My usual Mallards Pike parkrun day starts nice and early and today was no exception. I left home just before eight, with the sun up and signs of spring all around. The new born lambs by the side of the road and then two deer crossed the road as I drove through Moseley Green. The car temperature warning then beeped saying it was four degrees to remind me that winter is not over yet. As I parked in the car park at Mallards Pike I was amazed to see that much of the set-up work had already been completed by Mark and Vic, two of our fantastic volunteers. The parkrun flag was flying and the sun was going to shine. My small contribution was to hang up the new white board pens and carry the parkrun essentials to the start area. Having laid out the tarpaulin for coats at the finish, along with the first aid kit, de-fib and finish tokens, all was looking good for Mallards pike event number 21.
Today was the RD debut for another regular volunteer, Joe Kennedy. He was a natural. The crowd of runners slowly grew at the briefing area, having made the short walk from the car park. Joe welcomed all and gave the usual briefing, emphasising all the parkrun rules about children under 11, dogs being kept on leads and no barcode, no time. There were two milestones today, Kieran Morgan was completing run number 100 and regular photographer Robert Cummings was completing his 50th run and also celebrating his birthday. Having welcomed visitors (looking through the results afterwards we had 23 first timers to Mallards today) and thanked the volunteers it was time to make the short walk to the start line and enjoy the run through the forest.
To the usual chorus of barks from the fast dogs at the front we heard the countdown from three to one, and we were off. As many others have said, our run begins with a gentle slope, that gradually increases and never seems to stop until just over half way. It is a challenging conundrum, do you push on whilst it is relatively flat at the start and your body is full of energy and fresh, or do you hold back, knowing you have to keep this effort up for just over half the run before the downhill is there to aid you? However you approach it, the fast dogs at the front soon disappear into the distance. Conditions today were great for running, not to cold and no wind. The forest was looking wonderful in the sun as it broke through the clouds. The smiling faces of our marshals are brilliant as you run up the hill, and hearing Tony ringing his bell is such a relief as then you know it all downhill from there on. Lucky runners at the front, who are more observant then me, were treated to a view of three boar crossing the path as we made our way downhill. The yellow glow of the “200m to go” sign is very welcome and a great incentive to make that final push up the small hill to the finish line, to the cheers of encouragement from our hi-vis heroes. The fantastic team of volunteers doing timekeeping, tokens and scanning welcoming every runner with a smile on their face.
Having got my breath back it is always fun to speak to fellow runners at the end. Hearing the thoughts of visitors to our parkrun and catching up with regulars. It was also great to see familiar faces from our neighbouring parkruns in Lydney and Forest of Dean. The smiles and cheers continued until the final runners and then the tail walker crossed the line. The finish line team happily reported no problems with timing or tokens to the RD and passed over watches and scanners for the results to be processed. The highly efficient volunteer team then got straight down to the job of tidying up the cones and signs, and in what seemed like no time at all everything was in the cars ready to be put away for another week. The café was busy with runners and the sun was shining, results were processed, and another parkrun was successfully completed.
Our parkrun could not happen so smoothly without our amazing volunteers and we are always looking for more, we’d be very happy to welcome you to join us.
This week 125 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 23 were first timers and 47 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 17 volunteers:
Nicola HALL • Linda BELLINGHAM • Sue ASHTON • Mark AINSWORTH • Deborah TALBOTT • Ali FORD • Tony HIGHFIELD • Andrew KAYE • Simon ROBERTS • Vic N' SKRUFF (AINS) • Susan DE-CAMPS • Sophie WILLIAMS • Clare CURTIS • Joe KENNEDY • John LINDEN • Paul CUMMINGS • Fay CUMMINGS
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 18:37 on 1st February 2020 (event number 20).
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 1,459 participants have completed 2,478 parkruns covering a total distance of 12,390 km, including 375 new Personal Bests. A total of 136 individuals have volunteered 362 times.