It was lovely to tourist at Oxford parkrun today, despite the less than desirable weather which seemed to disappear and be replaced by sun the second we had finished! Still, my boyfriend and I were just grateful to be able to attend it; after a long day visiting the Christmas market and ice skating yesterday – which, in hindsight, was not a fabulous idea the day before a run – we returned back to the hotel room, only to realise that our entire kit, minus shoes and barcode, were at home in Somerset! A quick, late night trip to the nearby retail park allowed us to find some cheap, acceptable clothes to run in. Note to self – when packing for a weekend away, make sure all the bags are in the car…
We then saw that due to a lack of marshals, the run may not go ahead. Thankfully, the hi-vis heroes stepped in as always, and it was on – 26 amazing volunteers made today possible. So appreciated, especially in the rain!
Thank you to: Ben BROWN • Bob POMFRET • Chris JONES • Colin GOODLAD • Diane WILKINSON • Eveline SMITH • Evelyn JOSLIN • Hayden NEALE-BATES • Jack BROWN • Jake ANDERSON • Jan PONSFORD • John STOBBS • Jordi HOOPER • Lesley MALLOCH • Lorraine WILSON • Mary WILSON • Millie SCOTT • Neil MELVILLE FERNANDES • Nick PAGETT • Rachel JOHNSON • Richard VENABLES • Sam FARMBOROUGH • Samara WARDLEY • Sarah LEACH • Sarah Ruth Alice WATERS • Ulen NEALE
Despite the uncertainty of yesterday, all worked out and we really enjoyed being part of the 373 brave people to walk, jog or run Oxford’s 3 lap winter course today. This was a very different experience to our home run in St Mary’s, Bridport, which usually gets around 80-100 runners! We felt at home immediately as we pulled up to the familiar sight of the hi vis heroes – that truly is the beauty of parkrun; the feeling of familiarity, wherever you are in the country, or even the world. There were 43 first timers today, and 18 new PBs recorded – well done!
A special mention must also go to first timer Frosty THESNOWMAN, who did an incredible job of pacing the 30-minute mark in a rather impressive costume – if you weren’t there, I’ll let you figure out what the outfit was!
First across the line today was Adam WALDRON, in an incredibly fast 16.56. This was swiftly followed by Matthieu MARSHALL in 17.00 and Joe BOWNESS in 17.40, finishing second and third respectively. First lady today was Amy CONCANNON in an amazing 20.43. Fabulous running by all.
At this point in the run report for my home parkrun, I would usually mention first dog. However, there were so many dogs at the start line today that I didn’t see who finished first, nor did I catch any names of the dogs or owners. It was however a pleasure to meet so many excited doggies, and their owners! Well done to you all.
Despite the weather, which brightened up almost miraculously after the run, it was a very enjoyable and friendly course. If you are local to Oxford and haven’t given it a go yet, or fancy a bit of tourism to get your ‘O’, it is definitely worth a visit – Cutteslowe and Sunnymead is a lovely park, and I expect would be even more so in brighter weather! Don’t forget to volunteer too – there are always roles available where you can run also. It takes just minutes to register for parkrun and will keep you smiling all weekend. Just don’t forget your barcode… or your clothes!
Author: Jordi Hooper