Greetings from HH parkrun towers!
The eagle eyed among last Saturday's runners will have noticed a somewhat familiar figure loitering at the start and around the course as we ran last week's event.
It was none other than the great Dave Bedford, former 10k world record holder, a later Race Director of the London Marathon. He was not scouting the faster runners (though with three men under or around 16:34 he might have been doing that as well), rather he was there to help the Heath management assess the event and help the RD team to think of ways to mitigate / reduce the disruption to other Heath users which has become a larger issue as we regularly attract over 400 participants to the Heath.
The visit, together with a rather damp and chilly walk round the Heath has encouraged us to do two things;
1. We need to deploy more Marshals around the Heath. These marshals will be scattered around the course, particularly at pinch points / crossing points where potential disruption are most acute. These marshals will be mostly outward facing, ambassadorial roles (in addition to the current run focused role), who will - ideally - talk to other users of the Heath, explain what parkrun is, explain what an amazing thing it is - how many people run it in London / worldwide, what it is so brilliant etc etc, as well as warning other users ahead of the start that a wall of runners is about to come hurtling down Lime Avenue. This will mean that we need to have more volunteers each week. But as we all love parkrun, and acknowledge that for it to continue we need to do our part to minimise the disruption and build relationships with other users, I am confident this will be possible. This week's response has been amazing. Please shout an extra thank you to the volunteers this week - they are awesome!!
2. The start was pretty muddy this week - if you hadn't noticed. We think we may have found a new route (even hillier, of course) which will involve starting in roughly the same place, but finishing a little distance away, so stay tuned as we firm up thinking on this.
In the meantime, thanks for reading to the end of this long message!!
See you on Saturday.
And don't forget your barcode.