For seven days the very spectre of Hogmoor 101 had begun instead to represent Room 101.
My Orwellian nightmare was shaped like the murky stretch of icy water which spanned the course at Stonehenge turn for Hogmoor 100…
I had ended that run a week ago with my shirt soaked, knees scraped, shorts dripping and face streaked with ditchwater having pitchpoled headfirst into the water on the first turn.
It was my intention to show that corner much more respect this time round (most likely by creeping gingerly round the edge of it, clinging to the slippery bank) but as if by magic the water had gone, only a floodplain of sand and nub of black plastic hosing evidence of its nightmarish existence…
Still, I can’t say the run was made especially easier, as Hogmoor’s challenges of sand dunes, twisty boardwalks, steeplechase troughs and steady climbs continue to taunt those of us who vigorously abused mountains of mince pies, Christmas cakes, plum duff and tins of Quality Street for the best part of six weeks… I’m almost through the last few unloved blue coconut ones now (and the remaining toffee pennies), and then it is healthy fuel all the way! That will make all the difference, right?
Anyway… it seems more hearty souls than ever are drawn to the inclosure of a Saturday morning whatever the weather, and the carpark was again chock-a-block almost out to the road. In all, some 285 runners ran, jogged and walked the course, including 10 mystery men and women who had failed to register/sign up/bring their barcode… come on – reveal yourselves!! Hopefully see you next week.
There were 15 first timers to parkrun this week (welcome!), and 21 who were making their Hogmoor debuts including Kevin Yates of the Chandler’s Ford Community Running Group. Kevin is a Parkrun MACHINE, and Saturday’s run (he was the 11thfinisher in 21 minutes dead) was his 421st parkrun.
In all, there were 60 PBs on the day – I don’t think I heard the bell ringing 60 times, but to be fair the blood was coursing through my head for quite a while after wheezing over the finish line so I may have missed that.
Congratulations to Gerd Goldsack who ran her 50thparkrun (see you in your snazzy red 50 shirt soon, Gerd) and Martin Wells (50th) and to David Mais who clocked his 100th Parkrun.
James Baker (Chichester Runners & AC) struck a blow for the forty-somethings, flying round in 16 minutes 37 seconds, to achieve an age-grade score of 84.05%. If I’m going to be entirely honest, I’ll confess right now that despite trying to figure out the age-grade scoring system for about three years now, I am still not really any the wiser, but can confidently say a mark around 84% equates to that feeling you have a split second before vomiting. Or passing out. Or vomiting and then passing out. The governing body for such pointy-headed things, World Masters Athletics, states that 100% is World Record Level, and above 90% is World Class level, so chapeau James! Take a look here if you want to figure it out for yourself…
Katie Read, running her seventh parkrun was the first female finisher in a time of 24:06 just three seconds off her PB.
David Jarrett, who runs with Haslemere Border AC, registered a PB to duck under 18 minutes with a 17:58second-placed male finish and Lordshill Road Runner Ben Pitman was third male finisher in 18:06.
Alton Runner Beth Swadling was the second of 134 female finishers with a new PB of 24:33 (no bad luck on her 13th parkrun) and Cassandra Shepherd was third in 25:01 on her first visit to Hogmoor.
See you all next week for a sweaty run and some sticky buns - remember to bring your purses for the newly opened café.