Greetings from Loch Neaton where we had the lovely surprise of 2 Ambassadors joining us today, the lovely Ian Edwards who is our Ambassador and the lovely Nickie Sale who is a parkrun Ambassador in South Africa.
Nickie has kindly written our run report today.
A cold morning morning greeted us with Storm Ciara not getting in the way or dampening any spirits. I had a bit of a battle getting there today but managed to arrive in time for the pre-run briefing which was being delivered by today’s RD Sarah.
Sarah was a true star managing to get everyone’s attention during the pre run briefing, raising a few laughs, celebrating one parkrunners 70th birthday as well as making sure everyone knew about the route change (back to the normal route after heavy rain had forced changes).
The route was a 3 lap and a short lap on a sports field. I had the pleasure of their Ambassador, Ian Edwards accompanying me round the whole way - thank you Ian for walking most of the way instead of your usual run.
As you made your way up to the sports field, you soon became aware of the beauty of this route. You could see other parkrunners on the route and the view was also wonderful. And yes, there was still a fair amount of mud to negotiate on the route but that only added to the fun.
There were many very friendly marshals on the route, all cheering us on and encouraging us all the way. Despite the cold, they were all wrapped up in huge coats and scarves and everyone of them was smiling and clapping each time we passed them. As Ian and myself got approximately half way round our final lap, we found we had managed to walk fast enough along with a couple of small sections of jogging to catch up with the tail walker on his second lap who today was James, proudly wearing his tail. James was happily walking along with a young lady, supporting her and encouraging her. In South Africa, there are many many more walkers at parkrun than at UK parkruns, with the tail walker rarely coming in under 1 hour. So it was wonderful to see parkrun in the UK being so positive and encouraging of walkers joining in parkrun. This is something which I know parkruns across the world are trying to do, and here at Loch Neaton was definitely achieved. The finish funnel was no different, every parkrunner was greeted with smiles and cheers, from the RD, timekeepers, funnel managers, tokens, scanners and photographer, the welcome at the finish was fantastic.
I have to say one of the things that Ian and myself chatted about whilst doing the parkrun was that parkrun is about the community. It is a community event, run by the community for the community. The Loch Neaton parkrun completely epitomized the community ethos of parkrun. For me, as someone who is used to parkruns with 1000+ parkrunners at times, this small by comparison parkrun, is truly wonderful hidden gem in Norfolk and one not to be missed. Thank you to a wonderful team for a fantastic parkrun.