And the brave run for the longed for prize!
Hanworth Park - once a royal hunting park of Henry VII - was the scenario of another type of hunt today: at the finish line was the longed for priced wolf and the runners the hunters of such valued hunting piece.
The day started a bit grey, a bit windy and the terrain a bit dump due the showers fallen during the week but - even so - nothing stopped the volunteers to stand up for another wonderful day, as every Saturday start with P for parkrun.
By 8:20 Leanne Murray, Steve McCarthy and few others were sorting out some bits and bobs whilst good chats were the antechamber of the great vibe that can be felt in this flat and wonderful venue.
The terrain wasn't very muddy but perhaps a little bit to stop runners from having good PBs today. Runners were arriving, locals and tourists from Bedford Lakes, Richmond, Bushy Park, Guildford, and even from Portrush in Ireland!
More volunteers arrived, some dressed for the season: reindeer antlers, Christmas jumpers, elf costumes. One of them even brought a huge inflatable candy cane!
Leanne, our Run Director today called everyone who dared to exchange a lovely warm cup of tea in the warm of their homes for a run in the park, a ritual that - like the tea break - can't be avoided. Leanne went through the well-known parkrun rules: two laps in a really flat course, in the shape of a quite wide Y letter, open over grass, tarmac and hard surface.
The start and the finish lines were some distance apart one to another. It was a bit chill some runners were brave enough to run in short sleeve t-shirts!
Everyone got ready for the priced hunt. A few sunrays warmed the great parkrunners' spirit we had today. “Go!”, and all the runners started their journey along the course. They encountered Andrea Lund, Mark Thomas and Steve McCarthy on their way, cheering all the runners up from their marshaling spots.
Andrea flooded the air with Christmas carols that emanated from her radio-player. enhancing runners' motivation from her marshaling spot. That was a lovely idea!
At the end of the two laps, the funnel was the antechamber of the desired hunting piece, a token, this time accompanied by the wonderful treats that the volunteers from Christ Church in Feltham offered to every participant, either runner or volunteer: tea, coffee and mince pies.
Everyone by the finish line enjoyed the warmth: those arriving to the finish line enjoyed the warming cheers from those that were already enjoying their hot drinks.
Today we had 3 PBs and 15 first timers at Hanworth parkrun from a total of 56 parkrunners.
Thank you to everyone that came to run today and - of course – thank you to all and everyone of our great volunteers: Mark Thomas, Marina Parnell, Julie Bayliss, Leanne Murray, Andrea Lund, Terri Creaser, Lynn Howard, Andy Tapping, David Gasper, Steve McCarthy, Ray Hutchinson, Sue Dennison, Ollie Baines, Sofia Fernandez Rodriguez, Luke Resch, Dawn Stephens, Anna Tapping and Shreya Shah.
Don't you believe me? Come and check it by yourself!
By the way, don't forget to bring some packed food - if possible - next Saturday as we will be make a collection to donate them to the Feltham Food Bank.
Sofia Fernandez Rodriguez