The run report comes to you from Matthew this week.
There was a moment just before this week’s run when it looked as though the sun might come out, but it wasn’t to be, and remained a bit grey and washed out – which was actually really comfortable for running.
I made a new friend whilst we were waiting for the briefing – a crane fly kept attaching itself to me, and at one point it looked as though I was going to have a passenger for the run. Whatever I did, it kept coming back to me.
It was great to see turnout is getting back to former levels, and especially how many new runners we had – I made it 11 brand new first timers this week, as well as a handful of tourists.
It was also nice that we didn’t need the appeal for volunteers that we’ve had in recent weeks, but we can always do with more - if you haven’t volunteered before please do give it a go.
But you’re probably wondering why it’s me writing the report this week (ok, maybe you’re not!). The short answer is that I wanted to mark my 50th Parkrun by doing the report. It’s a bit of a relief to finally earn the coveted red t-shirt!
It also turns out that I wasn’t the only one hitting a milestone this week – sharing the occasion with Sophie (50), Parmjit (50) and Philip (100).
I was a bit of latecomer to Parkrun, evidenced by the fact my wife, Amanda, is a whole milestone t-shirt ahead of me, but it didn’t take long for it to became a natural part of a Saturday morning. So much so that Saturday now doesn’t feel like Saturday without it. That certainly makes going out to stagger around the Heath in terrible weather a lot easier. I’d simply regret it if I gave it a miss. Even going out to do Parkrun on Christmas Day feels like a perfectly sane and normal thing to do.
We’ve even been known to plan going away on holiday around Parkrun – whether that’s arranging the travel to make sure we can fit in Parkrun before we go or come home, or choosing where we go based on whether there is a local Parkrun in the area. But I’m sure we’re not alone in that (I can recommend Lanhydrock if you want a real shock to the system after being used to Thurrock!). It can become a bit of an obsession.
I’d hoped to get the 50 last year, of course, maybe as early as May, but we all know what put paid to that. During the hiatus, Parkrun was definitely one of the things (if not THE thing) I missed the most. It’s just not the same pounding the streets trying to weave around people, dogs and traffic – but even more than that it’s a very solitary form of exercise. We really missed all the other people from the Heath.
(Not) Parkrun was what helped me get through it. I found running round the Heath, rather than some random route of my own devising, provided some structure and familiarity to my runs. I could have done it near home, but using the Heath helped bring back a little bit of the Parkrun feeling and weekend routine, albeit without the need to actually get up quite so early! I also mixed it up a bit and went anti-clockwise sometimes, although I can confirm that anti-clockwise is uphill all the way.
Even with (Not) Parkrun, both Amanda and I were itching to get back when “proper” Parkrun restarted, and it’s not disappointed. We’ve got our Saturdays back! I’m even starting to like the new temporary course.
Finally, I must also say a special thank you to Boomy for making me run so fast two weeks ago that any hope of getting a PB for my 50th run was well beyond reach. Or maybe that crane fly did hitch a lift this week!
Anyway enough of me rambling on, I’m sure you’re really just here for the stats…
This week 118 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 15 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 25 volunteers:
Robert TEER • Elizabeth COX • Sandra HARNOR • Toby DRAPER • Ray MILLER • Wendy TURPIN • Renae LAYBOURN • Irene FLOOD • Reginald FLOOD • Debbie MACINNES • Dean SYKES • Peter EATES • Clowance LANE • Kaitlyn LANE • Jane EADY-SCOFIELD • Terry SCOFIELD • Steven CRABBE • Matthew KING • David MCCALLUM • Heidi ADAMS • Jean HARRIS • Holly ADAMS • Thomas OLLINGTON • Laurence READ • Rachel OLLINGTON
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Thurrock parkrun, Orsett Heath Results Page.
The male record is held by Alec FINCH who recorded a time of 15:29 on 3rd December 2016 (event number 60).
The female record is held by Charlie ARNELL who recorded a time of 18:38 on 16th December 2017 (event number 114).
The Age Grade course record is held by Dave TULLETT who recorded 87.82% (17:39) on 14th August 2021 (event number 235).
Thurrock parkrun, Orsett Heath started on 10th October 2015. Since then 3,217 participants have completed 20,639 parkruns covering a total distance of 103,195 km, including 3,693 new Personal Bests. A total of 362 individuals have volunteered 4,046