Hadleigh parkrun through the eyes of a tourist.
So, my first attempt at writing a run report as I noticed hadn’t been one for a few weeks at Hadleigh and always like to read up on a new course before attempting it. This was number 18 different event for me and my NENDY so was keen to add it to my personal list.
Firstly, the course itself has the most turns I have seen and was tough given the undulating nature. However, majority of it was on trail paths and the grassy sections were muddy but manageable. The final km was as tough as any I have done and certainly a test.
So, onto the experience itself. From arriving in the car park, quick pit stop in the very clean facilities and the trot up to the start point was greeted by numerous people all offering encouragement and advice - guess this was a clue to what was to come! Chatted to another runner from Milton Keynes as we compared Contra running gear and his two left socks (told him no one else would notice)!
First timers briefing was clear and welcomed into the parkrun family the new members who had chosen Hadleigh for their debut event. Main briefing was delivered clearly and on time so we got away nicely and although a narrow start all runners were so polite even when my stray elbows caught a couple of unsuspecting victims (apologies again). All the way round everyone was so welcoming, this includes all marshals (great job guys), runners going in opposite direction and all dog walkers (you have impeccably behaved dogs in Hadleigh). In addition, lots of words of encouragement from fellow runners as the nice downward start turned into a somewhat more challenging second half. Indeed, one of the first timers (see below) and I exchanged positions and words several times over the latter stages as we competed to see who could go the least slow on the climbs.
Lovely finish area and all results being recorded manually by the excellent volunteers to ensure we all get the time and run recorded. And here is one of the great things about parkrun, having volunteered to write the report I noticed the results were in and I had not received my usual text as my finish was not credited. Quick email and within very short time this was corrected, so my own personal thanks to Amie for continuing to work on the event during her weekend.
So to conclude my tourist experience, all in all a thoroughly enjoyable run, so for anyone else considering it, yes the course is a challenge but absolutely worth it.
For those who like their stats, today there were 171 runners, joggers and walkers who completed the course on what was event number 166. Unlike previous reports I have not looked for a random number generator to call out some runners so will use the following:
25th day of the year so well done to Peter McIntyre for finishing in 25th position in 25 minutes and 47 seconds.
January is the first month, so well done to our first finisher James Porter in a time of 19 minutes and 50 seconds.
This was my 56th parkrun, so well done to Michael Watts for finishing in 56th position in a time of 29 minutes and 20 seconds.
As it was event number 166 at Hadleigh but the finisher was an unknown well done to Linsey McCarthy who finished in 165th position in a time of 56 minutes and 35 seconds.
Finally, and not so random, well done to Lucy Byrne who came in 31st position in 27 minutes and eight seconds on her very first parkrun and was the first female finisher. I have picked her for no other reason than she is the lady I referred to in my notes above and seems to have immediately appreciated the joy and spirit of parkrun.
As we all know, parkrun is only possible due to those kind volunteers who give up their time so a big thanks to all of those who helped out today: We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Sarah BALL, Amie BRIGHT, Gary BRIGHT, Sally CLARKE, Lisa DEL VECCHIO, Mick DODGE, Graeme EDWARDS, Valerie JARVIS, Clive LAMBERT, Toby LAMBERT, Vanessa LOVE, Lily MAGGS, Eve MCCARTHY, Maia MCDONAGH, Edward SHORT, Jon STRUTT, Claudia TAYLOR