This week's run report is brought to us by tourist runner Claire Allison who normally runs at Longrun Meadow.
I’ve been promising myself that I’ll make it to Weymouth parkrun for about six months. The last time I was here, I had to attend a course which started at 9am on a Saturday, which obviously was quite a ridiculous time to start a course on parkrunday… Clearly the course organiser needed educating!
My dad worked in Weymouth when I was a child so occasionally my mum and I would go with him for the day, and spend it at the beach. Driving along the beach road on our way in this morning, brought back happy childhood memories. My parkrun buddy and fellow tourist from Longrun Meadow told me that the last time she was there, she’d seen a little yellow legs. I’m assuming that was a bird, although there is always the chance that she meant a runner wearing yellow high-vis running leggings I guess?
Lodmoor Country Park, where Weymouth parkrun is held, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and RSPB reserve. The SSSI has a wetland habitat, according to Wiki, which is home to native rare birds, presumably the little yellow legs is one of them? Rare insects can also be found there, including my favourite, the short-winged conehead.
First timers brief is held at the far end of the car park and the start is close by, all very easy to find for a newbie. There are pacing signs along the start funnel, giving you a clear idea whereabouts to start according to your expected finish time. A great idea, but the only downside to this was the inability to hear the run director giving the run brief prior to the start as we were towards the back. This was a shame as I would have loved to have known why and who we were clapping!
Road shoes are absolutely fine for the course, which consists of two small laps, then an out and back straight section towards the park and ride, around the pineapple and back again. In essence the route is shaped like an upside down balloon with a long piece of string. Albeit a bit of a deflated balloon, but it’s always fun to work out what a new parkrun route resembles. Ours looks like a duck I think… Part of the joy of this parkrun however is the out and back section. This gives parkrunners the chance to high five or wave at friends as they pass each other. I nearly missed my friend as she was heading back as I was too busy looking at my garmin. All of the marshals were encouraging and enthusiastic, and I especially liked the one who told me it was less than a kilometre to go!
When I was stood at the start, waiting to go, I heard talk that there was a 500 club tee shirt present. I found this incredibly exciting, as I had only just read on facebook about ten of the eleven ladies in the 500 club all meeting up last week at Basingstoke parkrun for the first time. To think that one was there today was great! Although at that point, I didn’t know if it was a man or a lady who belonged to the shirt. Afterwards I went to say hello to the run director, to find her talking to Suzan from Bushy Park, owner of the 500 shirt! Suzan was lovely and friendly, and really happy to talk to us both. 500 parkruns is a massive achievement, and from my brief search I could only find 51 people in this club! The parkrun website states that in order to get into this club, you need to have run every week for just over 9.5 years!
Pictured are ten out of the eleven 500 club ladies at Basingstoke last week.
Above, the lovely Katherine Davis, RD for today, Suzan Baker and myself.
Moving on from one lot of numbers to another. 468 people walked, jogged or ran their way around event #294. This is the 5th highest amount of participants in the history of Weymouth parkrun. Alastair Falconer finished first today for the men, in 17:19. Alastair was a first timer from Croydon. First over the finish line for the ladies was Alex Door from local club Egdon Heath Harriers. Her 20:02 time was also a PB for her, so well done both! Ruth Barnes holds the female record of 17:09 whilst Phil Wicks holds the male record with 14:47.
There were 78 first timers to Weymouth today, so hopefully if you’re on holiday down here in Dorset, you’re having a good time! 88 people got a PB today, so another massive well done to you all! Looking at the results, I see that David Malplas is two away from earning his 250 tee shirt, whilst Egdon Heath runner Kim Fudge celebrated her 100 today! Darren Pearce and Jackie Moon will be sending off for their 50 tee shirts after today, and Harry Hudson did his 11th today, hopefully in his new 10 tee! Lastly a big well done to the 27 people who started their parkrun adventure today, you are all amazing, and I hope you are looking forward to your next parkrun. Special mention to Martha Roberts who did her first 5k parkrun today. She already has an impressive 57 junior parkruns under her belt, as well as the purple 25 volunteer tee shirt ( or eggplant as it is described on the packaging!) but it’s a big jump up from 2K to 5K so good on you Martha!
As always, parkrun couldn’t happen without the brilliant volunteers, so a big thank you must go to the following:
Tim ABBERLEY, Rachel ABEL, Nigel ARTHUR, Richard BIBBY, Sarah BIBBY, Chris BURT, Asa CARDIFF, Peter CHRISTIE, Judy CLARKE, Alan CLARKE, Katherine DAVIS, Sandra FRANCIS, Elisabeth GOWER, David GRIMMETT, Graham HALDWELL, Sacha HATEBOER, Gary HEDGES, Sian HOLTOM, Ruth KIRBY, Hector KNIGHT, David LLOYD, Claire MAY, Lauren MCCALLAM, Michael MCDOWELL, Max NEILSON-HOWES, Fiona PAWSEY, Chris PERRETT, Heather RAY, Arthur RAY, Michael SEWRY, Norma SMART, Kelly TUPLIN, Norman WHITE.
I’ve rambled on long enough, so thank you from two Longrun Meadow tourists, we loved your parkrun and will definitely return. If you fancy a two lapper that looks like a duck, head over to Taunton sometime, you’ll be very welcome!