A glorious autumnal glow hangs in the air as the end of the day drifts closer, a day of sunshine and perfect running conditions; the complete opposite to the drizzle, gray and sogginess that greeted the 113 parkrunners on Hampstead Heath yesterday morning. Mizzle as we set off but, as we ran beside the playing field, it definitely turned to rain. Oh British weather, don’t you just love it?
Although there are Saturdays when it’s hard to get in touch with the inner-runner and make it to the Heath I can honestly say, even if feeling a little below par and the weather is less than inviting, it is always worth the effort. And, after 10 minutes of running, I rarely notice whether or not it is raining.
As we lined up at the start, I wonder how many of the 19 of you who achieved a pb actually planned to do so? For Alon Caspi it was his 50th parkrun and a massive pb reached too; I like to think this was planned! It is such a magical feeling when everything comes together and you cross the finishing line knowing that you managed something special; that you ran HH parkrun faster than you’ve ever done before. Brilliant, congratulations! Of course the chance of running a pb every week is not very high, except perhaps for new runners, and for many, it isn’t the goal.
Of the 24 people new to Hampstead Heath, 12 were new to parkrun – you are all very welcome and we hope you’ll continue to run our very special, challenging, course.
I am confident just about all other 5Ks feel easy after Hampstead Heath!
There is a reason, after all, why the Heath is a favoured competitive cross country route. In fact as we skipped around our two laps, youngsters from across the capital prepared for CC races later in the morning with seniors competing in the afternoon.
A huge thank you to our 10 volunteers this weekend, headed up by our wonderful race director for the week, Kayleigh, your help is so very much appreciated! Without people volunteering, parkrun wouldn’t happen so if you run regularly please do volunteer occasionally too – thank you!
It was good to see Damien Lane back at HH parkrun and in winning form too in a time of 18:57, Damien is one or our original runners; in second place was Jim Morris 19:26 and third, Daniel Rowling 19:40. For the women and girls, Emma Abele continued her winning form with a new pb 20:23 (not long before she achieves the sub 20, I’m sure) for first place; Dianne Aynsley 21:44 was second and third Emily Bliss 21:58. Avril Riddell, gradually working her way back to form following a very long time out for injury, topped the age-grading at 77.5%.