Whaaaat… we seriously want people to run in this??? Such was my first thought at 7 in the a.m. when peaceful sleep was rudely curtailed by an alarm clock. Newbury racecourse looked wind beaten and rainy – stormy, even – while making tea and I wondered who would be mad enough to brave these conditions. Such thoughts were endorsed via Instant Messages from our wonderful core team. You Marlborough Common parkrunners, though, are made of much sterner stuff; the weather will not beat you and the show always goes on (MOP, fun-fairs, and circuses permitting, obvs).
Further thoughts followed while marking out the top section of the course: would any of the stakes survive the windy conditions? Would the domes that mark the precise apex of the turns (for those that follow them!) stay in place unless impaled into the common or stood on by our long suffering marshals?
As 9am drew inexorably closer, we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of 98 budding parkrunners to make the 25 volunteers’ efforts fully worthwhile. Once our Jackie had expertly briefed the 24 parkrunners new to Marlborough, 8 of whom were doing their first parkrun, RD Jeremy set us all on our way with aplomb.
Today saw visitors join us from Cornwall, Nonsuch (near Cheam/Tony Hancock), Oxford, and our parkrun HQ ambassador paying us a visit and giving us a guiding hand from Chippenham.
Despite the weather, which was happily dry for the best part of the run, 16 of you achieved a PB for the Marlborough Common course. While maybe not a PB for parkruns run elsewhere, this is still an achievement on our course and in such conditions; congratulations to all of you. While handing out the plaudits, well done to Mila Trusson on her 10th parkrun, a parkrun junior T Shirt email will be on its way to you shortly. Similar congratulations to Ian Banks from Calne on your 10th but no T Shirt as you’re a little over the junior age.
This week we decided to forgo marshalling at “steps” between the swings and the tree left turn. This was fine from a safety perspective but I did notice the odd bit of corner cutting while running with you. Please remember that the red flags and domes signify that you pass them on your left and the greens on your right – one for the nautical minded. And where there are stakes with arrows in the middle of the course, remember to keep to their left.
Lastly we were notified of 2 potholes on the Southern part of the course. Please be careful while running, Marlborough Common can be very bumpy and uneven, and watch out for those wascally wabbits who burrow into our course of a Friday evening. We would hate to have to call the emergency services: our safety record is no accident. Should the unthinkable happen, though, please ensure your ICE (In Case of Emergency) details are up to date on your wristbands and the parkrun website.
See you all next week where we positively guarantee much sunnier weather (somewhere in the world!).
Have a good week