Event 302 – 30/11/19

This week we've a report by the parkrun Poet:

The Lincoln Limp – parkrun #302, 30 November 2019

I’m in town again, master’s work to be done. And running IS the devil’s business. There are no bishops to trip, chairs to smash, or tables to throw around; besides my mate was turned to stone by that angel from the hymn book. The cathedral’s life ban on imps spoiled the party, plus I’m not welcome in Grimsby anymore after THAT incident in St. James. So here I am to cause chaos at the parkrun. The 376 assembled athletes have come from as far as Great Yarmouth, Leamington Spa and Northumbria. In attendance is 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer, a charity encouraging people to get out and active. There are local groups throughout the UK promoting parkrun participation.

Milestones are many: Holly Brewer joins the Junior 10 Club plus Sophie Croft, Samantha Lewis, Philip Rose, Rebecca Wilson and Steve Marshall are new 50 Club members. There’s even joy on Gemma Marshall’s birthday! The positive vibes from this parkrun are further enhanced by Doris and her friends waving from their nursing home window at the runners.

So much happiness on this frosty morning. It’s enough to depress this old Lincoln imp. From the start, I whirl around the bandstand trying to whip up a storm-force gale to make it harder for the athletes. It didn’t work at the cathedral, even on still days, and it isn’t successful here. These runners are just too fit, the walkers too fast!! The parkrun poet is being paced around the course by the jovial Hannah Butler (26:11, Vegan Runners); the wavering wordsmith struggling in the sub-zero temperatures (114 runners ‘beat the poet’ this morning). The moustachioed James Betts is having a good time, running for Movember (men’s health).

I try and push the fastest Under 11 runner (Oliver Liddell, 22:42), into the stream. But Judith’s Corner is well defended by optimistic volunteers (including the redoubtable Judith); their positive exclamations make my ears ache. Like a sniper, I relocate to Sandra’s Corner, intending to jump out and scare folk. What a mistake, Sandra’s positivity is the perfect defence against evil spirits. Too much encouragement, too many upbeat words, I must move on. The wood is the next chance for serious mischief.

From my lofty oak platform, I throw acorns at the runners. Passing by is speedy octogenarian Betty Stracey (257 parkruns, 44 different venues including Cairns in Australia!), deftly dodging the missiles. I can’t even hit the tail walkers, Stacey Skepper and Katie Stark, two of the 30 nauseatingly amazing volunteers that make today’s parkrun possible. The oak branch on which I’m perched bends and snaps under my weight. I’ve grown fat on the hedonism of Grimsby pubs. Cursing the devil’s luck, I decide on one last prank at the finish funnel.

As the runners come in, I tap the timekeepers on their shoulders to get them to miss the athletes. This will cause chaos for the frustratingly competent run director, Andy Jones. But the timekeepers are far too focused to be distracted from their task. Not so much as a twitch!! Damnation upon damnation!! There’s been over 40 personal bests, rubbing my face deeper into the dirt.

While I wait to trip the tail walkers (small pleasures and all that), an angel springs from the bandstand and banishes me from parkrun paradise with a poem:

windfall
just visible

bipolar nebula
a comet’s curse
each new dawn
fire on empty eyes
insatiable urge
to run Steep Hill
until sun down
legs now made
from shingle
and stone

The imp banished to eternal hill running with leaden legs, a prize from parkrun poet, Tim Gardiner (a copy of his poetry collection The Flintknapper’s Ghost) is handed out to Doris and her friends for their wonderful support of the parkrun, cheerfully waving from the window every Saturday morning. Here’s a haiku poem for Doris:

first frost…
waving handkerchief
whiter still

Poetry Corner

This week’s corner features guest poet Marta Majorka Chocilowska from Poland, an award
winning writer published across the world, specialising in haiku poetry. Marta has also turned her attention to writing about running. She had this haiku published in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Issue 2.1:

autumn running
my lengthening shadow
still ahead

The parkrun poet will be back! Hasta la vista, Lincoln…

Tim Gardiner
aka parkrun poet
twitter @parkrunpoetry

Event number 302: 30th November 2019

This week 376 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 27 were first timers and 42 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 30 volunteers:

Ryan ALEXANDER • Jane CHARLESWORTH • Mark WILLIAMS • Judith WILLIAMS • Edward BARNES-HEATH • Louisa DENNETT • Wayne DENNETT • Andy M JONES • Ged FORSTER • Dave SMITH • Sandra PURDY • Herm BUTCHER • Katie STARK • Steve FROGGATT • Daniel FARMER • Jake FARMER • Chelsey EVERATT • James PRENTICE • Jack BALCHIN • June BRAMMER • Jamie SWINDALE • Jonathan ASHTON • Paul REES • Belinda COLES • Tim GARDINER • Stacey SKEPPER • Harrison EDWARDS • David MANN • Mike KEAL • Alison WHITLOW

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Lincoln parkrun Results Page.

The male record is held by Matthew BOWSER who recorded a time of 14:54 on 24th May 2014 (event number 26).
The female record is held by Abbie DONNELLY who recorded a time of 16:54 on 21st September 2019 (event number 292).
The Age Grade course record is held by Val NAYLOR who recorded 95.13% (24:37) on 8th October 2016 (event number 144).

Lincoln parkrun started on 16th November 2013. Since then 11,696 participants have completed 100,824 parkruns covering a total distance of 504,120 km, including 18,150 new Personal Bests. A total of 832 individuals have volunteered 6,787 times.