Run Report – Written by Imogen Gunson
The morning started well with a break from the heatwave, cool and breezy to start which was refreshing for a run. After a deceptively long walk from the car park we had our first timer and tourist briefing by David – with the wind now picking up making hearing much speech difficult it is fortunate the route is fairly straight forward, almost being the boundaries of the racetrack. We had a spectrum of tourists today from neighbouring parkruns through to Bushy the home of parkrun, and even an international visitor from Russia! We then had the run directors welcome, with Sam highlight that 99.2% of parkrun events in the UK have an AED, of which Pitchcroft is one, which is a fantastic achievement.
We then started the run, a lovely start area with plenty of space rather than congestion as some events can be! Battling the wind, we headed down one of the straights, but shortly crossed the course thinking we would have the wind behind for a bit of a speed boost – however having thick tree cover we were protected from all elements, so could at least run comfortably even if not assisted by the wind.
The course had plenty of marshal’s around it, all of whom were supportive throughout with particularly oomph in the cheers on the second lap. As the event was drawing to a close we had a welcome rain shower, I’m sure in a few months we won’t be so keen on them again. At the finish line the volunteers on timing, tokens, and scanning were all friendly and as chatty as you can without distracting from their roles. When touristing it’s always lovely to speak to people both runners and volunteers who really make it – with warm recollections I’m sure to visit again, once I’ve reached my ‘regionnaire’ of West Midlands.
In total 203 parkrunners walked, jogged or ran of whom 34 achieved new PBs so a massive well done all, particularly given the head on wind for half the course!
Milestones was achieved by 3 into the ’50 club’ – I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to proudly wearing their red shirts before long.
I always enjoy meeting people at their first parkrun and seeing the smiles at the finish which hopefully means they’ll be back! The first achievement is just getting to your first parkrun, I remember being nervous before my first thinking it would be an elite running club, little did I know every event is a family both in itself and within the wider international parkrun family where all are welcome. Today we were joined by 15 first timers who hopefully enjoyed themselves so much they’ll return and maybe even catch the tourist bug, as I was one of 35 tourists.
Final note has to be the thank you to the high vis heroes of which we had 18 volunteers today, we really couldn’t enjoy our run without you!