Huntingdon parkrun – #55

Last Saturday Laura arrived at mine bright and early and I drove us over to Huntingdon parkrun in Cambridgeshire.  I have run the Huntingdon course before as part of the New Year Double earlier in the year, but it was a course Laura needed to add to her list of parkrun tourism events.

It was super hot on Saturday morning.  There were barely any clouds up in the sky by the time we arrived at 8:30am.  Any which were up there were just of the pale white, wispy variety.

Huntingdon parkrun - no cloudsWe hung around at the back of the race briefing as Laura hadn’t run the course before, although I had already filled her in on the route and what to expect.  The chap giving the briefing was super animated and got the runners hyped up before the run.  There were actually quite a few tourists at the event so we weren’t alone.  There were even several from places abroad!

The Huntingdon event is run round Hinchingbrooke park, starting on the field before heading out onto the hardstanding track, through the woods alongside the water, past the cafe (where there are always dozens of supporters!)…

Huntingdon parkrun

(Photo by Paul Homewood)

…out through some more trees (where there were plenty of children requesting sweaty high 5s from us back runners), past the most enthusiastic marshal in the world and round for a second lap.

There is a slight hill as you head back through more trees and I chose to walk it both times to recatch my breath on the course.  It was hot and sweaty out there last Saturday!

The past few weeks of morning parkruns have seen the top of my right leg become super heavy as I’ve set off.  I don’t know if this is due to a mix of the extra weight I’m now carrying, or the varicose veins on that side which are adding to the heavy feeling.  It’s almost like I end up carrying a half-dead leg for the first couple of miles until it fully wakes up.  Yet, I haven’t had any issues with this leg on my evening runs?

I remembered the enthusiastic marshal at the halfway point/300m before the finish from when I ran the event at New Year.  One of the runners that I had been alongside then told me that he was always marshaling on that corner.  It was nice to recognise someone from a previous visit.

The marshal was shouting out to everyone that came past and had a huge amount of energy!  As Laura and I came past for the second time he screamed at us “Are you going to let those two women in front beat you to the finish?!  I think not!  Run!”  Laura turned and asked if I fancied picking up the pace to take down the two ladies who were now a little way in front of us.  Of course my answer was “Yes!” and we sped up enough to overtake them and continue to the finish.  Laura continued to pick up the pace, but my legs were stuck at a 7:37mm speed so she ended up finishing several seconds in front of me.  I saw an older gentleman just in front of me and decided that he would be a further target for me to beat to the line.  I felt a bit bad afterwards, as checking the results when I got home he was in the M70-74 category and in the photo below you can clearly see he picked up the pace to stay with me to the line.  (Good on him though!)  I overtook a few metres before crossing for the finish.

Huntingdon parkrun

(Photo by Paul Homewood)

Mile 1: 11:15
Mile 2: 11:15
Mile 3: 11:48
Nubbin (0.15m): 7:37mm pace

Huntingdon parkrun at 29w 4 days pregnantIt felt good to sprint finish, but I was glad that the weather was nice enough that I could lie down on the grassy finish line for a few minutes before heading over to get my barcode scanned!

Garmin time: 35:25
Official time: 35:27
Position: 295/364
Gender position: 108/157
Age category position: 21/26
Huntingdon parkrun volunteer boardI didn’t have my phone on me but I got Laura to take photos of the volunteer boards by the race briefing start.  Volunteer boards are such a great idea.  I love that the first board was filled with fun doodles and also had pictures of all of the core team so that they would be easily recognised and thanked at the event.

The second board listed the dates for the next three weeks of parkrun and contained a hanging pen so that any attendees could add their name to the rota for the coming weeks.

Huntingdon parkrun volunteer board

How does your local parkrun recruit volunteers?
Any top marshals to mention from your parkrun?
Did you cope OK running in the heat of last weekend?

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6 thoughts on “Huntingdon parkrun – #55

  1. That board is a great idea! You’d need somewhere sheltered to keep it in the winter (both my local parkruns have coffee vans, no toilets or cafe so not sure where they could put it in the rain). I really want us to get a bell for people to ring if they get a pb too, but not sure it’s that easy. They just have people with a clipboard taking down email addresses at the end.
    There’s a fab marshal at St Albans who is notorious- she is so smiley and cheers on every runner- I remember her being at the top of the hill of the winter course (which you ran up 3 times) and she was just brilliant and did not stop cheering once.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…100 miles in July, the final countdownMy Profile

    1. There was a PB bell at Huntingdon too! I think a PB bell is a fab idea. :)
      Some people really make stand out marshals don’t they? I think every race has one somewhere.

  2. Sounds like a fab parkrun! Love how enthusiastic that marshal was. And the board is a great idea. We generally do a lot of canvassing for volunteers via Facebook and Twitter.
    We have one of our regular runner’s father always marshalling and he always brings his camping chair to perch on. He’s such a lovely chap – always cheering and smiling. He always marshals at the same point as well so it’s called “Gordon’s Corner”. Bless him.
    Well done on the super speedy pick-up at the end! That’s quite a sprint!
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Let’s talk about datingMy Profile

    1. I love being able to recognise regulars at parkrun. How great that Gordon has had the corner named after him! I always think it’s lovely when people who are non-runners or non-parkrunners themselves still come to get involved with the marshaling as well.

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