Our Run Report this week comes courtesy of David Piper (son of lovely run/walk pacer Liz), who visited us today for his first time.
What is it about winter weather that brings out the best in people? When the rain is pelting down, the skies glower with clouds and the wind is whipping slates off every other roof, why do we feel this bold, daring and energetic desire to pull the blankets up and go back to sleep?
Fortunately, the rain had called it a day by the time we got to the junction for Wakefield. And by the time Thornes Park rolled into view, the sun (banned by Council decree in York, between October and March) was blazing away. The wind was still strong enough to make the local dogs hang on to their owners with both hands, but bah gum, it were positively warm!
Until we got out of the car.
Wakefield Thornes parkrun is one of those unique courses, which starts at the top of a hill and finishes at the bottom – but considerately lets you climb up it from both sides, several times. Due to the effects of Storms Ciara, Dennis and Normal Yorkshire Winter, it was mostly restricted to the tarmac drives. Except for a squishy 5 minutes across the park’s playing swamps. And two goes alongside the only duckpond in Northern England not to have burst its banks... by much.
It was good weather for getting a suntan, with the sun blazing from a blue sky – but as we all had a silly aversion to frostbite, there were more hats and gloves in sight than sunglasses. All sorts were out for a dash through the green, green grass (and trees) of Wakefield. Parkrunners on their first ever outing (come again, it can only get warmer, honest!); seasoned veterans from near and far; junior parkrunners showing their parents how to do it and aunts out with their nieces, fitting in that quality family time on a Saturday morning. The marshalls, in their new-look pink vests proved that east of the Pennines can do friendliness and encouragement to perfection... and that's comjng from an exiled Cumbrian! Take the compliment guys, you deserve it!
Quite a few parkruns have been cancelled, across the UK, by the recent weather. All I can say is, I'm over the moon Thornes Park wasn't – it was a pleasure to come along!
Of course, it wouldn’t happen without folk to set it up, pack it away, take our times down and point out which way to go, round the course. A huge thanks to everyone who volunteered this week – why not join them one of these weeks? Then your name could be on the wall of fame, alongside this week’s amazing volunteers:
Abigail LANCASTER • Adam BROWN • Andrew NICHOLLS • Anthony AUDSLEY • Beth GRIPTON • Brian AMUNUGAMA • Deanne WHITEHEAD • Deb NICHOLLS • Edward BRIGGS • Elizabeth GOODSON • Esmé RANDALL • Jennifer GILL • John WALKER • Kathryn THORPE • Kov BAHADORI • Lisa VERCELLI • Martha DILLEY • Matthew LANCASTER • Norman ROPER • Owen Howard CHAPMAN • Phil GIBSON • Rachael STEPHENSON • Richard LEE • Ruth GREEN • Ruth HENDERSON • Sally Jane FOZZARD • Thomas SELLERS
There are also some major milestones to be given the thumbs-up to. At today’s 267th running of the park we had 15 brand new parkrunners, 21 regulars who got a new personal best time, and Martin Whitehead celebrating his 150th parkrun! Well done all of you!