Run Report for 29th December 2018 by Paul Bliss

A little look at the Haigh Woodland parkrun news page draws you to a little post asking for parkrunners to think about doing a run report…though it’s inviting local participants to share their story, its also an opportunity for tourists to give a little back. Though the offer hasn’t been taken up particularly well, I thought I’d make the offer and Lisa (RD for the day) was more than happy to accommodate the ramblings of a visitor. I don’t know about you, but I quite like the run reports each week…they add a little colour, and background to the weeks event that can only enhance the whole experience.
A visit to any parkrun over the Christmas period is always a little extra special, as, though, parkruns are traditionally friendly, welcoming events in general, they are always a little more so over this time and Haigh Woodland this morning was no exception – warm smiles and greetings exchanged by locals and visitors both.


As a southern parkrunner tourist (home parkrun St Albans) living in the North West for a while, I’m blessed with a whole new region of parkruns to discover and enjoy, Haigh Woodland was todays destination. Another bonus, which I was to discover later, was that this was my 161st parkrun and Haigh Woodlands 161st event – a happy coincidence. Those in the know know that tourists like their stats!


Local parkrunners are very lucky to have this amazing location as their home parkrun – large car parks, plenty of toilets and a great café - all needs covered!


After a helpful, friendly new runners briefing, where it was suggested that perhaps the runners were there more for the Wigan Tea cakes than the hill, a warm RD briefing welcomed visitors from Cambridge, Sheffield, a couple attending a wedding at the hall, and even Stockholm, the runners were started in lovely mild bright conditions for the year. Some would say that perhaps Haigh Woodland is not the best parkrun to do after overindulging during the festive season, and they would be right! A beautiful woodland course, meandering out and back with a loop at the far end, is a steady 2.5K downhill that obviously has to be followed by 2.5k back uphill! The uphill struggle though, was compensated by great scenery and runners of all ages encouraging one another as they puffed up the hill Was great to hear youngsters encouraging the more senior folk, and vice versa, a true community vibe. All topped off with encouraging, smiling marshals and volunteers. ! I even overheard one runner counting down the cheesy chocolates he was burning off as each uphill K passed!


To add to the day, the core team had decided to use a traditionally busy day for parkruns to trial the new mobile app technology – not afraid of change! This decision obviously proved to be a great success, as the results were out by 10:44 – fast by any parkrun standards.


Joseph Dare and Alice Alcock led the runners home, Joseph only missing a PB by 11 seconds, and Alice getting a PB on only her second visit with a gap of 12 months! Well done both.


Welcome to the ten brand new parkrunners who did their first ever parkrun at Haigh this morning – we hope you’ll be back to join in this amazing family story!
Finally, a great big thank you to Lisa and the team for another great parkrun experience – I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, and recommend Haigh Woodland unconditionally!