;Who dares runs' was the motto at last Saturday’s (9 December) very cold and snowy Walsall Arboretum parkrun as runners and volunteers turned out in large numbers to enjoy a scenic social run.
A stiff upper lip was shown by the volunteers who stood around in the cold while the runners completed three laps around the park in a clockwise direction. The tricky conditions underfoot meant a cautious approach was required rather than flat out efforts; however, eight runners still managed to post a PB.
Peter Dimbleby and team kept an eye on the weather forecast and after much deliberation – and an early morning course recce - decided to proceed with parkrun number 302. Another factor was having enough volunteers to fill the roles needed to deliver a safe and enjoyable run in freezing temperatures. If they were unable to travel due to the weather then the event would be cancelled.
There was snow but no ice thankfully, so after a cautionary race briefing everyone set off at 9am on a 5k run through a winter wonderland at the Arboretum. This generated a festive atmosphere as well as a sense of 'all in it together'. There were 13 parkrun tourists who were keen to try a flat course on snow-covered tarmac, passing the bandstand, visitor centre and lake.
Pravesh Patel was first back in a time of 18:58 with Rebecca Attwell the first female in 23:41. Dylan Heydon-Matterface was the youngest finisher (JM11-14) in 35:52.
The race director is expecting another good turnout (and more) next Saturday. The weather forecast is cold and dry with no snow or ice.
Photo courtesy of Nick France.