With an Etonian Prime Minister spouting classical languages, I can show off too. NONNE: that word begins a Latin question expecting the answer, "Yes". In Montrose parkrun circles, if two Directors invite you to write a joint report on park runs 129 and 130, the request (demand) begins with NONNE. Nothing less than "Yes" is expected.
Arriving on Saturday for parkrun 130, I saw two sad strands of wistful tinsel, discarded on the Broomfield grass. What a contrast, I thought, with the decorations and dazzling turnout by the Christmas Day participants only three days before. The inspiration and fun of the costumes were outstanding. Bt Saturday. in my late mum's down-to-earth phrase, it was "back to normal".
Except that at Montrose parkrun, there's no such thing as boring normal.
Lets's start with the statistics, with Christmas Day first in each case. Participants: 132 and 139. First timers: 17 and 11. Personal Bests: 6 and 8. On Christmas Day we had visitors from Australia, Stirling, Derbyshire, Orkney and (even) Brechin. Saturday welcomed tourists from Didcot, Newcastle, Edinburgh,Elgin,Norway and Sweden. Actually, the welcome-back "swede" was our own Pauline Belford, home for the festive break, having moved recently to live in Sweden (where, she says, local run is smaller).
On Christmas Day, Kirsty Merchant, from Glasgow, chose Montrose for her 50th run. Moira Raffan achieved her 50th on Saturday. Congratulations to both!
And, Saturday was David May's, birthday, wearing his 50th vest- gained in Edinburgh- for the first time in Montrose. Under intrusive cross-examination, David conceded that he has done more years than runs.
A delightful feature of Christmas Day was the participation of, probably, the highest ever number of dogs. There happened to be a veterinary Surgeon in the volunteer team. Happily, no canine emergency required her professional services to distract her from her time-keeping duties.
Weather on both days was benign, with two different, but still beautiful, big skies. Seasonal ice on the concrete perimeter track may have reduced the PB total on Christmas Day. On Saturday the generous provision of pacers could well have lifted more participants to their PBs.
In scarcely 48 hours, we'll be up bright and early to greet the two thousand and twenties with our 9am New Year's Day run. Just think: by then, our dictatorial, demanding Directors and their put-upon, cowed volunteers will have facilitated four Montrose park runs in 12 days. That's surely a sort of PB?
Denis' The Token Master' Rice