As hot as it was humid 267 of us lined up on the start line for KWP Parkrun number 440.
Everyone's prep for the 9am Saturday 5km is as individual as the run itself. We all, generally, fall into one of a few categories.
Has usually washed and ironed their run kit at least 6 days before. Has the kit laid out in prep the night before. Alarm set for 6am to allow a fuel loaded breakfast enough time to settle pre run. Generally parked up and ready about 8am with plenty of time for a warm up and pre run poo.
Has often been roped in the night before during one too many gins in Hogarths. Has secretly hoped everyone has forgotten by morning only to have those hopes dashed with the 'I am on the way, pick you up in 5 mins' text from the one pal the night before who stuck to orange juice.
Often training for a marathon or an ultra and see Parkrun as a perfect intermittent run mid long run. Don't worry, they will tell you about it during the run. Strava entry later on will map the return run to Lichfield at a steady 9 mins/mile pace.
The First Timer
A sleepless night through nerves leads to an anxious morning of doubt. A 'should I or shouldn't I go' morning. They may have done this a few times before but this is the day when they take the plunge. Forcing themselves out of the door with their Skechers*, ill-fitting casual shorts and almost certainly chafe inducing t-shirt but with a determination to take the first step on their running journey.
*other non run specific trainers are available
"I'll meet you at 8am in Fazeley to run down"
"I'm running late but I'll be there by ten past and we will still make it"
"Not gonna make it in time. You crack on and i'll see you at the start"
Was out with The Reluctant but struggled to know when to stop. Battles throughout the run to keep it down.
The Last Minute
Wakes up late only to lie in bed messing on their phone knowing they're already late, leaving it to the last minute to get up and put on kit they ran in yesterday, that hasn't been washed, no time to clean teeth, can't find buff, or keys, leaves 8 mins before 9am for a 10 min drive to KWP, jams car in space, wings a parking fine, realises they've forgotten their watch, swears and chases after the tail runners as they disappear through the bushes towards 'muddy wood'.
The Injured Return
Strapped, hobbling and with a story to tell. You'll often hear something along the lines of "yeah I’m just gonna take it steady near the back to test the knee/thigh/calf/ankle/back/toe/spleen (delete as appropriate)." Often you'll see a 22 mins finish time and continue to hate them forever.
Springs out of bed as soon as alarm sounds, warms up muscles, eats a healthy power snack, pops on one ounce vest, high thigh shorts and trainers that improve performance by 0.008% and cost the equivalent to a 3 bed semi. Spring around field 20 mins before the off in a warmup dance last seen on BGT '17, before positioning themselves at the front awaiting the off. Unlikely to be seen again by any other runner, finishing first and immortalised in the race report for taking first place in the non-race race.
[Editor’s note – it’s still not a race, Sid)
This week the Pros amongst us were David, Charlie, Benjamin, Holly, Rachel and Harriet. Joseph and Holly leading the way for the youth of today.
9 of us were Unknown, 50 first timers and 23 or 8.164% of us got to lord it for the rest of the day secure in the knowledge that they had run the fastest Parkrun of their life!
At least 11,000 volunteers have got KWP to 440 runs. Without them the run doesn't happen. Some volunteers never have the urge to run but many of them would like the opportunity to run every now and then. The perfect scenario being a revolving door of volunteers to guarantee the event and to let everyone run. With the amount of runners we have we should all be volunteering about 4 times a year to ease the need for paracetamol during the week for the incumbent Race Director.
Today's volunteers that made it happen were Woodo, Beano, Gazza, Saz, Chewy, Magic, Dolph, Frencho, Griff, Hanno, Jubble, JD, BJ, Mr & Mrs J, M&M, Benjo, Oron, Pez, Pez, Renaldo, Deano and Strett!