanks for the vouchers! Neil COOK of Victoria Park Harriers, who was also a first timer, placed third in a time of 17:46.
Elin SKAGERBERG stormed home as the first woman in a time of 18:57. This was her second win and due to the torrential downpour, her barcode did not read. So thanks for getting in touch after the event to claim your well deserved position! Linda INGRAM from Victoria Park Harriers was the second woman home in a time of 23:14, and she recorded a new PB in the process. Dorothea GARTLAND placed third in a time of 23:48.
Considering the downpour that unleashed its’ fury after about 10 minutes of running, 14 runners recorded PBs – the new course is proving to be fast and accurate, the only challenge is navigating the turnaround point at half way – we are working on how we can make this better for you. The feedback was great; considering there were lots of soggy runners: the new course cuts out the desolate east marshes, some runners prefer the certainty of a ‘there and back’ course, others commented that they preferred not knowing how far they had run, and people said that it was great to see others running on the course.
Until next Saturday, have a great week and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
The Event Team
(Robb, Pam and Erica)
If you can spare some time to volunteer on the occasional Saturday morning, drop us an email at: Hackney-MarshesHelpers@parkrun.com
Want to give feedback? Have anything to say or want anyone mentioned in future race reports? Please e-mail: hackney-marshesOffice@parkrun.com