Here comes the run (again) – Maldon Prom parkrun #348
On a rainy July morning, 209 athletes descended on Prom Park for the long-waited return of parkrun due to the easing of lockdown restrictions. We owe a huge debt to all those involved in securing the restart particularly those at head office (including Tom Williams, Nick Pearson, Kirsty Woodbridge and Paul Sinton-Hewitt). The event team and volunteers at Maldon Prom also made every effort to ensure the restart went smoothly and deserve our gratitude.
After a difficult period of isolation I’m afraid to say I approached the return without my customary zest for parkrun. All of those doubts soon disappeared. The enthusiasm of volunteers, runners and walkers was inspiring around a rain-soaked Prom. Looping around the statue of Byrhtnoth (try spelling his name after a few drinks!), all was normal in parkrun world. The majestic views of the mudflats and salt marsh of the Blackwater Estuary and Northey Island were enjoyed. I was speed walking (as my alter ego Mike ‘The Shape’ Myers) rather than running due to a persistent knee injury obtained during lockdown. It can be lonely at the back of a parkrun but the comments from those lapping me and the volunteers provided the necessary motivation to keep going. Fortunately, my son Joseph didn’t lap me, falling short by around 100 metres!
It was good to see so many barkrunners (see postscript for Black Shuck!) in attendance along with a cheerful platoon from the Maldon Soul Runners, decked out in glorious red. Libby Watson (22:55) and William Radley (17:10, new PB) excelled as first finishers. Barbara Hammond and Mary Burns recorded their 150th parkrun. Richard Clarke receives the coveted 100 t-shirt. We were joined by 15 athletes new to parkrun which was lovely to see. This week, 206 athletes beat the speed walking poet (44:51), a sorry state of affairs for the waffling wordsmith on his way back from injury.
Tim Gardiner aka the parkrun poet (twitter: @parkrunpoetry)
Post-script I – Black Shuck A666
Although completely unrelated to Maldon Prom parkrun, a bizarre glow-worm walk occurred with my sister Vicky Quantrill at Sizewell parkrun on 17 July. After dark, we saw 6 glow-worms (a declining beetle) on the dunes along the parkrun route. However, the rest of the walk was like an M.R James ghost story involving a timid version of black shuck, the demon ghost dog of East Anglia. Seeing Shuck is meant to foreshadow an impending demise (but hey, let’s keep it light!). Walking past Sizewell B nuclear reactor we saw a silhouetted figure of a man on a gantry watching us, proper Hitchcock stuff! Then an eerie fog enveloped us on the dunes near Minsmere, before we were spooked by a silent black dog the size of a large collie standing behind us on our way back past Sizewell B. It was similarly surprised, made no sound and ran off towards Minsmere. Nothing too odd just a stray dog or so we thought. And it did not have Shuck’s glowing red eyes! Its appearance was accompanied by two loud whistles from someone nearby. I whistled afterwards to get the dog to return but it disappeared into bushes. The whistling person then ceased and we half expected him to run by and ask us where their dog had gone. But on checking the beach we were completely alone. No sign of anyone. Where the dog disappeared to, we’ll never know. And just who was the mysterious, unseen whistler?
Black Shuck is known from Maldon and the Dengie so late-night runners beware along those lanes and paths!!!
During lockdown, I’ve edited a new book with fellow running poet Elisabeth Sennitt-Clough, titled A Tussle of Clouds, which brings together running experiences from a wide range of parkrunners and other athletes. The book is available to buy from the publisher Stour Valley Press at https://www.shookbop.com/products/a-tussle-of-clouds
This week 209 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 21 were first timers and 24 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 36 volunteers:
Bob GEAR • Sue M SMITH • Elaine VAUGHAN • Paul DOBSON • Kevin LAGAN • John BUCHANAN • Meg VAUGHAN • Katerina MILLER • Alison HUGHES • Lynn RAYMOND • Phil KINSMAN • David STOKES • Jodee MAYER • Sarah NAUGHTON • Belinda WELTON • Ari HUGHES • Benjamin RAYMOND • Caroline HARE • Angela DELLAR • Rebecca CARROLL • Imogen GIDDINGS • Gordon MCAULAY • Charlotte NAUGHTON • Michelle LAMARRE • Gabrielle BOLAND • Julie BENNETT • Teresa TREDOUX • Deborah CUTLER • James SKILLERN • Tim GARDINER • Alison FLIGHT • Matt SELLORS • Joanne DENNIS • Adele BOVINGDON • Andrew MCGREGOR • Dave FERRIS
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Maldon Prom parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Scott COUSINS who recorded a time of 15:48 on 26th March 2016 (event number 137).
The female record is held by Elizabeth DAVIES who recorded a time of 17:49 on 25th June 2016 (event number 150).
The Age Grade course record is held by Ella Marie JONES who recorded 93.87% (21:45) on 13th October 2018 (event number 270).
Maldon Prom parkrun started on 31st August 2013. Since then 8,580 participants have completed 80,706 parkruns covering a total distance of 403,530 km, including 13,091 new Personal Bests. A total of 841 individuals have volunteered 6,034 times.