Wormwood Scrubs is an underrated parkrun in the middle of London (wo)manned by a friendly team of volunteers. It is a deceptively tough course and should be a regular venue for walkers and runners who prefer to walk and run on grass (and some mud in winter).
It is flanked by a prison. One of the many remarkable things parkrun has achieved is to start parkruns in a few prisons. I read that it has given participating prisoners (and staff) a sense of purpose and achievement and is a weekly highlight.
John McAvoy, a Londoner, is currently the only Nike sponsored Ironman triathlete and he was a high profile armed robber who found redemption through the power of sport (read "Redemption: from Iron Bars to Ironman" for a truly remarkable story).
Maybe there will be a parkrun for Wormwood Scrubs prison one day.
So, this parkrun was well after Quitters' Day - well done to all of you for continuing to run. One of my favourite running quotes is by Haruki Murakami "Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest".
It was a nice, crisp morning and the mud slushed as the runners' feet pounded their way around the Scrubs. I think this course is deceptive because it is flat and appears benign but it is quite soft underfoot and when the course is wet the muddy stretch at the start and at the back makes for a hard slog (ok yesterday maybe all the way around). This makes it a nice challenge. Wormwood Scrubs does not attract one of the larger attendances of the London parkruns despite the wide spaces on the course. This adds to its charm.
The volunteers here are always friendly and we thank them once again for their time and effort. Parkrun cannot survive without its volunteers and we all ought to volunteer at least a few times a year. The volunteers on Saturday (and many of them volunteer regularly at Wormwood Scrubs) were: Ben le Rougetel, Charlie le Rougetel, Fraser Brydson, Marion Brydson, Robert Ferguson, Paul Woodgate, Fran Santos, Nick Michael, Craig Gunn, Peter Jordan and Frankie Lynch.
There were a number of newcomers to parkrun and a few first timers at the Scrubs. Welcome to the parkrun family to the newcomers and may you derive the enjoyment we all do from parkrun. Hopefully the first timers return to the Scrubs. Nick Michael has done an astonishing 360 parkruns at Wormwood Scrubs (387 overall) so we have a way to go to catch up. Rizwan Rauf (304; 323), Peter Jordan (276; 276), Marion Brydson (240; 254) and Fraser Brydson (232; 236) have all done well over 200 parkruns at the Scrubs - amazing by all and real dedication from Peter (there are other parkruns in London Peter).
Congratulations to all our parkrunners. Special mention to the first three Gideon Reid, Raoul Huysmans and Andrew Scott. Lola Raghavan, Lucy Pollock and Fran Lou were the first three women - well done to Fran on completing her 100th parkrun. Lola was also the first junior home - impressive! Josh Hallam was the first male junior to finish. Joaquim Pereira managed a Personal Best in tough conditions. Finally a mention for my running mate the Catalan with his eighth place (what are friends for if they can't mention you?). Well done folks!