There was a softly-softly approach at Saturday’s (3 August) long-awaited Babbs Mill parkrun in Kinghurst, Solihull. A quiet build-up meant a small number of runners took part in this inaugural event.
Event director Phil Wood and event support ambassador Andrew Lucas wanted to avoid overwhelming a team of volunteers who were new to parkrun. Babbs Mill Park is also popular with local residents who frequent this local nature reserve and Phil and Andrew didn’t want to alienate them. The decision was made out of concern for both parties.
A test run was carried out several days beforehand and to great success. It was all systems go for the big day although there was a blip on the Thursday before in the form of a tree blocking one of the paths on the course. The tree was moved and vegetation cut back thanks to Phil Wood and several others whose efforts ensured that the course was ready and waiting for Saturday’s launch.
Small can be beautiful as 54 people turned up on a sunny morning to run, jog or walk 5k on a mixture of tarmac paths and grass that included two laps around the lake. One lady, Jenni Tomkinson ran with her son Benjamin in a carrier on her back and there was support from local dog walkers and others using the park as well as encouragement from marshals.
James Eckloff of Centurion RC was the first man to finish in 18:12; Sadie Walker was the first female in 22:01.
No cafe at Babbs Mill meant a local garden centre was commandeered for post-run coffee, breakfast and results. Discussions are taking place about an official post-run cafe.
Image courtesy of Rachel Gould.