The one without the sun gods. Around 4000 Years ago, in ancient Babylon, the earliest recorded celebration honoring the coming of a new year was held. The festivities were dedicated to the rebirth of the sun god Marduk, obviously not to be confused with Murdock from the A-Team. The Babylonians made promises in order to get on the right side of all of their gods, they felt this would help them start the new year off on the right foot and New Years resolutions were born. Well, this morning at Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun there was a distinct lack of any sun god but there were a lot of people starting the year off on the right foot.
So as you can see I’m not visiting a new location this morning. I’m staying close to home and running at my home from home run, the lovely Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun. I do love Lakeside, it’s a quick out and back course around the lake and where my overall parkrun PB resides. It has tarmac paths and hard pack trail, but this time of year it gets quite waterlogged around the back of the course with lots of big muddy puddles. There is stacks of free parking (row C1 to C6) and it’s easy to get to using PO6 3EN on your sat nav. There are toilets in the main building and a Starbucks or Subway for post run refreshments (volunteers also get a discount in Starbucks). It’s a great place to hold a parkrun.
This mornings parkrun was the 89th at Lakeside, my 9th appearance there, their very first of 2018 and what a run it was. There was a record breaking number of people in attendance today. The previous course attendance record was 293 people set on the 29th July 2017. This morning that record was absolutely smashed with 355 of you completing the 5k course. Happy New Year to each and everyone of you.
This mornings run director, Charlie WATTS, briefed the awaiting throng on the course conditions. It was difficult to hear parts of it due to the volume of people present but the gist of it was that the course was a bit Marti Pellow. Yep, it was Wet Wet Wet! The subway was a bit flooded and the puddles around the back of the course were sightly larger than usual, but that’s all part of the fun, skin is waterproof and clothes dry off, a little bit of water isn’t going to hurt. You can’t beat a bit of splashing through puddles, release the inner child.
Andy TURNER clearly didn’t muck about splashing through puddles being the first male across the line in 18 minutes dead and securing a course PB. Julie HUMPHRIES was the first female finisher crossing the line in 20:10 also securing a course PB. What a great start to the year. Speaking of personal bests there were no less than 23 shiny new PB’s achieved today, hopefully enough to appease the Sun gods and deliver us some nicer weather soon. There were a staggering 102 first timers at Lakeside this morning, 60 tourists and 42 people completely new to parkrun. A warm welcome to each and every one of you, we hope you enjoyed splashing your way around the lake and look forward to seeing you again soon.
As you are no doubt aware parkrun is only possible due to the volunteers, so I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered today to make it a record breaking success.
If you fancy being a high-vis hero and giving something back to the parkrun community then it’s easy to do, just drop an email to email@example.com or simply sign up at the event, there’s always a clipboard floating around with the future roster on it. Every role is simple to do and you get full instructions. Get involved in 2018, what’s the worst that can happen?
The event was made possible by 21 volunteers:
Ian J BERRY-BOWERS • Derek LUDFORD • Paul JEFFREY • Robert Alexander HALL • Mike CREEDY • Julie WATTS • Mark ALLEN • Dean CRISPIN • Eleanor NEWMAN • Darron JOLLIFFE • Kerry HOWELLS • Nick SANDFORD-SMITH • Charlie WATTS • Brian MILLO • Chris TAYLOR • Aimee WATTS • Richard DICKIN • Claire ELLIS • Caroline MOAKES • Richard MOAKES • Valerie RYAN