With lots of parkrun cancellations due to forecasts of gales and storms, it was a tense time this morning waiting to see whether Queen Elizabeth would be on or off. To everyone’s relief, especially those who had traveled quite a way to experience this course, the news came through that it was ON!
So 107 runners gathered on the start line to enjoy the Run Director being heckled by his own dog during the run briefing! Even in the wind and damp, the course was as special as its reputation (mind you, the hills lived up to their reputation as well!). I enjoyed the views of the rolling downs although didn’t spot the sea through the murk. Given the weather, huge congratulations and thanks have to go to the 11 amazing volunteers who got wet and blown about in order that we could run. Thank to you all. You were all so positive and encouraging. I would particularly like to thank Twig, the tail walker, for his company round most of the course - made being at the back a great experience!
Congratulations are also due to those achieving milestones. Steve Till was running his 450th parkrun, an impressive number. Paul Wainwright completed his 50th milestone run and will be able to wear his new red shirt with pride. In contrast to this, congratulations are also due to David Sumner and Harry Pereira-McFee who certainly chose a challenging course for their first ever parkrun ... we hope you enjoyed it and come back for more. 37 runners were visiting Queen Elizabeth for the first time from all over the UK and even a visitor from Perth in Australia ... I wonder how many of them were there to get their Q for their alphabet challenge. Despite the wind and occasional downpours, three runners achieved new PBs - Toby Lambert, Benjamin Clarke and Marianne Wilson. Indeed Toby was the first male back in an impressive 15:22 with the highest age grading of the day of 88.18%.(Toby was marked as assisted as he was running with his dog, who crossed the line first!!).
The first female back was Louise Pointon in 23:22 on her first visit to Queen Elizabeth. Well done to you all but we all achieved well on a beautiful course but challenging conditions. Sadly 4 runners forgot their barcodes. Thank you to the course team for your welcome on my first visit, and for allowing me to write this run report. I thoroughly enjoyed the run - the volunteers, other runners, the attractive course and the beautiful views all made it a very special morning and I hope I can return on a lovely sunny calm morning.
by Caroline Harvey