Race Report 02/03/21

There was another fabulous turnout for the latest virtual Croft cross country round local fields used only by those within a permitted distance for exercise, and with particular attention paid to social distancing.  Runners beyond that permitted distance worked out their own circuit near their homes.  The convoluted 2 lap, 2 mile course was laid out with plenty of markers so it was almost impossible to go wrong, and last minute rolling and cutting made for an excellent surface for running.  Harry the Harriers scarecrow, put together mainly by the ladies, was a fun marshal on the course.
Andrew Price had the quickest time, a superb 25.25 – and he went round the course again later with Matilda, with Paul Peacock 2nd in 25.55, Josh Fothergill 3rd in 26.08, just pipping Matt Jones, 4th in 26.09, Tom Levi 5th in 26.39, Josh Cooper 6th in 27.19, Adam Leigh 7th in 28.17, David Fawkes 8th in 29.48, Joe Lofthouse 9th in 29.48 and Ken Wood 10th in 29.54.
The fastest lady member was once again Trudy Morrice in 31.15, although guest runner, Gemma Tutty did the fastest time of 30.37.  Lorraine Hiles was 2nd in 31.46, Kirsty Naylor 3rd in 33.52, Lyndsy Collins 4th in 34.35, Hilary Coventry 5th in 34.53,  Helen Ashworth 6th in 35.44, Clare Tempest 7th in 36.11, Esther Harrison 8th in 36.29, Louise Mayfield 9th in 37.01 and Sonja van der Westhuisen 10th in 37.03.
Another 70+ members were among the also rans, (along with 23 guest runners,) topping Rob’s target of 100 for the first time.  They include Alan Simpson, Walter Busuttil, Gary Bastow, Paul Chapman, Michael Lowther, Gary Wilkinson, Dave Baker, David Tervit, Gavin Coventry, Andy Butcher, Brett Edgeworth, Richard Morrice, Adrian Saunders, Pedro Carrasco, Rob Burn, Marc Davies, Jack Spence, Dave Wood, Duncan Fothergill, Paul Goacher, Joe Joyce, Sarah Harrison, Andrea Colls, Martyn Coy, James Stephenson, Mike Cropper, Faith Coy, Elliot Readman, Steve Billings, Geoff Bullock, Lyndsay Goom, Sarah Scott, Stephanie Hawkins, Rosie Gatenby, Ken Evitt, Carol Morrison, Joanne Hunt, David Palmer, Tracey Lowther, Chris Wordsworth, Alison Butcher, Phillip Craig, Liz Wordsworth, 12 year old Harry Goom, Hugh Jennyns, Sarah Goacher, Phoebe Yates, Richard Easby, Bev Davies, Rosalind Yates, Margaret Wikeley , Caroline Pearce, Drikus van der Westhuisen, Pat Kirby, Clare Jones, Kimberli Werner, Christine Burn, Ellen Brookes, 11 year old Reuben Coy, Liz Stephenson, Jacob Condor, Sharon Keegan, Paul Adams, Alan Wikeley, Beverley Ayres, Rebecca Longster, Gillian Crane, Ian Crane, Maureen Worley, Kerry Morgan, Angie Weatherhead, Marian Codling (thankyou, Faith) and Soibhan Woodland.  Trish Radford completed the course but her watch ran out of energy before she did !
All in all a superb event, and these virtual races are picking up new members along the way!
In Oct 2004, Paul Sinton-Hewitt organised a run in Bushy Park, London with 13 of his friends so they could continue their sessions together, and this was the beginning of the Park Run movement which has since overtaken the country.  Thousands of runners each Saturday, in normal times, descend on their local 5k Park Run course and have a timed run round it.  These days, you have a bar code which is scanned at the finish, and results incorporated on a central computer before being published on the website. (In the early days it was tap washers and pencil and paper!)  The benefits to health are recognised, and park runs are even promoted in Doctors’ surgeries, with a feeling of well being is certain after a run.  20 countries have taken up park runs, and on holiday almost anywhere, you are likely to find a park run.  Some runners see how many different park runs they can collect, and “alphabet” park runs are attempted – a run beginning with each letter of the alphabet, and one can imagine Fountains Abbey is a must for a run beginning with F.  The National Trust have appreciated the possibilities of allowing runners free access to their grounds at 9 am, to be out by 10 am before the paying visitors arrive, and virtually all runners calling for a cup of coffee and a scone, cake or bacon sandwich!   In fact, the social side is almost as important as the running.  
None of it would be possible without and army of volunteers, and runners are requested to volunteer a couple of times or so a year, with a run director to oversee that side of things, to set out signs, direct runners where necessary, and scanning bar codes and then clearing up  at the end – offering plenty of encouragement throughout.
What a huge loss, then, when covid and lockdown put a stop to all that last year!  It left a huge gap in many people’s lives, and the park run movement decided to set up “not the Park Run” park runs, when runners could do 5k from their homes, time themselves, and submit results centrally, to be published as usual.  Gary Wilkinson was one member who was involved from the start, and he has just done his 50th “not the Park Run” park run!  Well done Gary.  Paul Chapman is another who has taken up the challenge, and his efforts and enthusiasm have encouraged more and more members to take part each week – this week 15 members were involved.  Paul recorded the quickest time, 22.28, with Mike Cropper, beginning to find some of his earlier form, taking 23.59, Dave Baker 24.40, Pete Jackson 24.48, Duncan Fothergill 25.02, Sonja van der Westhuisen 25.36, Gary Wilkinson 25.55, Andrea Colls 26.56. Pavid Palmer 28.09, Sarah Harrison 28.39, Siobhan Woodland 33.54, Sharon Keegan 34.48, Gillian Crane 39.43, Rosie Gatenby 41.36 and Bev Davies 41.50.
What a Red Letter Day it will be if and when Park Runs resume on June 5th!

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