‘Parkrun’ has become quite an institution, currently growing faster than ever after the tenth anniversary of the inaugural run in Bushey Park.
Sue and I ran again at Wythenshawe (my 74th and her 20th outing), on a day when times didn’t matter, not that they ever do really.
Here are a few more pictures from today.
A dignified tree and Santa.
Wallys and reindeer are for ever, not just for Christmas. Note disapproving Oliver C in the background.
The wet trunk clings to everywhere, including the bottom of my smooth-soled trainers. It was hard work…
The ‘Grinches’ won the family award.
Wythenshawe’s course director, Andy, enjoys – with assistance from Oliver C - putting together post run reports, and the efforts of the enthusiastic organisers and volunteer marshalls seem to rub off on everyone, making these Saturday morning outings a highlight of the week for many of us.
I hope Andy (aka ‘The Willowy Blonde’) doesn’t mind me reproducing his report on this week’s run here:
Well, that was rather festive wasn’t it?
We asked you to turn up in your Christmas-themed outfits and boy, did you oblige. Santas, reindeer, elves, Grinches, trees, fairies and, er, crocodiles (I’m sure it’s a Christmas theme somewhere in the world) all made for a jolly get-together in the puddles and mud of Wythenshawe park under the disapproving gaze of Oliver Cromwell.
Puddles are perhaps not an accurate description as can be seen from the pictures below. A large lake has recently formed on the main path and the first loop was more water than grass (so maybe the crocodile outfit was not completely misjudged). Having negotiated that lot, our 168 intrepid runners had further mud and slippery grass to contend with in all the usual places so most of our lovely outfits were looking rather sodden and brown by the end.
You might be able to spot the odd runner in among the puddles
For those of you visiting Wythenshawe for the first time, it’s not always that wet. Come back in July and you might get a dry run. There were tourists from Durham and Arrow Valley and one of these, Mike Hudson, claimed the arbitrary distinction of being 20,000th finisher and so notched up the 100,000th kilometre.
A clearly emotional Mike Hudson trying to hold it all together after being informed of his landmark position
I know you all love the stats so the most important ones for the day were that 73 bacon and 24 sausage sandwiches were served to appreciative runners in the Courtyard Café afterwards. A big thanks to them for this as it added to the festive atmosphere as everyone gathered to compare degrees of muddiness of legs and eagerly awaited the awarding of the fancy dress prizes. This year both men’s and ladies’ prizes went to trees Martin Banfield and Julia Reynolds – take a bough both of you (sorry), and the family prize was stolen by Grinch family Walker.
The Grinch family
A spruced Martin plus a deer friend
The results table may show that there were only two official PBs but the beauty of parkrun is that you can have has many different categories of PB as you like. I personally set a new wet fairy best and I’m sure others will have found a PB category for their outfit/weather condition combination.
The first three men home were Roger Preece who was all revved up in his dog collar (arguably not in fancy dress) followed by the Willowy Blond, then Santa Fishwick and for the ladies it was Hope Rodgers, Beatrice Cordingley and Wendy Terry.
The first four finishers
Let’s not forget the wonderful volunteers who were led this week by Run Director Tris Pocock. Thanks to you all for helping the rest of us to enjoy ourselves. The roster was made up of Alison Cardwell, Jackie Cordingley, Barbara Dunn, Linda Edmondson, Vicky Fletcher (and assorted family members), Ralph Gilchrist, Kate Holloway, Alan Lamb, Katharine, Alex and Jonathan Lay, Jenny Miles, Dorothy Muldoon and Sue Strickland. Not forgetting Laura Morris who started on finish tokens then hopped to barcode scanning when her father had finished his run and took over finish tokens.
We need volunteers every week and so please try to make yourselves available every so often. It is fun and does give you a different view on how the whole thing works. Check the roster (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/wythenshawe/futureroster/) and you’ll see we have plenty of spaces in the coming weeks.
With that I’ll bid you all a very merry Christmas and hope that Santa brings you loads of new running gear to equip you for your weekly 5k fixes.
Well done Andy. You and yours are stars.