Prospect parkrun Event #85 – The One with one in five PBs!

Run report by Ian SAVILL

Having cycled to work on Thursday morning and run to work on Friday morning in freezing fog, I was relieved to wake up on Saturday morning and see an overcast but clear day ahead and while it was a bit chilly, nothing out of hand for this time of year. I also thought of the kind volunteers on set up duty and that it’s definitely daylight now when they set out for an 8 am start!

194 park runners including 37 Prospect first timers set out on our three lap course in what horse racing circles might describe as “heavy” conditions. The course has definitely benefited from a dry week and while the ground was quite sticky, the slippery parts of recent weeks have almost disappeared altogether. Amazing in the circumstances that 41 park runners managed personal bests, that’s over 20% of everyone that ran! A quick nod to Clewin Griffiths, who crossed the line before anyone else managing to knock 12 seconds off his PB.

We had visitors from South Africa, Poland, Yorks and Lancs this week. I caught up with William Rankin, whose previous parkrun was Wits in Johannesburg, after the run and he recommended a visit to Sterkfontein parkrun if anyone is ever in the area – there’s a waterfall on the route. William, as it happens, has just emigrated to Reading, and he asked me about local running clubs and by fortune, Michael Goff, Secretary of Reading Joggers was volunteering as finishing token support and no less than the chair of Reading Roadrunners, Phil Reay had recently finished his run so I left them fighting over a new member!

I also chatted with first timer Monika Wieczorek, who has signed up for Reading Half Marathon and her dad, tourist Dariusz who was over from Warsaw, helping her with her training, so good luck on the 5th April Monika and don’t forget to have a gentle warm up at Prospect parkrun the day before.

I was keen to keep track of the doggy parkrunners, as having attempted (and failed) once myself to get a basset hound around, I’ve always seen the enjoyment on the dog’s faces as they sometimes literally drag their owners around the course. So, from what I can tell, forgive me if I’ve missed anyone (maybe we should get barcodes for dogs as well!), I think the order was:
1st was Drum in overall 28 th place
2nd was Bluebell in overall 66 th place
3rd was Olive in overall 120 th place
4th was Maisy in overall 136 th place (with JW11-14 Sophie)
5th was Ted in overall 171 st place (with JW10 Ivy)
6th was Artie – literally bringing up the tail in 194 th place

And to end, just a quick word on volunteering, it’s great fun and sets up your weekend in a very positive mindset. I’ve volunteered for a few roles now, my favourite is barcode scanning – it’s great to see the elation and sense of achievement on everyone’s faces and there is a buzz from sharing that moment that keeps you coming back for more!

This week 194 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 37 were first timers and 41 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 11 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 33 volunteers: Dion FARRELL • Judy HICKS-DAVIES • Michael GOFF • Gary BRAMPTON • Mandy CARDEN • Catherine GREAVES • Malcolm BOOKER • Kirsty MOULSLEY • Gerry O'DRISCOLL • James GREAVES • Ross CLARK • Daniel MERCER • Oliver LOTTER • A J JAIN • Elaine GUNSTONE • Tiggy GUNSTONE • Nicola REYNOLDS • Simon WORSLEY • Art ATWAL • Laura TAYLOR • Benjamin LANCASTER • Donald TOWNSIN • Fiona BROWN • Emily HODGES • Thomas BRAY • Megan BURROWES • Alistair DOWLMAN • Ian SAVILL • Martin JONES • Ted RUMBLE • Ben WILSON • Molly MCARDLE • Richard BUCKINGHAM

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Prospect parkrun Results Page.