So the snow had gone (yay!), only to be replaced with strong winds and rain (boo!)
Having seen the weather forecasts during the week, driving the 3 hours North to Pontefract was probably not the smartest move, but as a regular tourist, doing silly things for the love of parkrun is part and parcel of what we do. So the alarm went off at 5am and we were out of the door and on the road by 5:30am, with just a quick check of facebook, twitter and the parkrun cancellations page to double check Pontefract parkrun had not yet been cancelled.
Why Pontefract? Well firstly it is an event we had not done before, and secondly we were attempting to complete the Full Ponty challenge (that's running at each of Pontypridd, Pontypool and Pontefract). We ran at Pontypridd a few weeks ago, and are planning on going to Pontypool next Saturday.
Thankfully, on arrival we saw some of the volunteer and they assured that the event was still going ahead (phew), but would be on the "B course" which was a simple out and back. My first thought was "brilliant, it looks flat". Well that may be how it looks, but most of us know that when running, even a slight incline can feel like the steepest hill.
Ian Rutson (known to many as He Who Must Not Be Named) was Run Director for the day and got us going on time, only to be met with a stingingly cold wind blowing into the side of our faces. After a few minutes it didn't feel quite so bad, so we could all concentrate on running alongside the racecourse and getting our weekly parkrun. So many encouraging runners were met on the day, so a big congratulations to everyone who took part.
After the run, it was lovely chatting to the volunteers at the finish and we continued this in the cafe at the squash club over a bite to eat and a hot drink. I also got to see some of the magic that happens after the tail walker crosses the finish line as Ian was processing the results. A minor blip in the timings was soon ironed out and the text messages and emails were soon winging their way to the volunteers and parkrunners.
I'd like to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers for running such a great event and ensuring it went smoothly and safely:
John Richard BELL, Alan COLLIER, Steve CONROY, Alfie CONROY, Yvonne EDWARDS, Rosemary ELLIS, George GARDNER, Erinne HOY, John KEES, Mathusa LOGESWARAN, Mark PINNEY, Dave POTTS, Ian RUTSON, Kevin WALTON
Some of you may have noticed me with a GoPro on my head as I like to video all of my parkruns and put them on YouTube for other parkrunners, so please have a look and see if you can spot yourself. Some photos of the volunteers can be seen at the end of the video.
On to the stats....
This week we had 312 brave runners, joggers and walkers. 7 UNKNOWNSs (don't forget your barcode next week), 127 Females and 178 Males.
First 3 Males to finish were Craig THORPE in 18:39, James Robert CAPON in 19:11 and Christian BARTON in 19:16. First 3 Female finishers were Treena JOHNSON in 20:25, Katie Marie ROBERTS in 21:39 and Ruth SIMMONS in 22:17.
There were 41 parkrunners who were new to Pontefract of whom 14 were doing their first ever parkrun, and an amazing 32 PB's. So well done to everyone and we hope to see you back next week.
The "most runniest runner" was Matthew Robert WATERIDGE from Basingstoke on 356 parkruns, but there were 4 other members of the 250 Club, 83 members of the 100 Club, 61 members of the 50 Club and 11 members of the 10 Club present. Official milestones achieved today were Luke EARNSHAW who joined the 100 Club and Roger OWEN who joined the 50 Club. Great stuff from you both.
We now have two excellent parkrun podcasts available each week. "Free Weekly Timed" is the official parkrun podcast with Vassos Alexander and Louise Ayling. We also have "With Me Now" with Danny Norman and Nicola Forwood which is an independent parkrun-based podcast (some of you may remember Danny and Nicola from the much loved "The parkrun Show"). I thoroughly recommend them both.
Mark Pinney (A2522444)