Exclusive: assailants and ring leader caught on parkrun camera!

Run report by Richard Woodfield. Photographs by David Harman, except where otherwise indicated

It was an eventful parkrun #134 with a rapidly changing kaleidoscope of weather - mist then sun then fog. And then there was a bunch of particularly surly ducks that decided to ambush runners on the far side of the lake.

Early arrivals at parkrun were treated to the spectacle of a golden glowing sun rising through the mist beyond the lake.... (photo by RW)
20161217_085315[1]

Run Director for the day, Joe, announced that today was Louise Fitzgerald's 50th parkrun (Louise has of course also volunteered well over 100 times) and Matthew Bentham had joined the Junior 10 parkruns club. It was also John Bowman's 50th birthday as well as regular volunteer Noeline Sim's birthday (number unspecified!).

After a quick reminder that Christmas Eve was a "pacer day special" and a burst of applause for the volunteers the parkrunners were up and away.

And they're away.... one moment the colours were sharp and bright....
parkrun 171216 015

Moments later the light was mellow and soft....
parkrun 171216 020

I opted for a steady run in the middle of the pack - which meant that until after the run I was unaware of the drama that had been unfolding ahead. On the far side of the lake - and acting up in front of our parkrun photographer - the local ducks were in a stroppy mood, distinctly lacking in the festive spirit. I'm a bit of an ornithologist but struggle to pin these ones down - they look like some kind of cross between Muscovy duck, farmyard duck and mallard. But, whatever their precise pedigree, they were undoubtedly cross!

The ducks eye up their tactics. No doubt which is the "ring leader"
parkrun 171216 030

Attack Mark 1!.... Colin "ducks" to avoid a possible premature end to his parkrun
parkrun 171216 036

Attack Mark 2!... This time local MP Greg Clark is the startled victim as the duck (at right of picture) swoops low across the path.
parkrun 171216 034

Having captured that exclusive, David was roving around the course to look for some unusual parkrun angles. Here's one of them....

Who goes trip trap over my bridge?
parkrun 171216 071

One of the great things about parkrun is its versatility. You can really go for effort and personal bests - or you can opt to take things in a more relaxed way.

A parkrun for all moods. Digging in deep........................ And relaxing
parkrun 171216 025 parkrun 171216 022

"Never quit" is the very appropriate logo on the light green top
parkrun 171216 090

There was a good turnout of well behaved dogs on short leads.

Plenty of dogs enjoyed their parkrun....
parkrun 171216 086 parkrun 171216 073
parkrun 171216 070 parkrun 171216 139

Statistics
149 parkrunners
17 volunteers
18 parkrunning for the first time at our course (of whom 10 were doing their very first parkrun)
19 personal bests achieved by returning runners
16 runners who were unregistered or who had forgotten their barcode

The parkrun engine room (Pt 1) Joe briefing DofE volunteer Annaelle about uploading the results
parkrun 171216 153

The parkrun engine room (Pt 2) Sorting the finish tokens
parkrun 171216 151

Many thanks to this week's volunteers who were:
Alison BEARD • Annaelle DUFFIELD • Annamaria BETTS • Charlie KIRWAN • Charlie WARD • David HARMAN • Duncan RALPH • Huw JONES • Joseph WATTS • Judy GUEST • Louise FITZGERALD • Noeline SIMS • Ralph GREEN • Richard WOODFIELD • Simon JONES • Steve BARNFIELD • Zena HASSELL