By Tom Briggs, aged 15
Saturday morning, and that of course means parkrun. It was QE Parkrun #361 and my 103rd parkrun at QE. The race director was James who coincidentally paced me at my first ever parkrun (which was also at QE) in July 2014 when I was nine years old. This is my first run report as part of my bronze DoE.
It was a muddy one today, especially with the logging going on. Parkrun this week, as usual was a family affair for me; my dad, my mum, my brother and, of course, our dog – she wouldn’t miss it for the world. Unlike my 16-year-old sister who decided her hockey match should take priority. There was an average amount of runners, with a lot of tourists, to of course get their Q. We all set off at a reasonable pace up the hill until we hit the downhill which was probably the muddiest part of the course.
Up the long hill we went on our second loop, after some well needed support from volunteers and spectators at the finish funnel. Luckily, there was no headwind going up the kilometre-long climb, so it was easier than usual, yet still the one of the hardest climbs of any parkrun (at least of the ones I’ve done!). The hill is usually my strongest part of the course and I managed to gain one place however this was short-lived with me being re–overtaken as I got onto the second downhill.
It’s early March, so of course that meant more mud on the downhill (I was getting quite tired of it at that point!). Along the ‘rollercoaster’ section I managed to increase my pace significantly, despite the muddy patches. Getting to the finish, we were cheered on by the volunteers, spectators and those who had already finished.
Along the course, the marshals were smiley and supportive, despite the cold weather. The volunteers at the finish funnel were great as usual, congratulating everyone on their run and time. It was a relatively fast parkrun for the conditions, with Stephen Masterson, Phil Guest and Tom Overing (the first three runners) coming in at 18:53, 20:51 and 21:00 respectively. The first three female runners were Kathryn Marcell, Danielle Robarts and Suzanne Gray, their times being 24:59, 26:01 and 26:26. I was fifth and the first junior runner, with my time being 21:25. Our dog, Tinga, taking my dad for a run, was second dog; beaten this week by Suki.
Overall, QE is a great, parkrun and I would thoroughly recommend anybody thinking of coming here to do so, if not for the run then definitely for the great coffee and food at the recently renovated café afterwards!