By Harold Duckworth with photos by Peter Cook
A grey day with all the promise and charm of an autumnal soaking. RD Ian May, keen to get proceedings underway, whipped up some early enthusiasm and called upon close friends and runners alike to embrace the occasion and was duly rewarded. The surface underfoot was ‘damp’, shall we say, and rather slippery on the grass. Persistent rain greeted the faithful but smiley & enthusiastic runners and volunteers. The conditions were reminiscent of a typical school cross country run reserved for days when the schoolmasters shouted 3-2-1 GO to their assembled victims before retiring to their lair for a hot mug of cocoa.
The runner choosing to collect a finish token before everyone else was James Barrett in an impressive time, given the difficult conditions, of 18 minutes 52 seconds.
The lure of a now compulsive Saturday morning fitness fix encouraged 220 runners and some buggies and doggies to take to the course. There were 32 first timers to Reading of whom 8 were running their inaugural parkrun; 16 personal bests were set (7% of all runners) and 21 running clubs were represented. The impressive list of running clubs included participants from well-known clubs such as Lonely Goat RC, UK Mudd Queens and Billy No-Mates.
Official milestones recorded this week include Tracey Eddington and Trudie Fell racking up 50 runs apiece plus Alice Papierowski clocking up 100 runs. Well done ladies!
A special mention goes out for the group of nine volunteers from the HP Placement Intern Group. These lads and lasses did a terrific job of keeping the event right on track performing a variety of volunteer roles. Those whom I spoke with were friendly, smiley and cheerful, and happy to help.
A note to touring runners, do please consider volunteering at a touring event. There are plenty of roles that a tourist could easily do in addition to their own run. This is a useful way to advance one’s personal volunteer ratio and helps to sustain the support structure for all events. It is also quite rewarding to be part of the team. You can sign up by emailing email@example.com or just ask any of the other volunteers on a Saturday morning.
Lastly, well done to all those who took part; runners, amblers, volunteers, cheerleaders and especially the organisers.
Harold John Duckworth
Thanks to the volunteers
We are very grateful to the 20 volunteers who made this event happen:
Sandra ABONE, Elizabeth ADELY, Betsy BRIND, Andrew BUTLER, Harold DUCKWORTH, David HODGKINSON, Sam HOLDEN, Alexa HOLT, Sabrina ISKANDAR, Demi JAMES, Olivia JOHNSTON, Livvy JONES, Jack KERSHAW, Ian MAY, Stu MCNEILL, Peter COOK, Phil NASH, Rob PAGE, Duncan PRIOR, Chris SMITH, Alan TOWER