A whopping 689 people took part in the inaugural Beacon parkrun (Saturday 18 January) in what was a successful launch despite the icy conditions. Lichfield Cathedral was an imposing landmark as runners and walkers made their way around the park.
The cold and fog on Saturday morning caused more than a few parkrun cancellations. There were 116 in total across the UK and several of those Midlands based, ice being the main reason.
One of those affected was Chasewater and as a result of this, helped to bump up numbers at Beacon Park. A crack team of 41 volunteers coped with the mass volume in a resourceful manner – switching to raffle tickets when their 500 tokens were used up.
The course was a two lap affair on a mix of trail, paths and grass that was muddy and slippery in equal measures. Not an easy decision in terms of shoe choice - road or trail? Whatever people wore they followed an attractive course around the outskirts of the historic park that is home to more than 70 acres of stunning gardens and open spaces.
Marshals withstood the cold to give the parkrunners a warm welcome, cheering them all the way around to the finish near the children’s play area and Lakeside Bistro.
Toby Oury of Aldridge RC was first male at the first Beacon parkrun in 17:50. Sarah Mackness of Notts AC was the first female in 19:56.
The Lakeside Bistro did a sterling job serving the bumper turnout with hot drinks and breakfast sandwiches – the vegetarian version was equally appreciated.
Image courtesy of Lakeside Bistro