The end of the year it all began at Mallards Pike

  • Mallards Pike
    Event number 15
    28th December 2019
    By Andy Norman, Tearaways of Tewkesbury
    What better place to visit and enjoy the great outdoors after Christmas than a
    parkrun in a beauty spot in the Forest of Dean? I lead a running club called the
    TearAways from the North Gloucestershire/South Worcestershire area, well a
    better description may be a social group that run a bit. As you will see from our
    times, we do not take it too seriously! Most of our members have completed
    my Couch – 5km programmes and the TearAways keeps them all running at
    parkruns. We have such fun at home (Worcester) and being parkrun tourists
    including full weekend tours. We had visited Mallards Pike once before with 22
    completing the run which they all thought was beautiful and had greatly
    enjoyed. I volunteered on that occasion so was looking forward to my first run
    here, being my NENDY (nearest event not done yet) number 3.
    It was a bit grey and misty as we drove through the Forest, arriving at Mallards
    Pike where there is great parking and toilet facilities close at hand. After
    gathering the TearAways clan, we walked to the start where the fab Run
    Director, Cherry Fowler, “womanfully” battled with the megaphone and
    enthusiastic dogs to lead us all through the run briefing. All volunteers were
    given a warm round of applause as were milestone runners Martin Blakebrough
    (250), Robin Drewett and Ali Ford (100). In total, 181 runners took up the
    Mallards Pike challenge. Can I also mention that from the TearAways, Georgia
    Norman was completing her bronze and Richard Ashworth his gold obsessive
    with Judith King and Mark Davey breaking a club record of 53 parkruns in a
    calendar year.
    We were off! The course is all on wide forestry tracks and there is a gradual
    uphill for the first half of the run. Thankfully my negative thoughts of eating
    too much turkey for the first 1k vanished but then were only replaced by
    thoughts of too many mince pies and Christmas cake for the next 2 k! Full of
    cold, I was finding this run quite tough. If only I knew that the first runners had
    come across a ‘sounder’ of 10 Wild Boar (impressed? I googled it!), I may have
    made more effort to get to the front! What a fantastic sight for those who saw
    the animals which have been re-introduced to the Forest over the past few years.
    The beautiful route continued through the trees and thankfully after about 3k
    there was some downhill allowing me to stretch my legs as I eventually wentpast a few fellow runners. This brought to mind a famous commentating classic
  • from the well-known athletics commentator, David Coleman, about running:
    ‘Coe now opens his legs and you can see the class shining through!’
    So after an uphill before the final finish I was over the finishing line in a slightly
    disappointing 29 minutes. This was put somewhat in perspective when hearing
    the winner Ben Robinson of the Bristol & West Club had chosen his quickest
    dog to accompany him to post a time of 12:34, dog assisted but which is 3
    seconds quicker than the 5km world record! Great effort!
    Twenty five new Personal Bests today with 101 athletes running at the Pike for
    the first time. The first female home was Hannah McVittie in 20:33 and first
    male not dog assisted was Peter Woodward in 17:45. Best % age grading,
    excluding Ben, was Shirley Robinson with 80% in the VW60-64 bracket. Many
    clubs were well represented including the TearAways with 14 runners, who are
    now the third biggest club at Mallards but the largest club remain Forest of
    Dean AC who had 16 runners.
    Coffee and bacon butties from the café and an impromptu picnic next to the
    gorgeous lake rounded off a great morning in the Forest. Thanks to everyone at
    Mallards for an excellent experience. My 94th
    location was a memorable one
    and up in the top 20% of parkruns visited but I was left with one question,
    which one was the Pike?
    The TearAways, like the Terminator, ‘Will Be back!’ Maybe in the Summer to
    take on Go Ape or the Segways?
    Photo 1 Judith King and Mark Davey of the Tearaways completing 53 runs for 2019. 28.2.2
    Photo 2 Picnic locaton at Mallards Pike. 28.12.2
    Photo 3 The TearAways on completng the challenge. 2812.3

    This week 181 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 101 were first timers and 25 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 30 different clubs took part.

    The event was made possible by 11 volunteers:

    Denise EVANS • Ali FORD • Cherry FOWLER • Isabelle CHAPMAN • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Andy NORMAN • Claire CHAPMAN • Robert CUMMINGS • John LINDEN

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

    The male record is held by Matthew REES who recorded a time of 16:56 on 21st September 2019 (event number 4).
    The female record is held by Victoria BAKER who recorded a time of 18:52 on 21st December 2019 (event number 14).
    The Age Grade course record is held by Rachael WHEELER who recorded 85.67% (22:20) on 12th October 2019 (event number 7).

    Mallards Pike parkrun started on 31st August 2019. Since then 1,062 participants have completed 1,579 parkruns covering a total distance of 7,895 km, including 201 new Personal Bests. A total of 105 individuals have volunteered 250 times.