#113 The one with all the HH joggers

126 people took part in Houghton Hall’s 113th parkrun on 29th February. And if you didn’t spend your Saturday at a parkrun, you only have another 28 years to wait for a Leap Day to fall on a Saturday! Houghton Hall Casual Joggers had arranged an orange army volunteer takeover, making Run Director Claire’s job a lot easier! Thank you all for giving up your time so others can have a parkrun. If you want to join a friendly, local group then check out the Facebook group and join them at a weekly run or parkrun. I applaud the brave runners and walkers who left their warm beds to complete 5k in the less than ideal weather conditions. (And an even bigger applause to the volunteers who were mostly stood still for the duration!) The sun was feeling shy and there were unavoidable muddy puddles in the wood area. The marshals informed us that ‘it’s less slippy if you go through the puddles’ and after a second of hesitation I went splashing through. It’s more enjoyable if you embrace the inevitable! Thank you Martin for being a singing marshal in the woods, a temporary replacement for the usual dancing marshal. And thanks Craig for the motivational tunes at Woodpecker Corner!  Jason, you were great in your prime spot at the top of the ‘gradual incline’, shouting at people when they need it the most. Tail walker Sarah didn't disappoint with her tail and thank you Mark for some great photos of happy parkrunners, just like this one (he must've gotten the memo to wear orange): As I was approaching the finish funnel and going for (my version of) a sprint finish, I saw a lady lying across the finish funnel in the mud...(?) She was one of many who fell victim to the slippy muddy finish funnel and luckily she moved out of the way before I entered the finish funnel like Bambi, trying to not join her on the floor. The lovely volunteers kindly moved the finish funnel onto the path for the last part of the event so that the joggers and walkers didn't have to worry about any embarrassing photo opportunities... (thanks Mark!) Well done to first finisher Rowan Daly from St Albans AC, and first female finisher Teresa Warren from Dunstable Road Runners. How did 15 of you get a Personal Best in those conditions?! And welcome to 15 first timers...your times count as PBs as well, see if you can come back and beat them. Congrats Peter Mundy from Leighton Fun Runners on your 50th parkrun!! And well done to Jeremy Vick from Marshall Milton Keynes AC on achieving the highest age grade (74.93%). If you want to dance in the woods, shout (encouragement) at people running past or get to wear the unique orange hi-vis then make sure you sign up to volunteer at a future parkrun as it can't go ahead without volunteers! Chloe Baxter

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