A run report by Jef, a Salisbury parkrun flood exile
Fast, Flat and a Firm Surface. All you want in a parkrun if you’re looking for that PB time. Seasons best or to keep your average low. If that IS what you’re looking for then Wotton parkrun is definitely NOT for you but if anything, make it the reason to visit.
Two factors brought me to Wotton today. The first is that my home parkrun of Salisbury is flooded and cancelled. The second is I finished a night shift in Chippenham and its description on Facebook and the fact I’m a bit of a tourist and not done it meant it was a good candidate for last parkrun of this decade.
My route was somewhat winding but KLB school was easily found and had ample parking ... like, I was the only one there. Map checked and reassured I was at the right location I was happy to see volunteers arriving. At this point I noted from the website that the average run attendance wasn’t that large. All of a sudden I had visions of finishing within the top 100 Not a common occurrence for me. Loos. We travellers always need them... ah, ok, a port-a-potty. Well, you can't have everything BUT at least there are toilets. Can’t say that about every parkrun.
A bit of a warm up jog of the location tells you straight away, Trail Shoes. Actually full blown cross country spikes might be more fitting.
At the first timers/visitors brief we were briefed by Julie who made what seemed a bit complicated in course diagram fairly simple. To paraphrase, run the 4 wings of the butterfly shaped course twice. Stay on your feet and don’t drown in the mud. Easier said than done!
37 of us lined up to tackle the course and Kerry the RD gave us our final brief which was pretty much, try and come back in one piece!
There is very little else that brings you back to a primal joy other than running… joy, at least until your lungs start burning and legs start turning to jelly… and running a real muddy cross country is as raw as it gets. Wotton’s course asks a lot of you at the moment and gives very little back in return. It says “so you think you know what a 5k feels like?” “Did you chose the right shoes?” Did you fasten them up tight enough?” “When are you going to fall over?” I on the other hand was asking one of myself “Good lord, what have I let myself in for?"
Currently the course offers very little firm footing on any stretch. The best you can look for is landing somewhere where your feet don’t sink beyond sight. Quads and glutes get the best workout possible and your laundry will be testing your washing machine to the max. By the second lap I realised I’d developed a Wotton style of running which was something akin to breast stroke legs with tightrope arms … and I’d yet to fall over! Every marshal threw in a great encouragement boost and that final one of “Run through the puddle!" could not be ignored. What can beat plowing through a muddy puddle when you’re already soaked and the finish is in sight?
Unless you’re a regular at Wotton you clearly can’t compare your times to anywhere else but I was more than delighted being 2 minutes slower than usual BUT my highest ever finish at a parkrun in 8 years ! (yes, I know why, don’t spoil the moment )
Amazingly there were TWO PBs run! Emily RENNINSON took 1 minute 34 seconds off her previous best and Amy LONG took a fine 47 seconds off hers.
There were no first timer at this days event BUT I was joined by a further 7 tourists from Sheffield, Bristol, Reading, Glasgow! …and Wynnum parkrun, Brisbane, Australia!
Although there were no milestone runs for anyone, todays event marked 1st times for Both Linda COHEN and Tess KNOWLES as volunteers who joined a great team of 22 to put on this excellent event - thanks to Naomi PRICE • Andrew PRICE • Emily JENNER • Kerry WHITTON • Linda COHEN • Eileen HIERON • John HIERON • Alan HONEY • Ann FITZJOHN • David FITZJOHN • Tim SMITH • Julie JENNER • Sarah WATT • Becky SHAW • Pauline DRAISEY • Sue SMITH • Carl JENNER • Dave DRAISEY • Lucy SHAW • Anne HARTLEY • Catherine KNOWLES • Tess KNOWLES
Thanks very much for a great Saturday morning and I’m looking forward to coming back and giving it a go again. Preferably in the middle of a heat wave
Jef. A204524. Salisbury parkrun Event Director
Next parkrun at Wotton 4th January 2020
All photographs from January 2019 to current can be seen here
All photographs prior to January 2019 can be seen here
Latest results can be seen here