I’ve written a few run reports, today, I honestly don’t know where to start.
I’m a parkrun tourist that’s working my way through the alphabet challenge and Tilgate is a prime example of why.
I was actually planning on staying local over Easter but last night decided to go for my T.
Tilgate looked like a nice (hour and a half) drive from my home parkrun in Eastleigh so armed with the postcode at 7am this morning, off we set. (That’s me and my other half that didn’t run today but was marshalling along the road bit, offering high fives).
We followed the signs to park in the free car park and followed our fellow parkrunners up a bank to the most gorgeous looking park and lake. STUNNING!
We were directed to the loos (an integral part of my tourism) by a parkrun volunteer (Len) who explained that while he hasn’t been well enough to take part in parkrun, he still turns up week after week to offer his services, I’m sure he said he was getting close to his 250 volunteer role(?) Kudus to that man!
We introduced ourselves to Justin, todays volunteer coordinator and I walked over to the 1st timers brief.
Lots of first timers there today, the course was described very well by a very engaging chap (Alnur), so everyone knew what to do and where to go.
The main brief gave us a chance to thank all of today's volunteers aka the high viz heroes with a massive round of applause - well deserved.
Some parkrunners were congratulated for joining milestone clubs.
Congratulations to Richard Evans running his 50th today.
Congratulations also to Simon Pearce, Kevin Langridge, Leanne Stevens, Sarah Clapp and Miyuki Stephenson who all joined the 100 club today.
You may have noticed Sarah and Miyuki had more than a few supporters there today from their Crawley Saints and Sinners Running Club! (I did leave thinking that yellow is the new black?) Great team support and well done everyone that are now waiting to order your new tops.
Not official milestone clubs but congratulations to Nicola Blackwell who ran her 150th today and Fiona Viles who ran her 350th, Sebastian Hetherington and Martyn Clarke-Jones both ran their 99th this week so I’m guessing there will be more cake next week?
So, what did I think of the course?
A clear, blue sky day, a lap around the most beautiful lake with sunlight reflecting off of the ripples, along a wooded area where the morning sun was hazily beaming through the trees...
Past an abundance of super friendly, extremely encouraging marshals, and when I say marshals, I mean Easter bunny’s, one in a tutu with bright orange pompoms (Nigel)…
At one point I was running along with a chicken (Nina) (yes, I said chicken) who sang come on Eileen to me as I passed.
Then around a beautiful park area, with spectacular trees, spring flowers, blossom and lots of dog walkers playing with their best friends. Finally back around the stunning lake one more time before being cheered and reinvigorated along and into the well organised finish funnel.
We had the opportunity to talk to some really welcoming, friendly people in the short queue for scanning, one lady that we spoke to said that Tilgate parkrun was special and I wholeheartedly agree.
We passed the cake table,, so much cake, and then met Abbie, probably the most well known and most popular 12-year-old barkrunner who today, ran her 302nd parkrun.. along with her very friendly, sociable owner Brian who is on track to run his 400th parkrun at Christmas.
With each new parkrun I go to, my list of top three favourites changes. Today was no exception. Tilgate, without doubt has taken the lead. We would love to come back, maybe again in the summer, but we want to see if on a cold frosty morning too.
One last thing to add, while running around the lake, I noticed a lady who had a memorial pinned to her back. The lady said she was running for her two friends that had sadly passed away. It wasn’t until we were leaving, when I found out that this lady Claire Artemenkova actually ran her 11th half marathon this morning! Claire is running a half marathon every month for a year in loving memory of her two friends and raising money for the hospices that looked after them in the process. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-art https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-art2 lots of runners were doing extra laps too, how fabulous!
We had a really lovely morning. Thank you to everyone that made us feel welcome. It was a pleasure meeting and chatting with those of you that we did. We look forward to coming back and joining you again soon!