Following a third consecutive Friday evening of relentless rain and stormy conditions on the eve of the Penrith Parkrun #306, the undefeatable nature of the stalwart Parkrun volunteers was present yet again to keep Penrith moving. The River Eamont had burst its banks and flooded inwards towards Frenchfield Sports Centre, decimating the normally scenic and many Parkrunners favourite part of the course, ‘the canal turn’. This did not put off the hardy bunch of volunteers, whom were in action at the ungodly time of 7.30am to ensure that an alternative safe and uncompromised 5km (3.1 mile) route could be enjoyed by all participants.
A temporary route was now in place with cones and supportive marshals at every corner ready to encourage the eager participants. Penrith Parkrun #306 commenced in relatively calm weather given the previous evenings stormy conditions. This week 278 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 48 were first timers and 8 recorded new Personal Best times. A fantastic achievement given a change in weather at the midpoint of the event, whereby driving hail stones rained down on both participants and race organisers. In addition, to their pre-event commitment the generous 33 volunteers painstakingly marshalled the event in cold and snowy, wet and blustery conditions encouraging each and every participant.
James Fargher (Eden Runners), Stephen Morland (Knaresborough Striders) and Oliver Saxon (Eden Runners) crossed the line in first, second and third respectively. James still managed to clock a fantastic time of 19 minutes and 4 seconds in less than ideal running conditions. Karen Bridge (Eden Runners), Nicola King (Eden Runners) and Rachel Kraft (Unattached) were first, second and third ladies over the finish line respectively. Karen crossing the line in a time of 21 minutes and 48 seconds.
The post event scene was one of Frenchfield Sports Centre Pavillion steamed up from the inside from the temperate bodies of laughing and joking participants and marshals. A place where people of all generations were able to share their individual story of the mornings event over a mug of something warm and homemade cakes, made the evening before by the avid bakers within Penrith Parkrun ranks. Until next week (and all those Saturdays that follow), Saturday 29th February 2020 at 9.00am, Frenchfield Sports Centre, we will all meet again.