Over 110 parkrunners braved the blustery conditions on Saturday at Middleton Woods to get their park run fix for the week.
Gathering at the start for event 95 – a takeover by the South Leeds Lakers running club – it was pretty impressive to see so many Lakers dotted all around the course and amongst the volunteers in their fabulous green, black and orange vests.
At the start, Ian – the Guest Run Director did a great job in competing with the blustery conditions around him to deliver the usual briefing. Whilst there were no milestones to celebrate, there was an opportunity to welcome a few first ever parkrunners to Middleton and to identify any visiting tourists. Two ladies from Rugby emerged as the parkrunners whom had travelled furthest. After a hearty round of applause for the many volunteers in attendance – both from the Lakers and the Core Team – we were off.
Visiting from York and having never had the pleasure of visiting Middleton before I was really excited to see how the course would compare to other local events I had done. First impressions were great. I really enjoyed the gentle, descent down into the woods and taking in the beautiful scenery. Running under the cover of the trees, I couldn’t help but think that the make up of the area would potentially nullify the blustery weather and make for a really pleasant run. Thinking of this completely took my thoughts away from the fact that we would have to return up the same hill at some point. Running past the small lake and then down a great downward stretch, the hard work began with big patches of mud, a bit of bogginess and some sharp turns.
On getting to the top of this beastly section of the run, it was great to see a welcoming marshall stood waiting. She even shouted ‘You’re doing great’ as I slowly ran past them. Although I didn’t feel or look great (!!) this positive encouragement gave me a great boost and I tackled the last lap with even more gusto. Some mud, bogginess and heavy breathing later, it was great to saunter over the finish line in a good time. Crossing with a mixture of relief and contentment, it was definitely a case of a job well done. Watching the other runners coming in, it was great to see many happy and determined faces as they jogged, ran and sprinted over the finish line.
With a new found respect and knowledge Middleton’s hills of mud, I definitely hope to return again sometime to do it all again. If you want a bit of everything – some great trails, lovely woodland views and a friendly and positive volunteer team, and a great local running presence in the Lakers, Middleton will be right up your street! Just don’t forget your trail shoes like I nearly did!
Many congratulations to all the participants including the following:
Keelan HENRY – First Male Finisher and a South Leeds Laker himself (19:41).
Andrew PARNHAM – First Female Finisher and a New PB (23:34)
Anne MIDDLETON - Best Age Grading (70.53%)with a time of 26:45. Anne should really get extra marks for sharing her name with the event too!
Andrew THRIPPLETON - Most Experienced Parkrunner, amazingly completing his 277thparkrun.
Also well done in particular to the 7 Juniors whotook part today. Well done to Thomas LENTON who finished 4th overall with a cracking time of 21:44. Congratulations to Jessica BOWMAN and Finlay APPLEYARD who both achieved PBs!
For the benefit of the statistically inclined we welcomed an incredible 29 first time visitors from different parkruns, and runners from a range of different running clubs. Tourists came from Rugby, Wakefield, York, Baildon, Loughborough, Denby Dale, Barnsley and Danum, whilst we had local representation from Abbey Runners, Kirkstall Harriers, and St. Theresa’s. A big shout out to the many South Leeds Lakers runners who came down en masse to support the takeover – you did an amazing job!
Congratulations to the amazing 13 parkrunners who smashed their PBs today. An amazing achievement on a challenging course, in windy conditions.
We finally welcomed 3 first ever parkrunners toMiddleton Woods. Well done Samantha REID, Graham LEE and Carol TODD for completing your maiden parkrun. Congratulations and welcome to the parkrun family!
Today’s parkrun wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful volunteers who dedicated their time and effort to ensuring the event went as smoothly as ever. Thank you to the followingawesome volunteers who offered encouragement and a warm welcome:
Amanda BINNS, Roger BURKILL, Rachel CLARKE-WILLIAMS, Samantha DEARDEN, Cat HALL, Mary HALSEY, Mick HOPKINSON, Lucy JOHNSTON, Martin KAYE, Rikki LENTON, Dave LINGWOOD, Kieran O’BRIEN, Reuben O’BRIEN, Ian PICKLES, Kathryn WALDEGRAVE
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Middleton Woods parkrun results page.
The female record is held by Alice LEAKE who recorded a time of 18:57 on 1st January 2020 (event number 87).
The male record is held by Jonathan WALTONwho recorded a time of 16:56 on 14th September 2019 (event number 72).
The Age Grade course record is held by Treena JOHNSON who recorded 89.42% (20:48) on 19thOctober 2019 (event number 77).
Credit Dave Lingwood for the report