The one on Christmas Eve! It was a mild winters morning on this parkrun day which saw some amazing attendance figures around the UK. Havant parkrun was just 6 short of their attendance record this morning with a whopping 292 finishers today. Yes, some of them may have reeked of booze from works nights out, but we won’t mention names as they had made, in some cases, a monumental effort to drag their sorry backsides out of bed and get themselves along to Staunton Country Park by 9am. It was also nice to see the Police in attendance, which wasn’t related honest, they’ve got a nice little running group who have been coming along since November.
There was lots of festive finery out this morning, Santa’s, elves, reindeer, Christmas puddings and a whole load of Christmas jumpers being worn in anger. You’ve got to love the parkrun community, any excuse to dress up a bit! I may or may not have been dressed as Santa myself… Simon WIILIAMS got proceeding underway this morning. There were a couple of milestones announced, James CHAMBERS running his 10th, Conrad BUTTERY and Stephen JACKSON running their 50th and John MARENGHI running his 100th! Well done one and all, fantastic dedication to parkrun. Interestingly, the person with the most runs under their belt out on course today was John COLE, with 221 runs, brilliant! Volunteers were thanked, instructions given about the rest of the festive runs (look at the various websites as Simon’s times can’t be trusted!) and obviously no nancying around the puddles, this is Havant after all! Time to run!
Conditions underfoot were pretty good considering we are at the end of December, I’ve got a feeling the coming months weather is going to be biblical! Howard CLARK and Sox flew round the course in an impressive 18:03, even having stopped to sort out some signage, thanks Howard. Hot on his heels was junior Steven CROSS over the line just 2 seconds behind earning himself a PB, with first time parkrunner Mike EAST just 3 seconds behind him. Very close times, well done gents, obviously you’ve not been slowed down by mince pies! Junior Nicola AINSWORTH was the first female finisher in a fantastic 19:48, followed by Rosie ACTON scoring a PB with a time of 21:58 and junior Natalya SMITH in 22:27. Well done ladies, some cracking times there. There were no less than 31 PB’s earned today, amazing, what a great early Christmas treat! There were 28 first timers today with 18 running their first ever parkruns, the other 10 being tourists from Southsea, Fareham, Alice Holt, Riddlesdown, Arrow Valley, Southampton and Ellenbrook Fields to name just a few, welcome along guys, hope you enjoyed the course!
The finish area was a hive of activity at the end of the run. It was nice to see so many people giving support to others yet to finish. Worth particular mention was the festive crossroads manned by volunteers Darin MCLOUD and Julie COLLINS-POWELL, it was warmly received along with the hugs that they were dishing out, not too sure about the singing though! All the volunteers today were brilliant, thank you one and all for giving up your time and your run so that we could run, you guys are all awesome.
Obviously one can’t attend Havant parkrun without partaking in the marvellous treats that the Cake Club supply week in week out. Thank you so much all involved, you guys are also awesome. There was a nice assortment of mince pies, cookies, rum cake and other such goodies, just what the doctor ordered after a brisk 5k around the woods! As it’s Christmas we got together for a little photo at the end, parkrun IS so much more than just a run in the park!
Until the next time have a very merry Christmas.
Ps. I loved being back at Havant again, they even have readily available Cornetto’s! #parkruncornetto