On a day when 70 other parkruns were cancelled for various reasons but mostly due to the weather, the Marlborough Common team gamely turned out. Conditions were overcast with the odd sunny moment and there was significantly more air movement than on recent Saturdays. 114 brave participants readied themselves for the event. Young and young at heart, novice and experienced, walker, jogger or runner, first timers (22) and regulars, all came to test themselves against the Common’s rising flat section, running the reverse or should that be CONTRA-direction.
First home was regular Doug Wilkie in a time of 18:24 and first female was Amber Eden in 23:06, also a Marlborough regular. We had one visitor on his 86th run, all of them at different courses, and another from Tring on the way to completing his parkrun name alphabet challenge twice over. Whilst most clearly found the conditions trying, eight people went home with a nice, shiny, new PB to their name. Congratulations to all of them, but I am immensely proud of Alice who knocked 12 seconds off her previous best.
“It was very hard today, with the wind really hurting up the long diagonal hill. I was hoping that the wind might be a help at points, but I never felt it pushing me along.”
Guy found it much harder than normal – “I felt like the wind was really fighting me and I struggled particularly on the uphill section and along the bottom over the humps and back to the swings.”
My children love to see the dogs at parkrun and often show their appreciation for the fluffiest. They have asked me whether dogs get their own times – would that make it Don’t Forget Your Bark-code?
On the way to parkrun, we often listen to the Free Weekly Timed podcast. In this week’s episode, the hosts were talking about the milestone t-shirts and what comes after 500. The runner with the most runs is closing in on 750 and the team were discussing whether the milestone should be 750 or 1,000. The current progression is 10 (juniors only), 50, 100, 250, 500. Whilst I cannot imagine the level of dedication that 500 takes, the free t-shirts are great way to recognise and encourage people’s sustained participation. The most desirable is clearly the purple 25 volunteering shirt though.
A massive thank you to all the volunteers who give up their time to put the event on for us. The fact that you are willing to get out of bed and stand on the Common on a day when many others would simply pull the duvet over their heads, is a wonderful display of your public spirit.
Colin Sainsbury – with help from Alice and Guy.
Thank you to the Sainsburys for this week's run report! And please do note that Marlborough Common parkrun is CANCELLED on 31 August and 7 September to make way for the circus. A chance to try some parkrun tourism perhaps, before coming back for our last two anticlockwise summer runs.